December 12, 2019

April 11 Hearing Set on Essex Town Government and Elementary School Budgets for 2011-2012

ESSEX— A proposed $6.78 million town government budget and a proposed $7.4 million budget for Essex Elementary School will be presented at the annual budget hearing set for April 11 at 8 p.m. in the auditorium at town hall.

The proposed $6, 782, 158 town government budget that was endorsed by the board of selectmen last month represents a $283,912, or 4.37 percent increase, over the current appropriation for town government. The proposed $7,407,913 elementary school budget that was recommended by the Essex Board of Education represents a $211,866, or 2.94 percent, increase over the current appropriation for the elementary school.

The proposed town government budget includes a two percent wage/salary increase for elected officials and non-union town employees. The budget includes $281,250, an increase of $25,000, for the volunteer fire department, and $158,305 for parks and recreation. The spending plan includes $365,000, an increase of $16,000, for the town’s two public libraries, and $791,464, an increase of $48,788, for the highway department.

The budget includes $333,552 for police services, an increase of $13,304 from the current appropriation, and $106,316 for the resident state trooper. The spending plan includes $164,131 for sanitarian services, and $20,000 for a part-time director of health.

The proposed budget for the elementary school includes $121,000 in new salary and benefits costs for school employees, and $18,450 for repairs and maintenance of the school building. The spending plan calls for the elimination of one classroom teacher position due to a drop in student enrollment, a savings of $31,281, and addition of one new part-time special education aide at a cost of $8,993. Enrollment at the kindergarten through sixth grade school is expected to drop from the current 548 students to 527 students in 2001-2012, a decrease of 21 students.
The town government and elementary school appropriations are combined with the town’s $7,406,944 share of the Region 4 education budget for a totalĀ  proposed spending amount of $21,597,015, an increase of $764,285 from current total expenditures.

The current tax rate is 17.63 mills, or $17.63 in tax for each $1,000 of assessed property value. A tax mill is expected to generate about $1.1 million in revenue in 2011-2012.

The board of finance will hold a special meeting after the public hearing Monday to consider any adjustments to the town government and elementary school budgets based on input received from residents at the hearing. The annual budget meeting vote on a total spending plan for 2011-2012 is set for Monday May 9, unless a decision from the board of selectmen or a petition from residents sends the budget to a referendum vote later in May. The Region 4 education budget that funds the operation of Valley Regional High School and John Winthrop Middle School goes to the voters of Chester, Deep River and Essex in a May 3 referendum.