September 18, 2020

Hermon tax rate likely to be stable> Rise in town, school revenues expected

HERMON — Election Day will be a busy one for Hermon voters. Between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, they will stop by the municipal building to vote in the primaries and to elect Town Council and School Board members.

At 8 p.m., they will gather in the gymnasium at the elementary school to vote on the town and school budgets for 1994-1995.

The proposed town budget, including the county assessment, shows an increase of 6 percent to a total of $1.32 million, and the school budget would be increased by 20.7 percent to about $6.16 million.

Almost three-fourths of the school budget increase is the debt service payment on the new high school, but the state is paying most of that portion of the increase.

Even with increases in both budgets, Town Manager Kathryn Ruth expects that the tax rate will be about the same as last year: $11.55 per $1,000 of property valuation.

The reasons for the stable rate are projected increases in town and school revenues, and an increased valuation of property in Hermon.

Almost half of the town budget’s increase, which amounts to about $35,900, has been designated for a new computer system to replace the 1986 model in use. The new system would have enough terminals for the staff, and also would provide receipts for residents coming in to do town business.

The town budget also appropriates money for a full-time fire chief — $19,500 in salary and $6,800 in benefits for the remaining nine months of the year.

Members of the Sewer-Water Committee have been meeting with the town manager to work on improving the sewer system by decreasing infiltration. Accordingly, $26,000 has been included in the proposed budget for sewer repairs.

As it did last year, the budget contains $15,000 to be put into the fire equipment reserve. Fire trucks may cost as much as $200,000, so money is set aside each year.

Nothing was put in the reserve last year for landfill engineering and survey, but $10,000 is requested this year. Although the town has permission to continue the storage areas, the actual landfill must be closed.

The biggest factor in the $1 million increase in the school budget is debt service for the high school construction. The debt service is increased by more than $850,000 over last year, but the state is picking up all of the increase, except $5,825.

The local share of the total school budget has a proposed increase of $157,484.

The elementary school portion of the budget contains $136,628 in increases for salaries and benefits, much of which is for additional personnel. The school would add one teacher each for reading recovery and foreign language, and an educational technician III for the computer program. The librarian and speech pathologist both would increase their work to five days a week.

Residents also are expected to act on a request of $5,000 for adult education so that the high school may start its own adult education classes.

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