LITCHFIELD — While the 2021-22 budget approved by residents at Saturday’s annual Town Meeting includes a 25% spending increase, a projected 17% boost in revenues is expected to help offset the impact to taxpayers.

Residents voted in favor of a municipal spending plan of $2.82 million — not including school or county expenditures — and $1.52 million in revenues.

With the increased revenues, along with additional anticipated money for schools from the state, Town Manager Kelly Weissenfels said he anticipated the town’s property tax rate will stay about the same. The tax rate will not be confirmed until after property assessments are completed.

The town’s property tax rate is now $14.20 per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $2,549 for a median-priced home valued at $179,500.

The amount to be raised by taxes this year is $1.09 million, a 9% increase from last year.

The town’s contribution from the unassigned fund balance is at $200,000 this year, double the previous year’s amount. Weissenfels said this is a result of the town being conservative in its estimates last year due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the local economy.

All warrant items passed at the Town Meeting.

A total of $45,000 was added for article 12 (employee benefits), to allow town officials to offer a buyout to encourage employees to transition from the town’s old personnel policy to the new one.

Weissenfels said the new policy offers limited vacation time and sick pay compared to the previous policy, and the additional money would be offered to employees who would have been grandfathered under the old policy as an incentive to transition to the new one.

Article 12 increased from $207,719 to $252,719, due to the additional funding.

Article 37, which included raising $5,100 for the town’s share of operation and maintenance for the New Mills Dam and $4,000 for the Woodbury Pond Dam, saw a $55,000 increase to cover the cost to repair the Woodbury Pond Dam, which is now being kept about 6 inches below the normal summer level as town officials determine the best methods for making repairs.

Weissenfels said Monday about 60 residents attended the Town Meeting, providing good discussion on several issues.

With upcoming repairs to the Woodbury Pond Dam, approval of a bond referendum for roads and a new fuel depot being installed, Weissenfels said the theme for next year’s budget would likely be town construction.


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