Mixed budget bag seen in Mount HollyBy CRISTINA KUMKA STAFF WRITER | February 18,2010MOUNT HOLLY — The town budget is up and the school budget is down in Mount Holly this year, set for voter approval or rejection this Town Meeting Day.
The town's General Fund and solid waste budget for 2010-11 is up $11,730, or about 3.5 percent, from $336,150 last year to $347,880 this year.
The amount needed to be raised in local taxes for the town's Highway Fund also grew $11,000, or about 4.5 percent, from $243,500 to a proposed $254,500 this year, according to figures from the town warning and confirmed by Linda Nexon, Mount Holly Select Board member.
Overall, this year's combined budget of $602,380 is up more than 3.5 percent, or $22,730, from last year's approved town budget figure of $579,650, according to figures provided by Town Clerk Susan Covalla.
Nexon attributed the increase in the General Fund to money allocated for a refurbished roof on the town office and low interest rates.
The highway budget is up because material costs are up, Nexon said.
She said the municipal tax rate is not yet available.
Nexon said the Mount Holly Select Board tried to hold the line on expenses despite the increases. "We have a very large education tax burden and we did our very best to keep this at a minimum," she said.
The budget for Mount Holly Elementary School of $1,591,543 for the year beginning July 1, 2010, is $20,037, or about 1.2 percent, less than last year's figure of $1,611,580.
The education tax rate was not available either, pending more information from the state, said School Board member David Venter.
Venter said there were no staff cuts this year and attributed the overall decrease to a "general reduction across the board."
Voters will also weigh in on the usual questions asked each Town Meeting Day — from authorizing the school district to place unencumbered funds into a reserve for the school to electing town officers by ballot.
There are no contested races for elected office this year, Covalla said.
Voters are asked to meet at 7:30 p.m. March 1 at the Mount Holly Elementary School, 150 School St., to vote on the town auditor's report, town officers by ballot and the tax exemption of the Colfax Lodge by way of a floor vote.
At 7 p.m. March 1, voters can weigh in, from the floor of the school, on reports of the School Board members and to allow or not allow the school district to make available facilities and equipment to individuals and organizations.
All other questions, and the town and school budgets, will be voted on by Australian ballot at the Mount Holly Town Office from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 2.
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