China town manager presents budget to selectmen

by Mary Grow

Town Manager Becky Hapgood presented selectmen with the first budget she has prepared since assuming her new position in July 2020, at a special joint meeting with the Budget Committee on Jan. 11.

The manager compiled figures presented by town department heads and the usual other groups, like town committees, insurance companies who insure town employees, organizations of municipalities to which China belongs and charitable and similar groups hoping town voters will support their work.

There are no figures yet from the school department, whose annual budget makes up around three-quarters of town expenditures, nor from Kennebec County.

Hapgood emphasized other uncertainties that will be debated as selectmen and Budget Committee members prepare a final recommended budget. For example, they might recommend additional road paving to make up for work not done last summer as the pandemic created financial uncertainty; recommend only the work previously scheduled for 2021; or propose further postponements if the financial situation is still unclear.

Voters will approve the 2021-22 budget at the 2021 annual town budget meeting. At this point the meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 18, by written ballot.

After the Jan. 11 meeting, Hapgood reported that the scheduled executive session to review her job performance was postponed, because one board member had technical difficulties and could not log in.

The next regular selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19 (moved from the usual Monday evening because the town office will be closed Jan. 18 for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday). Chairman Ronald Breton plans to have board members meet in person so they can more easily share budget numbers. Others participating or watching will still do so via Zoom.


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