North

Andover

Town manager recommends increased budget

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Town Manager Reginald S. Stapczynski has released his recommended budget for the 2014 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The budget totals nearly $156.85 million, an increase of $10.1 million, or 6.9 percent, over this year’s spending plan. Under the town manager’s proposal, the department budgets provide for “level services with little or no program growth or expansion”; a new Municipal Services Department would be established by consolidating the Department of Public Works and the Plant & Facilities Department; and an expansion of ambulance service from basic to advanced life support. Stapczynski’s proposed budget reflects a 5.6 percent increase in fixed costs, such as health insurance, to $32.5 million. The plan also calls for transferring $2 million from free cash into the town’s stabilization fund; none of that money would be used for operating expenses. To view the summary of the town manager budget, visit the town website at www.andoverma.gov