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Wilton to discuss King Brook Road bridge reconstruction during Town Meeting



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, February 07, 2019 10:59AM

Wilton residents will be voting on whether to raise funds to repair King Brook Road Bridge during Town Meeting this year.

On Tuesday, the Budget Committee went through the budget and the warrant in its public budget hearing. 

While the budget appears to have decreased significantly from last years – going from $5.3 million in 2018 to a proposed $4.9 million this year – the decrease is mainly caused by a change in accounting practices, explained Budget Committee member Harry Dailey, in a taping of the budget hearing available Wilton’s website.

In previous years, the town had included the full budget for the town’s ambulance and recycling center – both of which are offset by revenue contributions from towns which receive services from Wilton. Last year, the town voted to run those departments through revolving funds. In the budget, only Wilton’s contributions are now accounted for, making the budget appear to have dropped.

Comparing “apples to apples” Dailey said, the operating budget is actually up by about 4.4 percent.

Aside from the budget, the largest warrant article this year is for the reconstruction of the King Brook Road Bridge. About $280,000 of the cost will be taken from the town’s bridges capital reserve. The remaining 80 percent of the cost, $1.12 million will come from the Department of Transportation State Bridge Aid Program.

The article has a projected impact of 81 cents per $1,000 of assessed value on the tax rate.

The Budget Committee had only one article they voted not to recommend – article 15, which proposes an increase in the stipends for the Select Board by a total of $5,600.

Dailey moved not to recommend the article, saying though the Select Board had done “yeoman's work” recently to “keep this ship afloat” during staffing overturns and shortages, but said it didn’t seem a justification for an income increase going forward. He suggested a one-time bonus might be more appropriate.

The board agreed not to recommend the article 4-2, with one abstention.

The board did recommend an article to increase another official’s salary – that of the Town Clerk/Tax Collector, which is proposed to increase $6,252, for a total annual salary of $68,767.

Wilton will vote on warrant articles during Town Meeting on March 14 at 7 p.m. at the Florence Rideout Elementary School gym.