September 11, 2007 
Proposed Town Budget increases 10.6%
Union Leader Correspondent

GOFFSTOWN - Department heads have proposed a 2008 town budget of approximately $18,575,000, a 10.6 percent increase over the $16,789,000 that voters approved for 2007, selectmen chairman John Caprio said last night.

The preliminary default budget, which includes increases mandated by employee contracts and other legal obligations, is about $17 million, according to Caprio. The town will revert to a default budget if the one town officials proposes is not approved in the spring.

Officials said the budget numbers, released for the first time last night, were preliminary. The board of selectmen and the budget committee will spend much of this fall reviewing the proposals and it will not be until next spring that the final budget goes before voters.

Last night, the board of selectmen and budget committee took their first crack at the budget, beginning with the town library and the Parks and Recreation Department.

Dianne Hathaway, the library director, is recommending a budget of $630,885 for next year, up from the 2007 appropriation of $593,371.

Hathaway told town officials she was planning to add a 15-hour position for an aid, who would help out with the summer reading program, cover vacant posts on library floors, and otherwise fill in the gaps in the library staff. She also wants to expand a 30-hour assistant to 40 hours a week.

In presenting the library budget, Lisa Iodice, the vice chair of the board of trustees, noted that circulation has grown by 3 percent and attendance at library programs is up by 7 percent.

But the demand for online databases has fallen by half, which could lead to savings in future years if an effort to boost interest in the databases does not pan out in 2008, Hathaway told selectmen.

David French, the director of the Parks and Recreation, proposed a budget of $357,627, about $15,000 more than he is spending this year. Bob Draper, the chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission, said most of the increase was caused by expenses, like salaries, over which French has little leeway.

Draper urged selectmen to accept the budget as presented, so that the Parks and Recreation Department can maintain its programs in 2008.

Reproduced by the Goffstown Residents Association.


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