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BUDGET HEARING BRINGS LITTLE RESPONSE

The proposed $11.9 million town budget for 2005 drew little public response at a budget hearing Thursday.

Only Paulette Glasgow, the unsuccessful candidate for supervisor last November, spoke, criticizing Supervisor Fred Newlin's preliminary budget that includes raises for him and councilmen raises. Glasgow said the town needed to control spending and said there has been "runaway spending since 1998."

Newlin's plan would raise the supervisor's salary to $26,230 from $20,115 and that of the four councilmen to $11, 603 from $10,683.

The increases for board members reflects the elimination of paid health care for councilmen, and Newlin said he felt it was better to pay them in salary than in benefits since health care costs are always increasing.

The councilmen ended their health care coverage in 2004, but received no added compensation this year.

The 2005 budget is expected to cut the town tax rate by 13 percent, to 49 cents, per $1,000 of assessed valuation from 56 cents.

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