Taxes up 3.13 percent under next Concord budget
The municipal portion of Concord’s tax rate will increase an estimated 3.13 percent under the new budget approved last night.
The city council approved the fiscal year 2014 budget last night, which includes an ambitious capital improvement plan that more than doubles this year’s capital spending. Mayor Jim Bouley noted that it’s the city’s fifth consecutive balanced budget.
“The budget maintains a high quality of services to the community, despite the continued downshifting of costs and the reduction of revenues from the state,” Bouley said.
City officials have attributed the budget and tax rate increase to $960,000 in additional retirement costs, and police officer positions that were previously covered by federal grants.
The council approved all budget items on votes of 14-0; Councilor Fred Keach was absent.
The council made few changes to the budget City Manager Tom Aspell presented last month. At budget work sessions in the past month, councilors added $30,320 to convert a part-time police dispatch position to full time, and an additional $7,000 for weed control to the general services budget.
The council authorized more than $9 million in bonds for capital improvement projects. Fiscal year 2014 projects include: renovations to Main Street; the reduction of Loudon Road to three lanes; the reconstruction of Route 3 through downtown Penacook; the replacement of Sewalls Falls Bridge; improvements at Memorial Field and the Concord Municipal Airport; and redevelopment of the former Penacook tannery site.
“This budget provides for a large array of capital expenditures, taking advantage of the $1.8 million in donations, $5 million in tax increment financing and $15.2 million in federal funds,” Bouley said.
The budget includes changes in the city’s administration. The assistant for special projects position held by Matt Walsh will be eliminated and replaced with a new job: director of redevelopment, downtown services and special projects.
Water and sewer rates will increase 2.5 percent under the new budget, which takes effect July 1.
The final tax rate, which includes city, school and county taxes, will be set this fall.