Recommended Budgets for 2018 Down 1.9%

By Ed Hiller, Andover Budget Committee

The Andover Budget Committee recommended budgets for 2018 (net of appropriations that are funded by non-tax sources) are as follows:

Net 2017 2018 change pct Tax Rate
Appropriations change
School $5,335,215 $5,476,537 $141,322 2.6% $0.55
Town $2,046,894 $1,763,103 -$283,791 -13.9% -$1.10
Fire $133,076 $134,671 $1,595 1.2% $0.01
TOTAL $7,515,185 $7,374,311 -$140,874 -1.9% -$0.54

The total net appropriations recommended for 2018 are $7,374,311.  This is a decrease over 2017 of $140,874 (-1.9%), and will reduce the total tax rate by approximately $0.54.  Most of this reduction comes from the anticipated reimbursement from the State of 80% of the cost of replacing the Morrill Hill Road bridge.  A property assessed at $200,000 will see a decrease in its tax bill for 2018 by approximately $108.00.

Andover School Budget

The recommended appropriation including warrant articles for the Andover School District for fiscal year 2018-19 is $5,476,537.  This is up $141,322 (2.6%) over last year, and will add approximately $0.55 to the tax rate.  

Major budget increases:
$77,650 salaries and benefits increase
$37,194 building bond payments increase (go to 2 payments per year)
$18,948 transportation contract increase
$10,576 special education contract increases
Andover Town Budget

The recommended 2018 appropriation for the Town including warrant articles is $2,262,057.  This is offset by a non-tax transfer of $2,954 to the Solar Energy CRF from the Unassigned Fund Balance, resulting in a net appropriation of $2,259,103.  This is  up over the 2017 net appropriation by $212,209 (10.4%).

However, it is anticipated that the Town will be reimbursed in 2018 by the State Bridge Aid Fund for 80% of the cost of replacing the Morrill Hill Road bridge.  The cost was $620,000, so the reimbursement is $496,000.  Assuming that this reimbursement is received in 2018 as revenue to offset taxes, the net appropriation for 2018 is reduced to $1,763,103, down from the net appropriation for 2017 by $283,791.  The result would be an estimated overall reduction in the Town tax rate by $1.10 over last year.

Major budget increases:
$100,000 purchase of sand pit property
 $45,000 winter sand purchase   
 $32,450 salaries and benefits increase
 $27,500 Emergency Medical Services contract
 $15,000 add to town office building trust fund  
 $15,000 transfer station building repairs
 $10,000 beach house building repairs
 $10,000 town office building repairs

Major decrease:
$18,503  Highway Dept truck lease finished

Andover Fire District

The recommended 2018 budget for the newly unified Andover Fire District is $124,671.  This is up $1,595 (1.2%) over the appropriations for the two Fire Districts for the previous year.

Annual Meetings

The meetings at which these budgets will be discussed and voted upon are:
Andover School District Meeting — Monday, March 5, 2018
Andover Town Meeting – Tuesday — March 13, 2018
Andover Fire District Meeting — Tuesday, March 20, 2018