Groton - The City Council approved a budget Monday night of $16.9 million for the coming fiscal year, which will hold the tax rate stable at 4.5 mills.
Councilors approved the budget 5-0, with newly elected Councilor Jay Dempsey abstaining. Dempsey said he abstained because he was not part of the original budget discussions.
The budget is $7,291 less than the current year. It includes $2.169 million for highway maintenance, a decrease of 6 percent. Editor's note: This corrects an earlier version of this paragraph.
The town council had cut $476,549 from the city's $4.5 million request for police and highways, but Representative Town Meeting restored the police funding. Mayor Marian Galbraith said the city charter allows the city to seek mediation if it disagrees with town cuts to highways. She said she asked for this mediation so she would not change the total.
The police budget represents a decrease of 1.2 percent and includes money for 29 sworn personnel.
"I'd like to thank the department heads for working diligently to sharpen their pencils," Galbraith said.
Galbraith said the city saw its grand list decline, mainly due to less personal property at Pfizer. But the city anticipates increases in state aid and returns on investments, she said.