Sandwich Selectmen Back $70.5 Million Operating Budget

The board of selectmen will present a $70.5 million operating budget for the coming fiscal year to voters at the May 5 Annual Town Meeting.

The selectmen approved the proposed budget, which was prepared by town manager George H. Dunham, at their meeting last week.

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The proposed budget is $1.7 million, or 1.9 percent, higher than the town’s current operating budget.

The town’s new fiscal year starts July 1.

As in recent versions put forward by the town manager, the budget retains a surplus of $14,230.

But Mr. Dunham has made some tweaks inside the budget to react to shifting numbers. In particular, he has dropped a proposal to shift $100,000 from the stabilization fund to help buy a new ambulance.

The budget still reflects a 4.37 percent increase in the school department budget designed to pay for the start-up of a new academy for the town’s 7th and 8th graders in a section of the high school.

School superintendent C. Richard Canfield has said the school budget likely will provide savings of up to $1 million in the following fiscal year with the scheduled closing of the Henry T. Wing School.

In a related development, the selectmen are scheduled to vote at their meeting this Thursday, April 10, on the proposed 24-article warrant for the May 5 meeting.

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