The Exeter Police Department is planning to add a motorcycle to its fleet.
It could cost taxpayers about $2,800 and could be in service later this year.
The motorcycle purchase was one of several new spending items Exeter voters reviewed during a deliberative session on the town budget Saturday.
Police Chief Richard Kane said the motorcycle would be used primarily to combat speeding. The motorcycle costs about $4,300 for a one-year lease. Town officials said they want to see how effective it is after a year and then decide if it should be made a regular part of the police department's fleet.
Kane said he applied for a $1,500 state grant that would be used to cover part of the lease.
"It's a reasonable cost," Kane said at the deliberative session, which was held at Exeter High School. "It will make the town safer."
Resident Brian Griset made a motion to eliminate funding for the motorcycle, but a majority of voters decided against the move.
The planned motorcycle purchase was included in the town's 2013 budget of $21.1 million. That figures represents a 3.8 percent increase in the previous budget.
One of the biggest reasons for the increase is $145,000 in additional retirement costs for police and firefighters. Selectman Dan Chartrand said the state downshifted those costs to the town.
"It's not something we have a choice about," Chartrand said.
Some of new spending items in the budget include:
- $12,000 for a noise analysis of the Exeter Sportsman's Club, which is trying to lower the sound of gunshots to appease neighbors
- $8,500 for a public alert system for emergencies, road closures, and extreme weather
- $5,000 more for the mosquito control budget
- $2,100 more for the town's annual holiday lights display
- $1,000 for new bike racks around town
The deliberative session was held ahead of the March 12 election, when residents will vote on the budget and several separate spending measures. Some of those measures include:
- $103,395 to support more than a dozen human service agenices in the Exeter area
- $107,250 for a new Fire Department ladder truck. It would be the first of several payments on the truck, which costs $961,125
- $20,000 for Exeter's 375th anniversary celebration this year.
Several residents spoke in favor of the human services funding, which provides money to Families First, Meals on Wheels, the New Outlook Teen Center, and Sexual Assault Support Services, among other organizations.
"This is something that as a town we have to stand behind," said resident Gerry Hamel.
The March 12 election will also feature several races for town and school offices. Find more information in our special election section.