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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tight budget seen in Bellingham

BELLINGHAM

Budgets for town departments have been submitted to Bellingham's chief financial officer, Marilyn Mathieu, who says the fiscal outlook is bleak this year.

At a meeting of the Finance Committee last week Mathieu said the town is facing an approximately $800,000 budget shortfall and state aid is not expected to increase. Capital Committee Chairman Joseph Collamati suggested that the town put all of its proposed building projects on hold and look closely at the needs of each town department.

Collamati said residents should get a chance to vote on whether they want to raise their taxes through an override. Committee member Toni Picariello said many residents are already too cash-strapped to support higher taxes.

The Finance Committee will meet with the selectmen on Jan. 22.

-- Alison O'Leary Murray

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