Fayette selectmen will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Monday at Starling Hall on the warrant that will be the topic of the June 18 Town Meeting.

At that time, voters in Fayette will weigh in on both the school and municipal budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.

The business portion of the Town Meeting starts at 9 a.m. at Fayette Central School.

The proposed school budget of $1.76 million would support the operations of the school, the district administration, special education, transportation and debt service. The school budget funds public education for pre-kindergarten through grade 12, paying tuition to schools outside the town for students in grades 6 through 12.

Most of the articles are recommended for passage by the School Committee, the Budget Committee and the selectmen. However, Budget Committee member Brent St. Clair voted against a number of articles.

“My main concern with the school side of it was the increase in money that they’re looking for,” St. Clair said on Thursday.

He said the school department anticipates having an $80,000 surplus at the end of June, and he objects to a request for an additional $60,000 in funding for the 2016-2017 school year.

“If they were over budget, why not get it back down to not having a surplus and then figure out what you need?” he said. “We’re not a big town, and we have limits.”

Voters also will be asked if they want to approve spending up to $10,000 for a site evaluation of the school, for parking, safety and traffic flow, as well as library carpet replacement.

On the municipal side, voters will be asked to approve $302,054 to support public works; $273,377 for general government expenses, which is about $16,000 less than the current year’s amount; $41,365 for the solid waste budget; and $86,345 for public safety.

The total municipal budget is $947,477, some $35,989 less than the current year’s figure. However, the warrant asks for an additional $91,400.13 in new local spending, which includes a $6,301 increase in the county tax assessment, $71,587 in the school tax and a Homestead Exemption local tax increase of $13,512.13. The homestead tax increase is not in the warrant, but Town Manager Mark Robinson said it affects the budget.

“The impact of the Homestead Exemption increase as approved by the state will result in a local tax increase of approximately $13,512 based on 341 residents that receive a Homestead Exemption,” Robinson said. “Municipalities have to pay 50 percent of the tax relief program instituted by the state.”

The budget includes a 3 percent cost-of-living increase for the three full-time and six part-time municipal employees.

Robinson also said that if every article is approved as written, the current tax rate of $15.10 for each $1,000 of taxable property value could increase by about 25 cents. The tax rate will be set by selectmen in the fall.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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