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Erving to present ‘level-funded’ budget

Wednesday, 7 p.m., Erving Elementary

ERVING — On the menu for Wednesday’s annual town meeting are budgets, bulletproof vests, trucks and books.

The proposed budget for general government, parks, protection, insurance, payroll and other services in the coming fiscal year totals $3,013,265, a $243,381, or 7.5 percent, decrease from the budget approved last year.

The bulk of the decrease is due to the removal of the contribution to the employee retirement benefits fund from the general budget, to be considered this year as a separate article, Town Administrator Thomas Sharp said.

“I guess I would call it level-funded, in the big picture,” Sharp said of overall town spending.

Proposed education spending is down $64,771, driven mainly by a $166,591 decrease in anticipated secondary education spending. Sharp said this figure is likely to change via special town meeting as actual figures are not known until families decide where to enroll their children.

The Franklin County Technical School assessment is up $8,226 to $305,302, and the proposed Erving Elementary School budget is $2,505,125. The elementary budget is a $93,594, or 3.9 percent, increase over the budget approved last year, significantly reduced from last year’s contentious 13 percent increase.

In other significant spending, the Fire Department requests $490,000 to purchase a new pumper truck, to replace two old trucks, and $95,000 for a new Ford F550 pickup truck with utility box. Both sums are to be drawn from town surplus.

From the same source, the town requests $45,000 to restore and preserve records in the town clerk’s and assessors’ offices. New materials in need of preservation were discovered in the town hall, Sharp said.

The Police Department requests $7,855, also from surplus, to replace all bullet-resistant vests.

Also among the 34 items up for approval at the meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Erving Elementary School, 28 Northfield Road:

∎ $98,124 for elected town officials’ salaries.

∎ $300,000 into the Other Post Employment Benefits fund.

∎ $807,413 into the town stabilization or savings fund.

∎ $86,910 to fund the Water Department budget, to be raised by the Water Department.

∎ $12,000 for a new Town Hall copier.

∎ $20,000 to replace the Town Hall phone system.

∎ $20,000 for a Fire Department air storage system.

∎ $15,000 for a gear washer for the Fire Department.

∎ $10,000 to repair and replace existing streetlights.

∎ $100,000 to establish for highway work on North and High streets, a third installment toward a $500,000 total.

∎ $25,000 to maintain and improve town buildings.

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