Town of Newport

NEWPORT — Town Manager Hunter Rieseberg presented his proposed 2020 Newport Town Budget to the Newport Board of Selectmen at their Monday meeting.

“I’ve gone through this pretty closely,” Rieseberg said. “One of the biggest problems is the Newport tax base is not changing,” he revealed.

The final budget number is expected to be announced following three scheduled budget review meetings on Feb. 10, 13 and 17.

All of those meetings are held in the Board of Selectmen’s Meeting Room at the Newport Town Offices, 15 Sunapee St., starting at 6:30 p.m. They are open to the public.

“The community has suffered for a number of years with improvements and trying to do those jobs with a zero budget increase is not practical,” Rieseberg said at the outset of his presentation.

“If we’re not keeping pace with some inflation were going backwards,” he emphasized.

The town manager said his budget presentation dealt exclusively with the operating budget and does not include any separate warrant articles.

Last year’s anticipated tax rate was $11.74 per $1,000 based only on the operating budget, Rieseberg stated. The 2020 proposal is $11.97, up 23 cents, reflecting a 1.9 percent increase in the tax rate. “The default budget would be $11.86, “ he added.

Rieseberg presented the selectmen with a single recap sheet dealing with the operating budgets without warrant articles.

Last year’s expense budget was $7,840,076 compared to his projected number this year of $8,201,725, an increase of $359,649 or 4.6 percent. However, projected revenue for 2020 is $3,223,776, up $256,571 or 8.65 percent.

The tax base/grand list value in 2019 was $433,249,619 and is projected to rise a bit to $433,426,270 in 2020.

Using these numbers, the anticipated municipal tax rate (without warrant articles) would be $11.97, up 23 cents per $1,000 or 1.9 percent. The projected default tax rate would be $11.86.

The budget provides funding (gross) for the following capital expenditures of note:

Road paving, $250,000; sidewalk repairs, $130,000; Oak Street Bridge East Deck, $86,500; Sand Hill Bridge, $130,000; DPW building repairs, $15,000; DPW one-ton dump truck, $73,478; police department cruiser replacement, $36,983; fire department MDT’s, $6,200; building repairs, for example painting at Old Court House and/or fire station and roofing at Circuit Court, $50,000.

The budget also includes approximately $100,000 for employee COLA’s and $100,000 in new debt service.

This budget does not provide funding for the following capital expenditures of note: additional capital expenditures such as DPW equipment replacement; B&G equipment replacement, systemic CIP funding or any additional staffing.

“Over time we’re working our way into a pattern for larger capital equipment. We’re chipping away,” Rieseberg revealed.

He shared some good news with the selectmen relative to health insurance6y 788 . Health premiums will be increasing 1.4 percent. “That increase is the lowest adjustment I have seen in my entire career. We had a very good year,” he noted.

“My target is to keep our tax impact within inflation,” Rieseberg concluded.

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