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Hancock Town Council approves budget

June 14, 2007|by ERIN JULIUS

HANCOCK - The Hancock Town Council approved a budget of more than $1.2 million for its general fund in the coming fiscal year at its meeting Wednesday night.

Salaries and benefits are the town's largest expense, coming in at $487,294, according to a draft of the town's budget made available at Wednesday's meeting.

Public hearings on the budget and proposed tax rates were held prior to the council's vote, but no citizens spoke.

Hancock's property tax rate will remain the same, at $0.395 per $100 of assessed value.

Even though the town's tax rate won't increase, citizens' taxes still will go up because assessments increased, Mayor Daniel A. Murphy said.

Hancock will see about $27,000 more this year than last year due to the higher assessments, town Manager David Smith said.

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Murphy called the town's budget "tight, but functional."

The budget for capital projects, which includes money from Program Open Space grants, is $358,806.

Utilities are another large expense, with $145,000 set aside in the budget.

The town council also approved increased water, sewer and sanitation rates. The sanitation rate was raised $10 to $35 per quarter, the sewer rate will cost a base rate of $24 per quarter and water will cost a base rate of $26.20 per quarter, Smith said.

The increased sanitation rate was necessary in order for the sanitation department's budget to pay its own way, Smith said.

Hancock's water department has a budget of $357,860, its wastewater department has a budget of $351,800 and the sanitation department's budget comes in at $103,040.

The town's total operating budget, which includes the general fund, water, wastewater and sanitation, is $2,053,235.

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