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Friday, March 16, 2012

Budget, $1.4 safety complex bond OKd by Brookline voters Wednesday

By JOSEPH G. COTE

Staff Writer

BROOKLINE – Voters approved a $3.8 million budget and a bond to finish completion of the town’s safety complex during the town’s annual meeting Wednesday.

The largest of the warrant articles this year, aside from the operating budget, was a 10-year, $1.4 million bond to finish the Brookline Safety Complex.

The bond barely passed by the required two-thirds with 203 “yes” votes and 96 “no” votes.

The money will build a new police facility to be co-located with the ambulance service, which was the plan when the building was first constructed, according to now former selectman Tad Putney.

Currently, the police department is housed in the basement of Town Hall.

The bond won’t impact 2012 taxes because the first payments won’t be due until next year, Putney said.

Residents adopted the operating budget by a voice vote, but not before amending it to remove about $75,000 from the selectmen’s plan.

The proposed budget, plus about $1.5 million in a number of warrant articles, was a 7.4 percent increase from the previous year’s spending, according to budget documents.

Budget drivers include the first of five lease payments for a new fire truck, $74,640; an increase in health insurance premiums that adds $45,100; and a rise in the town’s contribution to the New Hampshire Retirement System, adding $33,000.

In addition, the proposed budget includes $27,500 to buy a new police cruiser, $25,000 to cover the cost of unanticipated legal expenses, and $7,210 for election and registration costs, the result of a year in which there will be four elections, according to budget documents. Those items account for about 80 percent of the proposed budget increase.

Voters approved two other articles, including one for $60,000 for road and bridge improvements and $58,200 to hire a full-time town administrator.

A $10,000 article to extend an option on a Main Street parcel known as the Monius property was turned down by a voice vote.

Two petitioned warrant articles concerning the wording of town budgets were also passed over.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashuatelegraph.com.