Wareham water, fire department budgets get OK from voters
Voters at the Wareham Fire District Annual Meeting approved a $6,168,900 total budget for the fire department, which marks a $580,366 (10.3 percent) increase compared to last year’s budget. For the water department, voters approved a $4,588,006 budget. That number is up $112,312 compared to last year, or a 2.5 percent increase.
Some factors driving the larger fire department budget are insurance rate hikes and salary increases. Most of the water department’s budget increase is attributed to salary and wage hikes. The salary and wage line item is up $83,384 compared to last year. The department found some savings under the purchases of services line item as consulting and engineering fees dropped $100,000 compared to last year.
Voters at Monday’s meeting approved both with minimal discussion.
Resident Jane Donahue drew attention to increases in the water department’s salaries. She said that between those increases, as well as several expensive items voted on earlier in the meeting, large tax increases are on the horizon.