December 14, 2019

Chester Voters Approve $12.55 Million Town Budget at 12-Minute Town Meeting

 CHESTER— It took all of 12 minutes at the annual budget meeting Tuesday for voters to approve a $12.55 million town budget plan for 2011-2012 and a dozen other agenda items.

About 25 residents turned out on a rainy night for the town meeting, approving the budget without discussion on a unanimous voice vote. The $12,555,853 spending plan includes a $3,668,718 town government budget and capital expenditure plan, a $4,164,069 appropriation for Chester Elementary School and the town’s $4,723,066 share of the Region 4 education budget.

The board of finance had endorsed a $145,766 transfer from the town’s undesignated fund balance to avoid the need for any increase in the tax rate, which will remain at  22.11 mills, or $22.11 in tax for each $1,000 of assessed property value. After the transfer, the fund balance is expected to contain about $1.3 million in June 2012.

Voters also gave unanimous approval to several other items on the town meeting agenda, including a required ten-year update of the harbor management plan, and transfers from the town’s capital expenditure reserve fund for road repairs, a storage shed at the town garage, and a new 4-wheel drive pickup truck for the town’s highway department.

Voters also approved acceptance of two separate $250,000 state Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grants, that will be used to fund an extension of the public water line on Route 154 to encompass several parcels on Denlar Drive where testing has detected unacceptable levels of arsenic in  the groundwater. The water main extension is expected to be completed by next year at no direct cost to the town.