Sand, salt and DPW overtime costs are messing with the Town of Norwich budget. That was the report from Town Manager Herb Durfee at the Selectboard meeting on February 13. "I guarantee you overtime will be phenomenally over budget this year because of the storms."
That puts the Town in a tight spot. There are not a lot discretionary items in the budget. The Town Manager advised the Board that he would "not surprised to see a deficit by the end of this year."
To me, the Town is facing several atypical issues. FEMA owes Norwich a ton of money for road repairs, already. Plus, there is one more repair project to go (Contract #3), starting this Spring. The undesignated fund balance is low, and under the Selectboard's proposed budget for next year, a number of designated funds are not funded. That reduces the available cushion.
Town Manager Durfee told me in an email that he is "not yet panicking, but I wanted to inform the Board that staff is being more scrutinizing of the current budget with all else going on."