n-nyarselectmen-011509 N. Yarmouth budget steady despite economy

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NORTH YARMOUTH — While many other area towns are facing budget deficits, both real and anticipated, North Yarmouth seems to be faring well, according to second-quarter financial reports.
With a majority of expenditures at or below the 50 percent mark halfway through the fiscal year and most revenues higher, the Board of Selectmen seemed unfazed last week when the numbers were rolled out.
The only major concern for selectmen was a decrease in expected building permit revenues – nearly every other town is facing the same problem, with citizens and businesses unwilling or unable to build in this economy.
However, while those other towns are also facing significant losses from auto excise taxes, North Yarmouth is above its budget, with 51 percent of the taxes anticipated having already been collected.
Other revenues are generally high, too, with the exception of dog licence fees and solid waste fees. Selectmen wrote those areas off, though, since dog licenses aren’t usually renewed until the Jan. 31 deadline, and the solid waste program, which requires citizens to pay for municipal trash bags, began only in October.
“When we did the budget,” Town Administrator Scott Tilton told
selectmen, “we had a little bit of foresight, because we knew the
economy wasn’t good last year.”
On the expenditure side of the budget, some selectmen, including Chairman Paul Napolitano, expressed concern that the town has so far spent 49 percent of its public works budget, just “when we’re coming into the three worst months.”
But Tilton said all paving projects for the year have been completed, and initial road salt purchases have been made. He said he is unconcerned by the spending so far.
One area significantly under budget is the solid waste fund, at 40 percent of the yearly amount, which is likely due to efforts made to increase recycling and decrease waste produced by the town. The pay-per-throw trash system was a part of that effort.
Most other expenditures, including public services, code enforcement, fire and rescue, and technology, are currently hovering in the mid-40 percent range as of Jan. 1.

Sarah Trent can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 108 or strent@theforecaster.net.