Written by Kristin Coulombe: DEXTER – The town of Dexter will see the largest increase in funds to be raised for the SAD 46 fiscal year 2012 school budget in many years.
Dexter taxpayers will need to fund over $1.6 million in this year’s budget – an increase of almost $300,000 from previous years. The 2010 increase was a little over $107,000 from the previous year. “This is the largest increase I’ve seen in my career in Dexter,” Town manager Dave Pearson said. Pearson went on to say, “To be fair to the school board, the state has made large cuts in funding and the increasing state valuations of area towns have affected the obsolete funding formula still being used. It has put the directors in a situation where there is little choice but to turn to the local towns.”
Other budget items for Dexter’s FY 2012 municipal budget include a 3 percent increase in wages for union and non-union employees. This increase comes after employees took a wage freeze in FY 2010.
Pearson is also noting in the expense budget includes a proposal to purchase a new police cruiser. Most of the money needed for this purchase is in a capital reserve account, but some new appropriations will need to be in place for that purchase to happen.
Other equipment expenses include the purchase of a “wheeler” truck to replace an older truck in the public works department, also with funds set aside for this purchase in a capital reserve account. However, some appropriations must be made for this purchase as well.
One hopeful revenue item in the FY12 budget is the sale of the former middle school property. In the revenue budget this item is listed as a zero; but if there is a sale, the town will receive 90 percent of the profits. As of yet, there are no concrete proposals to buy the property; but with a contract from Better Homes and Gardens/Town and Country realtors, there is a chance the sale of the property could bring in some revenue for the town in the coming fiscal year. As of right now, the school property will cost the town money in the colder months due to the need to keep heating the building to prevent any damage.
Pearson concluded his budget report by pointing out increasing demand on tax dollars to support municipal services, education, and the county. He went on to say, “For FY 2012 this continuing situation places the municipal leadership again in the difficult position of confronting raised taxes or reduced programs. Even though we are facing a challenging fiscal situation, it is still important that we do the best job we can to provide the public the services that they need.”
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