The town of Warren has finalized their 2016-2017 budget at $3,850,930 – up 6 percent from last year. Revenue has decreased by 36 percent and the budget is subject to a series of state-mandated fees.
The state requires that towns process election results with a digital tabulator machine, as opposed to a paper-based system, at a cost of $4,600 to Warren. New fees also include a water systems maintenance fee at $1,925, a registration fee for Blueberry Lake at $1,000, a solar array maintenance fee of $865 and a solar array state tax of $544.
Warren supplemented their annual $12,500 contribution to the Mad River Valley Recreation District with $2,500, as requested by the district. One thousand dollars will also go toward the Mad River Valley Active Transportation Plan – a project hosted by the Mad River Valley Planning District for which consultants are working to improve trail networks and other recreational components in The Valley.
The town’s contribution to the Mad River Valley Planning District also increased by 32 percent from last year, or $10,000, to be applied toward the funding of a second full-time staff position who will work on components of the Economic Vitality work that began in 2013.
A yearlong scoping study for a path that extends from Irish Pond Road to Sugarbush Resort will cost the town $1,500, an amount matched with a grant given by the state.
A sum of $2,800 is allocated for the removal and addition of trees, as well as $337,000 for a series of road projects, such as paving and applying a base coat from the East Warren Road intersection to the Waitsfield town line, as well as a two-mile stretch on Roxbury Mountain Road that has not been paved in over a decade. Other road projects, such as replacing culverts, improving drainage and resurfacing roads throughout the town will also be completed.
Increases in insurance costs, said town administrator Cindi Hartshorn-Jones, are “a given every year,” having risen $13,000 from last year.
Town building renovations are up 25 percent from last year, or $10,000, with the need to replace furnaces and conduct projects for energy efficiency within buildings.
Savings are seen with hiring a new town treasurer after the former treasurer stepped down ($7,794), costs associated with the dam and covered bridge ($20,000), costs associated with the town cemetery ($7,000) and costs of electricity and heating oil used for town buildings ($9,000).