Update: Public hearing on Concord’s $66.5M budget set for Thursday, Finance Committee meeting canceled

  • Concord City Hall

Monitor staff
Published: 6/4/2019 6:29:23 PM

The public will have a chance to weigh in on Concord’s proposed operating budget Thursday before it’s adopted later this month.

Few changes have been proposed to Concord’s $66.5 million operating budget, which would represent a $1.4 million increase in spending. If approved, the budget would represent the second-lowest increase in the operating budget in the last six years. In the last decade, city spending has gone up by $19.7 million or 70%.

A Finance Committee work session planned for the evening was canceled, but a public hearing is still scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday night.

So far, City Manager Tom Aspell has proposed adding $1 million for neighborhood road paving. If approved, the money would increase the city’s paving by 50%.

The money would come from a reserve account associated with Consolidated Communications’ (formerly FairPoint Communications) use of Concord’s right-of-ways, poles and conduits, along with a settlement reached this year in Merrimack County Superior Court, according to a city press release.

The budget would raise the city’s portion of the tax rate by about 19 cents, which would mean an extra $50 on the tax bill for a house worth $250,000.

Whether the taxes will increase that much is uncertain since tax rates can be influenced by assessments and revenues and aren’t locked in until later in the year.

The $1.4 million increase in spending would give the city an additional $227,000 for general infrastructures, like additional paving and the operational costs of the newly built White Park skate house; $70,300 in public safety investments; and $59,000 new spending in “human capital” like more overtime for the city’s Parks and Recreation staff and $13,000 in elections overtime.

It also covers almost a million dollars in wage and benefit changes and $354,000 in additional debt services costs. The bulk of that new debt service comes from paying off the City-Wide Community Center and stormwater system improvements.

A tentative budget adoption with an additional chance for public comment has been moved to June 17.

(This story has been updated to include an additional public comment session on the budget and to reflect that a Finance Commit tee meeting has been cancelled. Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com  or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)

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