Local officials putting final touches on 2013 budgets
By Jennifer Eisenbart
Both the city and town of Burlington are reaching the end of their respective 2013 budgeting processes.
The City of Burlington held its final budget review session Tuesday night, going over water utility and wastewater treatment portions of the budget – and then looking at the levy and tax rate.
The total tax levy for the City is expected to be about $5.5 million – up from $5.46 million a year ago. However, with a tax incremental finance district coming back onto the city tax rolls, the tax rate is expected to drop.
“What people will pay will actually go down,” Lahner said.
Among the notable changes in the 2013 budget are a proposed 3 percent sewer rate hike, as well as the hiring of a full-time fire chief. The city is also researching options of combining city and town fire and rescue services to save money.
Lahner also praised the work of City of Burlington Police Chief Peter Nimmer, who over the last four years has saved the city about $545,591 in policing costs – mostly by eliminating overtime and other salary savings.
The number of city police has dropped from 34 to 28, but Lahner said there has been no drop in services.
“He’s an excellent police chief,” Lahner said.
Town tax flat
Meanwhile, Town of Burlington Administrator Diane Baumeister said Tuesday that the town is still waiting for one piece of information from the state – the equated manufacturing rate.
“That determines the mill rate,” Baumeister said. “I don’t want to give out (numbers) before that.
“It’s right on time,” she added. “I think the state is a little behind, but they told me it should be here by the end of this week.”
Baumeister confirmed that the town is expected a zero percent tax rate increase.
“We’re pretty much doing fine,” she said.
Public hearings and final approval of both budgets will be scheduled in the future.