Prospect budget going to town meeting

PROSPECT — Mayor Robert Chatfield and the Town Council presented a budget of approximately $6.98 million dollars during a town public hearing Tuesday night.

The proposed budget represents a 1.1 percent increase over the current $6.9 million budget.

A public meeting is scheduled take place to vote on the budget at 7 p.m. April 19 at Community School, 12 Center St.

The largest increase in the budget this year was for the Commission on Aging, which includes the maintenance and fueling of the senior minibus.

Chatfield explained that in years past the fuel for the mini bus was provided through the fire and police departments. This was difficult because the minibus uses about $350 a month in gas.

Chatfield put the minibus’ fuel as its own line item in the budget this year, which caused the line item to increase $13,500. The total increase for the Commission on Aging was approximately $44,000.

Chatfield was able to cut $12,500 out of the budget through the household hazardous waste item line.

He explained that the towns take turns in hosting hazardous waste removal and this year Prospect was not in charge of storage and removal of hazardous waste. The town will be responsible for it during the next budget year, however.

There was not much comment on most of the budget. However, council member Theresa Graveline felt there were two areas where the budget needed to be changed.

The first area was the budget of the land use technician, who had just become certified.

She felt that, since another town employee received a 20 percent raise upon certification, that the land use technician should receive the same, rather than a 12.9 percent raise, which was what was in the proposed budget.

The town council voted to increase the land use technician’s salary by approximately $1,600 to bring it up to a 20 percent raise.

Graveline also felt that the budget for Prospect’s Annual Pumpkin Festival, which was proposed at $6,000, was too expensive.

She suggested that $2,000 be cut from the festival, which the council approved.

Chatfield felt that the festival was growing larger every year, but he said that he would make due with whatever the council decided in regards to the festival’s budget.