WINDSOR — A proposed $1.96 million town budget and a proposal to buy a new fire truck to replace a tanker built in the mid-1980s are to go to residents Thursday at the annual Town Meeting.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at Windsor Elementary School at 366 Ridge Road.

The proposed town budget is up due to increasing expenses, such as salaries, salt and fuel, and plans to put money into reserve funds for future purchases and projects, according to officials.

Those projects include a townwide property revaluation that Town Manager Theresa Haskell said could take place in 2024 or 2025. The town has suggested putting $70,000 into a reserve account this year to help pay for the revaluation.

Haskell warned residents at last year’s Town Meeting the town had not undertaken a property revaluation in about 15 years and would need to do one in the next few years to keep its property values in line with state standards. Last year, residents agreed to add $25,000 to the reserve fund for a revaluation, which brought it to about $65,000. Haskell estimated last year a revaluation could cost about $200,000.

If voters approve all of the spending proposals put before them Thursday, the town budget would be $1.96 million, up from last year’s $1.84 million, an increase of almost 6.6%, but not expected to require a property tax increase.


Haskell said that budget would require somewhat less from taxpayers, at $614,000, down from last year’s $683,000, because the proposed budget would use more from state revenue sharing to help offset the tax impact on property taxpayers.

The budget also uses $180,000 from the town’s fund balance, which is generally made up of funds unspent in previous years, to limit the need for new tax dollars.

A big-ticket item on the warrant is the purchase of a new fire truck, an E-One/Freightliner tanker truck, which would replace the Fire Department’s 1986 tanker truck.

Fire Chief Arthur Strout said it is time to replace the 36-year-old emergency response vehicle with a new rig to haul water to fire scenes.

“It’s on borrowed time,” Strout said of the old truck.

The truck would be purchased with $54,000 from the town’s fund balance and $300,000 the town would borrow. At an estimated interest rate of 4% and paid back over six years, the town would pay $42,000 in interest in addition to the tanker truck’s purchase price.


Haskell said the proposed budget for the Public Works Department is up by $38,000, with some of the added funds going to salary increases, $12,000 of the increase covering fuel for trucks and equipment and $5,000 to buy salt for winter roads.

Haskell said since officials proposed that $5,000 increase for salt, the town has learned the price of salt is projected to increase by $20 a ton. The increased price would leave the town, at the currently proposed amount in the proposed budget, about nine loads short on salt, compared to what is usually used in winter.

“The price of everything is going up. It’s just crazy,” Haskell said of the increased cost of fuel, salt and other commodities needed by the town.

One article asks residents to allow the town to use $22,500 in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, also known as American Rescue Plan Act money, to pay bonuses to town employees who perform essential work during the COVID-19 pandemic, meet federal eligibility requirements and work at the town’s administration office or in the public works, transfer station, animal control, code enforcement or cemetery departments.

Haskell said the town has received about $137,000 in ARPA funds so far, and expects to get a total of about $275,000.

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