Manager’s Message
Aaron Frank

The selectboard has warned the draft FY20 budget for a public hearing Tuesday, Jan. 8 at the Colchester town offices. Following six meetings with the selectboard, a draft of the FY20 budget has been posted.

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.

The operating budget is comprised of 25 service categories. Seven of these service categories have been reduced and two have increases less than $500. The operating budget increase is 2.4 percent. Changes include:

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

1.2 percent ($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: $16,200; Police: Community mental health/social services: $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.

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 percent from last year.

Tax rate: The municipal tax rate for FY20 is estimated at $0.5423, an increase of seven-tenths of 1 cent per $100 of valuation, or a 1.34 percent increase over the prior year.

The 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.

 

Economic Development
Kathi Walker O’Reilly

We met with St. Michael’s College’ president Lorraine Sterritt and Patrick Gallivan, vice president of government & community affairs. We are also assisting two Colchester businesses interested in expansion and met with developer regarding lot zoning / commercial options.

 

Planning and Zoning
Sarah Hadd

The Colchester Planning Commission wants to know what Colchester means to you! Do you have a picture of a special place, event or everyday happenings? Create an original work of art showing us, and we might just publish it in the 2019 Town Plan!

Submissions accepted at https://tinyurl.com/mycolchester or at the Colchester Planning & Zoning Office, 781 Blakely Road.

The planning commission meets again on January 2 and continues to work on the 2019 Town Plan. The development review board met on December 12.

Approved: site plan of Scott and Diane Light for a seawall at 79 West Porters Point Rd.

Denied: a variance application of Joel Bradley at 1802 Marble Island Rd. for construction of a 24’ x 30’ two-story garage that encroaches the front and side yard setbacks and exceeds total lot coverage.

Recessed until February meeting: Preliminary plat application of Casa Del Air for a six-lot subdivision at 35 West Red Rock Rd.; Site plan application of Mongeon Bay Properties, LLC for a seawall on East Lakeshore Drive

 

Notices

The town offices will close at noon on Monday, Dec. 24 and Monday, Dec. 31. The town offices will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 25 in observance of Christmas and on Tuesday, Jan. 1 in observance of New Year’s Day.