My Notes on the Town’s Budget workshop held on Oct. 23, 2012
This was quite a brief meeting that resolved the final questions and decisions made by the board and the supervisor about the initial proposed budget. The biggest decision was to agree to set the increase in wages to 2.5% for the majority of employees. Some budget line were adjusted up or down in the range of two- to four hundred dollars but two line items were changed more substantial ways. Under the Beautification line in the General Fund there was $4,000.00 increase for a total of $7,000.00 budgeted. This is intended to fund the new signage proposed by both the Economic Development Committee and the Communications Committee. In addition, $1,000.00 was added to the “Celebrations” line. This was to put a more funding for what may become the Town’s new annual holiday: the September Apple Festival. This amount will help fund the fireworks shown then. Other costs will be paid for by fundraising and the festival’s profits. Nevertheless, even with those increases, the other adjustments within the overall budget succeeded to keep the budget under a 1% increase in the tax rate.
There was further discussion about the costs of the Police department. Roy had some comparative figures from around the county for the Board Members to consider. There was general agreement that the cost of replacing our own department might be higher than what we re paying now.
Don Westmore asked for a clarification of the difference—if any—between the amount of unexpended balances and the “reserve” that comprise the amount that can be applied to keep the tax rate down. Roy said he would supply an analysis for the Board members. Joel Craig said it would be good to have the fund balance situation made clear to all Board members before the Public Hearing.
Board Members are expecting responses to the RFPs* sent out earlier in October by November 9th and will be able to incorporate any new information about costs into the proposed budget to be presented on November 13th at the scheduled Public Hearing.
*RFPs Request for Proposals had been sent out for the following positions: Attorney, Accountant/Bookkeeper, Lake Maintenance Service, Town Engineer. They were timed so as to be included in the 2013 Budget and to be appointed at the January Organizational Meeting.
The meeting was closed at about 7 PM.
Several days after the meeting the story about Stockport’s fiscal problems became known, Mike Mortenson e-mailed the Board Members about possibly budgeting for an audit, since it’s been quite a few years since it has been done in Germantown and since the same accounting firm had been used in Stockport