ENOSBURGH — Despite a decline in police budgeting, the addition of an economic development coordinator, and $50,000 in building maintenance will result in a modest spike to Enosburgh’s proposed town budget for 2021.
Under the municipal budget proposed by its selectboard for this coming Town Meeting Day, Enosburgh’s general fund budget grows from $1,104,556 to a proposed $1,117,681.
The town reports $162,965 in delinquent taxes owed and only $15,181 collected. Their budget is up $13,000.
According to Town Clerk/Treasurer Billie-Jo Draper, this is not a sign of any trend.
“There are always a lot of delinquent taxes. Not one person has called up to say ‘I’m having trouble with my bill,’” said Draper.
The town is also requesting $20,000 to paint the opera house and $30,000 for town buildings appropriations. The opera house has been closed since March and no revenue has been coming in.
Draper also says much of the general fund’s increase could be attributed to the hiring of Sean Kio as Enosburgh’s first grant writer and economic development coordinator, a position voters approved making full-time during last year’s Town Meeting Day.
“In 2020 he came on a few months in and then we went to pandemic, but they’re still hopeful. He did get a few grants last year,” said Draper.
She also says, for this year and last year the tax rate is $.39 per $100 property valuation. Therefore, a $5,000 raise in general fund taxes is reflective of an increase in the grand list and not a raise in the tax rate.
“When you add new properties or value to properties, the grand list value goes up so it helps other properties by not raising their taxes,” said Draper.
A line item related to salary increases in the general fund budget grew from $265,167 in 2020’s approved budget to $280,000 in the proposed 2021 budget.
The town’s highway department saw its budget grow as well, with costs attributable to salary hikes and materials like gravel and salt needed for road maintenance within Enosburgh.
“There are some raises in there, but nothing out of the ordinary or nothing mind-blowing,” Draper said.
Voters in Enosburgh will also be asked to approve a series of appropriations for supporting several outside organizations and third-party groups active within the Enosburgh area.
Town Meeting voting will be at the fire station from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 2 for in-person voting by Australian ballot. However, if you would like to vote absentee, call 933-4421 to request town and school ballots or send an email to email@example.com