WINDSOR — Residents approved a town budget that is about $100,000 less than the current budget Wednesday at Town Meeting.

However, taxpayers are likely to see their property taxes increase somewhat in the coming year despite the cut in town spending, because of an increase in Windsor’s school budget obligation.

Windsor’s share of the $21.5 million Sheepscot Valley Regional School Unit 12 school budget, which district voters approved Tuesday at the polls, is up by nearly $300,000.

Town Manager Theresa Haskell said town officials worked to reduce the town budget, and also increased revenue in the budget, to reduce the effect of the combined town and school budget on taxpayers.

She said selectmen agreed to take an additional $100,000 from the unassigned fund balance account, made up of money unspent in previous years, increasing the total to $250,000, to offset expenses, and also increased projected revenue from excise taxes on vehicles by $25,000.

Taken together, those and other revenue changes are expected to reduce the amount of money required to come from taxpayers by $228,000.

“We reduced the budget by $106,000, so that’s going to help, on the town side, reduce taxes,” Haskell said, noting revenue also was increased by $122,000. “Add the two together, and that’s where it comes together to help reduce the town side.”

The $100,000 reduction, officials said, comes largely from proposed spending on local roads, with the $450,000 proposed for major road construction being about $100,000 less than the current year’s budget for road work.

Rick Gray Jr., chairman of the selectmen, said town officials cut back spending on roads in large part to try to help offset school costs.

The tax rate, currently $12.70 per $1,000 of assessed property value, is expected to increase, though officials said they won’t know by how much until later this summer, after the town valuation is determined.

The next roads to have work done on them are expected to include Reed, Bean, Doyle, Pinkham, Maxcy’s Mill and Greeley roads, according to Haskell.

An article in which residents approved $35,580 for cemeteries prompted discussion about mowing, after one resident asked why the older section of one cemetery wasn’t mowed when she visited it on Memorial Day.

Joyce Perry, cemetery sexton, said that section of the cemetery needs to be weed-whacked because it can’t be mowed. And she said the company that mowed the cemteries had problems completing all the mowing and weed-whacking because of frequent rain.

“There was quite a few complaints on that,” Perry said. “I’ll have to look at it closely so it doesn’t happen again next year.”

Haskell said a new mowing company starts July 1, and the company is in Windsor, “so you can knock on their doorstep” if they don’t do a good job, she told the resident who raised the issue.

One article on the warrant asked for voter permission to transfer up to $25,000 from the unassigned fund balance account to upgrade firefighting equipment. The Windsor Volunteer Fire Department’s four-bottle filling station that fills firefighters’ air bottles at fire scenes would have been upgraded to a six-bottle system that would be installed on the department’s newly purchased utility truck. However a firefighter said the upgraded system turned out not to be needed, because the old system works fine on the new truck. So the article was dismissed.

Residents approved another article, giving their permission to carry over funds appropriated at last year’s Town Meeting to complete work on a project paving the Town Office parking lot, replacing the office’s front porch and installing an electronic changeable message sign. Voters approved $75,000 for the work last year. Haskell said work is taking place on it now and is expected to be done for less than the $75,000 appropriated by voters last year.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: