The new 2015-16 fiscal year $13,862,098 budget is $2.7 million higher than the current 2014-15 budget of $11.1 million. Spending for the water and sewer fund would increase sharply from $4.6 million this year to $8 million starting July 1st.
The increase in spending comes without an increase in the 57 cents property tax rate. A 2.5 percent merit increase is included for employees. No new employee positions will be added this year.
Base water and sewer rate would increase significantly from $5.47 to $9 for in-town customers. Base sewer rates would jump from $6.98 to $10 per in-town residential customer. No fee changes are proposed for garage collection.
Sabiston said the budget is higher because of a number of purchases including $530,000 for a new fire truck, plus three new police cruisers, 2 police SUV’s for K9 officers, 33 new police radios, and $300,000 for street resurfacing in 2015-16.
The Streets and Sanitation Departments will purchase a new flatbed truck, knuckle boom loader, and a pickup truck to replace aging equipment.
$1,046,000 in capital expenditures are planned at the water plant, $1,651,000 in water/sewer system improvements, and $1,796,000 in the electric department. Of that amount for the electric fund, $1.3 million will go towards a new transformer at the Brogden Road Substation, under the proposed spending plan.
The Police Department is the single most expensive department for the town to operate. They will receive $3,532,599 during the next budget cycle, compared to the Fire Department that will operate with $1,884,931. The budget for the Town garage is $93,221.
Sabiston expects a new electric rate to be introduced around the first of the year.