Fayston’s municipal budget is up 2.7% this year. While the select board crafted a fairly lean budget with many line items level-funded or even reduced, there were a few transfers for capital items that bumped the budget up.
Last year’s budget was $1,332,482 and this year’s proposed budget is $1,369,093.
Last year the town set aside $80,000 for road refreshment; this year the town set aside $90,000. Last year the town set aside $30,000 for fire equipment; this year $65,000 is budgeted. Increases in employee health care costs and payroll taxes have the benefits line item up from $148,579 to $156,757.
Other line items that went up were highway salaries from $184,000 to $188,000 and planning and zoning expenses which went up from $76,236 to $80,019. Salaries in the town office went up from $133,888 to $142,602. Those three line items reflect the town giving employees an across the board 2.5% cost of living increase.
Areas where the budget went down include its administrative category which includes legal, auditing, public safety, solid waste, the fire warden and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. That line item fell from $35,822 to $27,322 due primarily to a drop in anticipated legal fees from $7,500 to $5,000 and a drop in auditing costs from $13,500 to $7,500.
The highway equipment line item is down from $100,500 to $83,750, in part due to a $10,000 drop in diesel fuel costs for next year. The cost of maintaining the town garage will also drop $2,000 and highway supplies will drop from $62,000 to $60,500.
Ballots can be mailed as soon as they are filled out or any time between when they are received and March 2. They can also be dropped off on Town Meeting Day, March 2.