Milford '09 operating budget nearly the same

MILFORD – The selectmen’s $11.5 million proposed operating budget is nearly flat from last year, rising four-tenths of a percent over last year, according to Town Administrator Guy Scaife.

If the budget and all the warrant articles pass as proposed by the board, there would be a 0.9 percent increase on the town tax rate.

Selectmen will take $200,000 from the fund balance, which is unspent money the town collected in taxes, to reduce the tax increase.

One of the more prominent cuts was trimming $10,000 from a $20,000 warrant article requested by the Downtown Ongoing-Improvement Team.

>>Town Meeting ‘09<< The selectman who proposed the change said it was necessary in the severe recession and that private contributions can help offset the reduction. DO-IT had asked for $20,000, an amount voters approved last year, for its operating budget. The group gets 55 percent of its budget from the town of Milford and revenue from the Pumpkin Festival. The other 45 percent comes from grants and contributions. The board also reduced a social services warrant article from $35,000 to $25,000. The article was $35,000 last year. Historically about 16 agencies have been funded by the warrant article, including the Red Cross, Bridges and Meals on Wheels. Deliberative session will be Feb. 7.