On March 1, 2022, Moretown residents will vote on a $1,366,306.93 budget, a 12.9% increase over last year’s budget of $1,210,008.91.
Town employee salaries have increased by approximately 7% overall. Zoning administrator pay has more than doubled, from $8,500 to $19,000 ($10,746.01 was actually spent last year). Total zoning costs increased from $9,500 to $25,760, which includes significant increases in supplies, expenses and printing. Planning commission expenses also more than doubled (from $150 to $400), mostly for supplies and other expenses.
Library expenses, including librarian and assistant salaries, went up 8.7%, including an increase from $500 to $1,500 for heating fuel costs. Town Meeting and election costs increased 16%, including election officials’ pay and printing, publication and other expenses, which went from $2,000 last year to $6,200 this year ($6,960.47 was actually spent last year).
The proposed budget includes a new line item of $30,000 for the town to purchase a new tractor for mowing and sidewalk plowing. The town’s grader also requires an engine repair, which is projected to cost approximately $50,000. The cost of highway vehicles and equipment went up 37.8% overall.
Moretown’s highway budget has increased by 7.8%, including increases in highway crew pay and benefits. Highway supplies, such as sand, increased by 1.9%. Fire station costs increased by 11.6%. The town’s contribution to the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service doubled, from $750 to $1,500.
The proposed budget also adds $20,000 for law enforcement, which was not in last year’s budget. Select board members want voters to have a say on an item with such a large price tag.