Waitsfield’s proposed 2012 budget is $1,893,994, an increase of $218,489 over last year’s budget of $1,675,505.
The select board is working to finalize the budget and has projected that the 2012 budget will yield a tax rate of 0.3228, up from last year’s tax rate of 0.2880. The board expects to finalize the budget next Monday, January 30.
In the proposed budget, the town’s legal and auditing costs are down by 44.6 percent. Town office operations are up $3,817 or 5.9 percent. Planning and development costs for the town are down for the coming year by 1.9 percent.
Road department expenses will rise 15.5 percent, from $269,698 to $311,538. The town’s employees have received salary increases that range from 3.5 to 7.69 percent. Most employees received a 3.5 percent increase.
The town reviewed its road department salaries against other towns and revamped its pay scale to reflect that peer review. Road department raises ranged from 2.86 to 7.69 percent. The cost of benefits for town employees will rise 8.4 percent. That includes an increase of 10.9 percent in health care costs.
Fire department expenses come in at 3.6 percent over last year, $45,212 up from $43,661. The cost of the town’s law enforcement program is up 11.8 percent, from $29,516 to $33,008.
The select board is asking for a total of $210,500 to go into town reserve funds, up from the 2011 figure of $146,258. That includes $40,000 for a town truck, $15,000 for the heavy equipment reserve fund, $18,000 for a new fire truck, $25,000 for the roof of the fire station, $10,000 for the restroom/recreation/conservation fund, $20,000 for the Waitsfield sidewalk project, $50,000 for a culvert replacement fund, $15,000 for the town’s next reappraisal, $10,000 in a covered bridge repair fund, $5,000 for an energy reserve fund, $2,500 for street tree planting and maintenance, $35,000 for a town office study, $10,000 for the cemetery commission and $250 each for the Good Samaritan Haven and Our House of Central Vermont.
The town has a list of one-time capital expenses to present to voters this year that totals $565,367 but nets out at $200,067. That sum includes department service in a 2009 town truck of $13,298, $20,687 in debt service on a 2010 dump truck, $12,065 for roadside mowing, $177,782 for paving on Joslin Hill and $16,900 for Bridge Street storm drainage.
That budget item also includes $10,000 for the town office task force, $18,200 for town garage improvements, $36,115 for a Village Flood Control Project (offset 100 percent by an Agency of Natural Resources grant), $144,460 for village streambank stabilization (offset 100 percent by a FEMA grant), $40,000 on debt service for the line of credit the town took to handle the costs of flooding in April and May, $12,000 for fire department debt service and $48,960 on debt service for the town gravel pit.