Manager's Message

For the Week of December 17, 2018

Aaron Frank, Town Manager

The Selectboard has warned the draft FY 20 budget for a public hearing Tuesday, January 8th at the Colchester Town offices. Following six meetings with the Selectboard, a draft of the FY 20 budget has been posted at

The proposed FY 20 budget maintains our current level of service and addresses changing service demands in emergency services and infrastructure maintenance caused by slow, steady growth over the past decade.

Operating Budget 

The Operating Budget is comprised of twenty-five service categories. Seven of these service categories have been reduced and two have increases less than $500. The operating budget increase is 2.4%. Changes include:

1.2% ($153,402) to maintain current services

1.2% ($159,691) for additional services including:

  • Fire services: increase in local match to a federal grant program to fund three full time firefighters to provide weekday daytime coverage $36,750
  • Police: Essex Community Justice Center contribution of $16,200
  • Police: Community Mental Health/Social Services by $20,000
  • Transportation for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities $10,000
  • Additional Public Works Highway and Path Maintenance Worker Wages benefits, liability insurance and employer paid taxes $76,741

About Capital Funding

In FY 20 we expect $1,062,331 in state and federal grants to supplement our local capital funding. The property tax funded portion of the capital budget is $1,084,451 and increased by $13,455 or 1.3% from last year. 

Tax Rate

The municipal tax rate for FY 2020 is estimated at $0.5423, an increase of seven-tenths of one cent per $100 of valuation, or a 1.34% increase over the prior year.

Budget and Management Approach

  • Minimize Expenses (1.2% increase for same level of services)
  • Maximize Non-Property Tax Revenues
  • Property Taxes are “last dollar in”

The Town Selectboard and staff are committed to holding expenses and property tax increases down while providing high quality services to our community.

On behalf of the employees of the Town, I wish warm, happy, and safe holidays to all in our community. 

For more about the Town Manager’s Office visit or call (802) 264-5509.