Budget presentations continue

The Town of Charlotte, VT

At its Oct. 9 meeting, the Selectboard heard budget proposals for the next fiscal year from five town agencies.

The Listers Office proposed a budget of $61,720, down $6,327 from this year, largely because of reductions in the cost of paying for appraisals next year.

Planning and Zoning projected a drop in anticipated revenue from $53,000 this year to $48,000 next year primarily because of reduction in permit application fees; it also anticipates a reduction in expenses of about $10,500 because of reductions in computer-related expenses and in the cost of reviewing applications for waste water permits.

The Cemetery Commission requested an increase in its budget from $15,000 this year to $21,700 next year, largely to complete the refencing of the West Burying Ground (Barber Hill) Cemetery. The commission expects to replace the cemetery fence facing Greenbush Road this fiscal year, then replace the fencing on the other three sides next year. To help fund the project, the commission is offering complimentary copies of Larry and Linda Hamilton’s book, Fences in the Landscape Talk. Are We Listening? to the first 25 people who make donations of at least $25 to support the project. In reviewing its work this year, the commission also reported that it had righted a significant number of headstones this year, which together with other changes in the landscape made mowing easier and reduced mowing costs from $5,500 to $2,800.

The Conservation Commission proposed a budget of $6,450, which is $300 above this year’s budget. The proposed budget includes $1,000 for education and outreach to help the commission communicate more effectively with other groups within the town. In addition, the commission noted that the current-year budget item of $1,000 for the Larry Hamilton commemorative calendar, which will feature all-seasons photographs of Charlotte’s “Big Trees,” will be rolled over into next year for completion.

Finally, the Trails Committee requested a level-funded budget of $1,500. During the past year, the committee completed a large VTrans-funded scoping project, which included three public meetings, to determine the best route for the Town Link Trail off State Park Road and from Co-Housing to the West Village. The committee was also very active in community outreach, posting on Front Porch Forum and a writing a regular column for The Charlotte News. The committee also asked for $5,000 to be put into the Trails Reserve Fund to be used for matching funds for further trails development.