Windsor highway budget anticipates new truck lease

Courtesy GPS 56

Proposed budget represents a nearly 5% increase over last year for the department

By JEFF EPSTEIN

vtreporter@eagletimes.com

WINDSOR, Vt. — In the parts of the 2019-20 proposed budget reviewed Tuesday by the select board and budget committee, the highway department has a proposed expense of $542,301, an increase of $25,571 from the current year’s budget, according to the town budget figures.
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    With revenue projected at $105,500, $200 less than this year, the net cost would be $436,800, an increase of $25,771.
    The town estimates the highway department impact on the tax rate would be 18 cents, one penny up from this year.
    The highway budget “reflects the anticipated replacement of a 2006 Freightliner [truck] that is failing,” municipal notes explain. The budget includes $25,000 for an estimated five-year lease on a new truck with an $80,000 down payment from the capital fund, which is about half the anticipated cost.
    The budget also includes an $8,000 increase in the cost of covering an event called Community Dump Day. Next year it would last two days instead of one.
    Another piece of the Windsor budget is administration management, with anticipated expenses of $186,701, up $5,216 or about 3 percent from the current budget. Most costs here are either flat or up a small amount.
    A few items, however, do have have some significant increase. The 401K contribution would go up more than 19 percent to $1,895. The meetings and travel line item is $1,000, up $700, and another, memberships and books, is also budgeted at $1,000, up $600. Also, a legal expense item would increase $500 from $7,500  to $8,000.
    In the separate area of employee insurance and employment expenses, health insurance premiums at $388,113, are up about 21 percent, mostly due to “mandated coverage to new employees replacing prior employees that did not require coverage (insurance elsewhere),” according to the budget statement.
    Pension contributions are budgeted at $64,500, a decrease of $14,500 or 18.29 percent. “Our pension contribution is based on the recommendations of our pension consultant,” the notes explain.
    Workers compensation, at $134,935, is down $39,182 from the current budget, approximately 27 percent.
    Liability insurance at $73,975 is up $5,805 or about 8 percent.

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