Wednesday night, Waterford’s Representative Town Meeting finalized a that should raise taxes around 5.4 percent.
The town’s 22-person RTM, which has the final say on the town’s budget, finished its three-day budget review Wednesday and approved the $78.8 million total with just one dissenting vote. During its three-day budget review, the RTM reduced the budget by $6,580.
The actual tax increase has not yet been finalized as it is up to the Board of Finance to set the tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year, which will happen soon. Board of Finance member J.W. “Bill” Sheehan to rise from this year’s rate of 18.79 mills to 19.82 mills, a 5.46 percent increase.
Wednesday, the RTM had its final night of budget reviews. To start the meeting, resident James Lundborg and RTM member Janet Smith made pleas to the group to cut the budget.
However no cuts were even proposed Wednesday night. Smith did not vote for many of the budgets Wednesday and was the only present RTM member not to vote for the $78.8 million total, but proposed no cuts to any budget.
The largest budget the RTM reviewed Wednesday, and the largest budget overall, by the Board of Education. The $44.2 million total is a $1.2 million, or 2.99 percent, increase over this year’s $42.9 million total.
Superintendent Jerome Belair and Board of Education Chairwoman Kathleen McCarty gave a presentation on the budget and RTM members asked several questions, although no cuts were proposed. Several RTM members commended Belair and his staff for finding ways to contain costs.