When Randolph officials went to work on the town’s next spending plan, it was with the goal to keep it the same or do better than the last plan.

They think they have accomplished that goal.

When voters head to Randolph’s annual Town Meeting on Wednesday, they will consider a spending plan that totals $2,134,326. To pay for that spending, town officials are recommending raising $1,581,226 through property tax and meeting the remaining obligation of $553,100 through tapping $453,100 in surplus funds and using $100,000 in state revenue sharing.

“If the budget is approved as its submitted, the tax commitment of $1,581,000 will be the lowest it’s been since 2015,” Selectman Matthew Drost said. “We’ve been pretty good stewards of the taxpayers’ money.”

The town meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Teresa C. Hamlin School.

While it’s too soon to say what Randolph’s property tax rate will be, it’s not expected to change much if at all from what it is now, $18.40 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, Drost said.

For a home valued at $115,000, which is close to the median price of a home in Randolph, a homeowner would pay $2,116 in annual property tax before any exemptions are applied.

The spending plan reflects a couple of changed circumstances for the town.

The Randolph Fire Department is planning to replace one of its trucks, now 33 years old, with a used fire truck during the year.

Drost said town officials have saved nearly $69,000 for a fire truck, and voters will be asked to raise $80,000.

Randolph Fire Chief Ron Cunningham said if the voters approve raising the money, he anticipates having the new-to-Randolph truck by winter, which will be a rescue pumper. Essentially, he said, it’s a pumper with more cabinet space to carry the equipment that firefighting now requires.

“We want to get it here before winter and get trained on it before the bad weather sets in,” Cunningham said.

While he hasn’t talked to many town residents about the truck, those he has spoken with have said a new truck has been needed for a long time.

“This will benefit the town and the area communities,” he said. “We’re looking for something that will benefit us and the mutual aid communities.”

The other change in the spending plan is the amount that Randolph residents will be asked to pay for ambulance service.

The cost to all the towns served by Gardiner Ambulance has gone up, due to increases in salary, benefits and workers compensation costs. This year, those costs will be spread over fewer towns because Dresden has withdrawn from the service. The town is also responsible for the uncollected debt due to people not paying their ambulance bills. For Randolph, that alone was $15,000. In all, the bill is expected to be $32,946, up about $11,000 from a year ago.

Spending for many items, such as winter plowing and sanding, hydrants, office costs and Public Works among others, remains flat.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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