Brandon leaders prepare for crucial budget re-vote
By Bruce Edwards
STAFF WRITER | April 29,2014
BRANDON – With a plea to support Brandon’s future, the Select Board on Monday mapped out a strategy in hopes of encouraging taxpayers to support next week’s crucial vote on a $3,218,670 municipal budget.
The plan to get out a positive vote includes a “saturation” mailing of a pamphlet explaining the budget.
The “Brandon Town FY 15 Budget Re-vote” pamphlet will be distributed at various locations in town. Board members will also be handing out brochures and talking to residents at the town dump on Thursday and Saturday.
If they can get the OK, the Hannaford supermarket is another location where board members could show up.
The board also hopes to have PEG TV run a video explaining the budget prior to next week’s informational meeting.
Selectman Ethan Swift said the board has to make a concerted effort to convince voters on the need to pass the budget.
“I just think we need to do everything we can to try to make our points in the various forms of media that we have available to us,” Swift said.
The informational meeting is scheduled for May 5, at 7 p.m., at The Neshobe School. The budget vote will be held May 6 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Next Tuesday will mark the second time in two months Brandon voters will decide the outcome of the town’s fiscal 2015 budget. In March, voters overwhelmingly rejected the spending plan.
In the interim, the five-member board was able to find $57,417 in cuts. Any further cuts, the board has said, would require layoffs and a cut in services.
Of the proposed $3,218,670 budget, taxpayers are being asked to contribute $2,613,995.
The spending increase in the revised budget was trimmed to 2.26 percent from 4 percent.
The problem for the town is a lack of revenues.
Revenues are down nearly 26 percent, or $211,000, because of the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene and the use of the reserve fund in previous years to keep taxes down.
For someone with a $100,000 home, their combined tax bill would increase an estimated $184. It includes town, school, appropriations, exemptions, and Fire District No. 1.
For someone with a $150,000 home, their tax bill would increase an estimated $276.