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AYER — The Board of Selectmen has set the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) raise for non-union town employees at 2.5 percent for the upcoming fiscal year.

The unanimous decision came on March 6 after minimal discussion.

The question was deferred in February until the board could get an opinion from the Finance Committee and town accountant.

The Finance Committee agrees with a recommendation from town administrator Shaun Suhoski that a 2.5 percent raise is appropriate.

Town accountant Lisa Gabree didn’t offer an opinion, but reminded the board that each 1 percent COLA raise costs the town $10,000.

The decision ran counter to the Personnel Board’s recommendation of a 3 percent COLA raise for FY08. — Nathan Lamb

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