The Dearing Town Council on Monday approved a budget for 2012 of $171,500.
The new budget includes $42,600 for the fire department, $49,100 for general administration expenditures, $34,600 for the street department, $22,800 for the solid waste department, and $22,400 for the parks and recreation department. The budget represented an increase of $5,100 over the 2011 budget.
"The numbers for this year's budget are pretty close to last year's," said Dearing Mayor Sean Kelley. "There was a small increase in revenues generated from solid waste revenues due to increased population."
Higher revenues from franchise fees, gym revenues and rental and other income also contributed to the increased revenue available for the budget.
"We are also finally caught up on our sewer payments," Kelley said.
"There are enough users on the system now that we were able, for the first time, to actually pay the bill on time this year."
The council also discussed the Dearing Tree Lighting event held last week.
"This was the easiest and smoothest run tree-lighting we've had since we started doing it," Kelley said.
"We had plenty of hot chocolate and cookies for everyone, and Santa arrived just on time. I wouldn't change a thing, except maybe to have a few more trash cans available to people.
"Even then, there was very little to clean up afterward. It went really great. It was the best one in the five years we've been doing it."
The mayor and council expressed thanks to Thomson Janitorial and Chemical for donating paper cups used during the event and to everyone who contributed time, energy and food.
In other business, Council Member Alan Axon urged the residents of Dearing to keep an eye on the town's street lights.
"If anyone sees a street light that isn't operating properly, just let us know and we'll get it fixed," Axon said.
It was also announced that the annual Chili-Soup-Stew Cookoff will be held Feb. 25 at Dearing Elementary. Details will be ironed out during the Mayfest Committee meeting, scheduled for Feb. 6.