Windsor residents will decide Wednesday whether to approve spending proposals that are part of a $1.89 million municipal budget, up 7 percent over the current year’s budget, at the annual Town Meeting.

The spending increase would be offset by the use of $150,000 from the town’s fund balance, made up of funds unspent in previous years. The municipal budget, if all items on the warrant are approved by voters, would not increase property taxes, according to Ray Bates, chairman of the selectmen.

However, Bates said when Windsor’s share of the Sheepscot Valley Regional School Unit 12 budget is included, Windsor taxpayers will likely see an increase in their property taxes. He estimated the tax rate, which is currently $11.90 per $1,000 of value, could go up about 80 cents for every $1,000 of valuation, or increase the taxes on a $100,000 home by $80.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Windsor Elementary School.

The town’s fund balance would also be tapped, if voters approve, to fund paving at the transfer station and town office parking lot, a new porch at the town office and major road reconstruction projects on Windsor Neck Road and Weeks Mills Road.

Bates and Theresa Haskell, town manager, said even if voters approve taking money from the fund balance account, it would still be above the amount auditors recommend be kept in the fund for use in case of emergencies or other unexpected expenses.

Reconstructing and paving 1.3 miles of Windsor Neck Road and 1.1 miles of Weeks Mills Road is projected to cost about $205,000. Bates said selectmen approved the warrant article for that proposal before they had that estimate, so the article seeks $250,000. The Budget Committee recommended $200,000 for the project.

Bates said selectmen, at Wednesday’s meeting, would ask residents to approve the approximately $205,000 estimated for the job.

One article seeks up to $100,000, also from fund balance, to pave the transfer station and public works area. Bates said both an unpaved area and an area with older pavement would be paved.

Another seeks $75,000 from the same source to pave the town office parking lot and replace the town office’s front porch with a new porch including an electronic sign to be used to post notices about town events.

Bates said it’s a good year to do some paving with low material costs resulting in lower-than-expected prices for the work. He said the town office porch needs to be replaced and is pretty much the last remaining part of the building in need of an update.

“The porch has been reattached to the front of the building once already, and it’s slipping away again. It’s in rough shape,” Bates said.

The sign, he said, “will be used to communicate with the public. Lots of people use Route 32 and drive past it. We can use it to put up information about meetings, things like a rabies clinic at the fire station, anything going on in town.”

A $7,500 difference between the $436,925 recommended by selectmen and the $429,425 recommend by the budget committee for the public works department, Haskell said, is attributable to the budget committee’s preference that a truck that has been replaced be sold, not kept in the town’s fleet.

Bates encouraged residents to come to the meeting and express their opinions.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj


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