Voters Approve Increases for Forest Fire Equipment; 4th of July

Warrant Articles for buildings and equipment were tabled

By Arch Weathers

The 2020 annual meetings of the Town of Andover, the Andover School District, and the Andover Fire District voted to raise and appropriate their budgets for the coming year. The total appropriations before offsetting revenues are $8,417,357, up $152,582 over last year resulting in a 1.8% overall increase over 2019.

Department 2019 2020 change pct
School $5,655,656 $5,988,886 $333,230 5.9%
Town $2,443,547 $2,260,796 $ (182,751) -7.2%
Fire $165,572 $167,675 $2,103 1.3%
TOTAL $8,264,775 $8,417,357 $152,582 1.8%

Andover School District Meeting

The Andover School District Meeting approved total appropriations of $5,988,886. This was an increase of $121,500 over the Budget Committee’s recommended total of $5,867,386. The voters added back $46,500 to the operating budget plus another $75,000 for an additional teacher. Both the Budget and School Board Committee did not recommend this addition. The net assessment based on estimated revenues may result in a 3.7% increase in the school tax rate.

Andover Town Meeting

After much debate Andover voters settled on an Operating Budget of $1,986,296 – a decrease of $103 from the Budget Committee’s recommendation. Contributing to the net change were increases of $10,000 and $9,000 respectively for Forest Fire Equipment and the 4th of July. Road agent wages were reduced from a recommended amount of $30,000 to $18,025.

The Warrant Article to raise and appropriate $1,500,000 for a Highway maintenance building and equipment was tabled, as were Articles to finance a Bond for the purpose of constructing a highway garage and tools. Additionally, Articles 9 and 10 were tabled as well. These had to do with raising funds for the lease/purchase of a 1-ton truck and backhoe respectively.

The total appropriations of $2,260,796 plus the addition of War service credits and overlay bring the total net to be raised in taxes of $2,339,050 – a decrease of $182,751 from 2019. Should anticipated revenues of $807,456 be realized, it would reduce this amount to a net appropriation of $1,531,594. This is up from the 2019 net appropriation by $143,504.

Andover Fire District Meeting

The Andover Fire District’s recommended budget is $167,675 as recommended by the Commissioners and the Budget Committee. This will be voted on at the District’s annual meeting on April 7 at 7:30 PM at the East Andover station.