Bethlehem selectmen are proposing a 2022 municipal budget that reflects an 11-percent increase

Bethlehem selectmen are proposing a 2022 municipal budget that reflects an 11-percent increase. Much of the increase is because of employee compensation, increases in wages to keep wages competitive and retain valued employees. The 2022 proposed budget is $3,182,162, up more than $300,000 from the 2021 budget of $2,857,389. If the proposed budget is rejected by voters, the 2022 default budget is $2,831,068, though the default budget might need to be increased by about $7,000. In addition, selectmen on Monday voted 5-0 to add $9,000 to the general government buildings budget to pay for the cost of a cemetery survey, after Select Board member Veronica Francis, who made the motion, said the money that had been earmarked for the survey could not be found. If the money is found in the next few weeks, selectmen at the deliberative session can make a motion to remove the $9,000 from the budget.