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Waterford - The Board of Finance considered requests for four sizable budgets in the proposed 2014-15 budget Monday, making only small reductions to two of them.
In the end, the board approved a total of $12.8 million in funding. The board's reductions added up to only $15,000, but followed lengthy discussions.
Board members voted unanimously to strike a $10,100 statue at Mago Point from the Transfers to Capital and Non-recurring Expenditure Fund budget, on the grounds that the item was not necessary and could be covered with undesignated funds.
"It sounds to me more like a want than a need," said board member John "Bill" Sheehan.
The Transfers to Capital and Non-recurring Expenditure Fund budget stands at $4 million, $2.5 million greater than for the current year. The budget covers capital projects not yet fully planned or not "shovel ready" as Finance Director Rudie Beers puts it.
Repairs to Jordan Cove Road Bridge are responsible for $2.4 million of the increase but a $1.9 million state grant will offset the expense.
The board also voted to reduce overtime funds for Fire Services to $25,436. Fire Services had requested $30,436, more than $20,000 greater than the department budgeted for the current fiscal year. The department expended $72,988 on overtime in fiscal year 2013.
Director of Fire Services Bruce Miller said the department was low on volunteers and needed to increase its overtime budget to compensate. He said the department technically had 230 volunteers, but only 50 were active.
Board member Cheryl Larder questioned why the department was outfitting volunteers who were not active.
"I don't want any perception at all that I don't support the volunteer firefighters," she cautioned.
The Fire Services budget was approved at close to $2.8 million.
The budgets for current year capital projects and public works were approved with no changes, at $1.3 million and $4.6 million, respectively.