The Warren Select Board met on Tuesday, January 24, to discuss the draft town budget that will go before voters on Town Meeting Day. The budget the board is proposing shows a 5.86% increase from last year’s budget ($3,745,980 this year, compared to $3,583,710 last year).


The capital budget is up by 33.93%. The largest change to the capital budget is an additional $25,000 ($100,000 up from last year’s $75,000) for the Blueberry Lake dam and covered bridge. Select board member Bob Ackland said the town knows it has to put money into bridge repairs and is proposing putting those funds in the reserve fund.

The most significant change to the overall budget is to the sewer operations and management, an increase of 262.321%. Under that category, the town building usage fees increased 270% from $2,700 to $10,000 and engineer inspection went up 233.33% from $750 to $2,500. Ackland said sewer rates have gone up for all users, including the town.

The Warren Conservation Commission’s net budget is up 158%, a total increase of 29.03%, due to an increase in knotweed management interns’ benefits from $437 to $1,350 (208.92%), with knotweed management up 11% from $13,498 to $15,000. Ackland said the town is hiring an intern coordinator to manage the summer interns Warren shares with Waitsfield and Fayston to control knotweed along the Mad River. The increase accounts for wages for that person. The conservation commission’s assessments and studies/signage will cost $2,000, whereas there was no money allocated to that in last year’s budget.

The town’s special appropriations only went up 3.81% this year, which is accounted for by a $1,000 increase in the town’s contribution to Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, $5,000 compared to $4,000 last year. The town’s other most significant contributions to nonprofits and organizations include $7,000 for Mad River Senior Citizens, $3,400 to Mad River Valley Television, $2,500 for music and the arts and $1,200 to Washington County Mental Health. The town’s total special appropriations fund is $27,258, up from last year’s contributions of $26,258.

The town’s contribution to stewardMRV is up 50% in the proposed budget, from $5,000 to $7,500, while the Fourth of July parade and celebration is up 33.33%, from $15,000 to $20,000. Total recreation costs are up 12.5%.

Warren residents will vote on the town’s proposed budget at Town Meeting Day on March 7, 2023.