Budget almost level, but taxes may rise Lower revenues could drive increase

The proposed town budget for fiscal year 2012 shows an increase of less than 1 percent over the current budget, but lower revenues could lead to a tax rate increase, according to Town Manager Stuart A. Hurd. Full Story
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TruthTeller

Barre, VT

#21 Jan 1, 2011
Vermonter wrote:
A 2 percent per contract increase in pay for the police dept. It's contracted, got to go with it, but a 13% increase in an employee's contribution to their health insurance seems to unbalance that contracted raise. Looks to me like the negotiating teams in town for the different agencies, like police, highway workers, etc. better put their heads together for better negotiators and look to the future of each contract. Health insurance is a huge expense for the town and the employee but the employees are taking the brunt of it this time around while seemingly getting that contracted raise. Times are tough out there but we'd better not be giving with one hand and taking away with the other. We'd do much better to put a freeze on anything not contracted at this point and bringing down that 13% to a single digit number.
They are being asked to pay a fair amount -- similar to what people in non-goverment jobs pay for their insurance. Government employees (including teachers) need understand that there is not an endless poop of tax monies to support them.
TruthTeller

Barre, VT

#22 Jan 1, 2011
Hoop de doo wrote:
And what about the SVSU BUDGET INCREASE which has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TOWN BUDGET? We can only hold our town tax rate down for so long before it begins to affect our services. But the SVSU can INCREASE it's budget 15%?
Town voters should look carefully at the add-ons presented on Town Meeting day to town budget, items requested by independent organizations. Those items are NOT included in the proposed budget rate. It's time we pay attention and participate in the process, even before we go to the polls.
Vote the BSD and MAU budgets down (the only way to stop the SVSU budget)-- and keep voting them down until the schools learn that there is not an endless supply of tax money.
TruthTeller

Barre, VT

#23 Jan 1, 2011
I wonder wrote:
<quoted text>
Had Behan become sherrif we'd have a new hire anyway. What's the smoke and mirrors for stu?. The general fund is going up for a new firetruck the board said they'd support previously. I'm all for good equipment, but are those trucks wearing out in the firehouses?
Join the two departments and you save money by eliminating the need for three fire trucks, and two fire houses. Those trucks get more miles driving around for fun (training), then they do going to fires. The community cannot afford two departments anymore, and I'm not even counting North Bennington in the mix.
Disgusted

Bennington, VT

#24 Jan 1, 2011
TruthTeller wrote:
<quoted text>
Join the two departments and you save money by eliminating the need for three fire trucks, and two fire houses. Those trucks get more miles driving around for fun (training), then they do going to fires. The community cannot afford two departments anymore, and I'm not even counting North Bennington in the mix.
The firemen & women in Bennington, North Bennington, and Bennington Rural are all volunteers. You put them all under one roof and you'll end up paying more money because you'll lose your volunteers and have to go to a paid dept. And, while we're talking about the fire departments, the need for training is obvious. They may enjoy what they are doing while training but the main focus is to be ready to save you and your home when a fire breaks out. Don't put down the volunteers, they are our life line to safety from fire in this town.
TruthTeller

South Burlington, VT

#25 Jan 1, 2011
Disgusted wrote:
<quoted text>The firemen & women in Bennington, North Bennington, and Bennington Rural are all volunteers. You put them all under one roof and you'll end up paying more money because you'll lose your volunteers and have to go to a paid dept. And, while we're talking about the fire departments, the need for training is obvious. They may enjoy what they are doing while training but the main focus is to be ready to save you and your home when a fire breaks out. Don't put down the volunteers, they are our life line to safety from fire in this town.
I know they love the club aspect -- but times have changes and paying for three extra fire trucks, and two fire houses that can be eliminated -- is a thing that is coming. Everyone needs to figure out that the cost of three fire trucks and two fire houses is much, much more then will ever be spend with a couple of full time pros to do paper work and roll trucks.
Disgusted

Bennington, VT

#26 Jan 1, 2011
TruthTeller wrote:
<quoted text>
I know they love the club aspect -- but times have changes and paying for three extra fire trucks, and two fire houses that can be eliminated -- is a thing that is coming. Everyone needs to figure out that the cost of three fire trucks and two fire houses is much, much more then will ever be spend with a couple of full time pros to do paper work and roll trucks.
We probably need to agree to disagree on this issue, but if you think you'll get the protection you need from a couple of full time paper pushers, you're sadly mistaken. The depth of knowledge of the firefighters in these departments is deep and most of these volunteers won't be around to help out the pros. I do know that the village of Bennington has 1 firehouse with 4 companies within that house. Also, the rural fire district has 2 houses and is supported by that district, not the village. And, when you consider the vastness of the rural district, how long is it going to take trucks from the village to respond, especially if there is another fire happening in the village? Your paid departments have outposts which still require a truck and a house. Where is the savings?
incredulous

Bennington, VT

#27 Jan 2, 2011
Disgusted wrote:
<quoted text>The firemen & women in Bennington, North Bennington, and Bennington Rural are all volunteers. You put them all under one roof and you'll end up paying more money because you'll lose your volunteers and have to go to a paid dept. And, while we're talking about the fire departments, the need for training is obvious. They may enjoy what they are doing while training but the main focus is to be ready to save you and your home when a fire breaks out. Don't put down the volunteers, they are our life line to safety from fire in this town.
How is being fiscally prudent putting volunteers down. They won't come play if they can't have new toy's whenever they choose. If they are really that petty, they are not truly voluntering. I hope their civic spirit is true.
Thanks for your service.
TruthTeller

South Burlington, VT

#28 Jan 2, 2011
Disgusted wrote:
<quoted text>We probably need to agree to disagree on this issue, but if you think you'll get the protection you need from a couple of full time paper pushers, you're sadly mistaken. The depth of knowledge of the firefighters in these departments is deep and most of these volunteers won't be around to help out the pros. I do know that the village of Bennington has 1 firehouse with 4 companies within that house. Also, the rural fire district has 2 houses and is supported by that district, not the village. And, when you consider the vastness of the rural district, how long is it going to take trucks from the village to respond, especially if there is another fire happening in the village? Your paid departments have outposts which still require a truck and a house. Where is the savings?
The rural has three fire houses. Two of them in a combined department could be eliminated. Travel time from the village into the rural areas, is no greater than travel by volunteers from the village to the rural fire houses. The same compliant was made when the village combined their fire houses into one. It has not proven to be a problem.

-- The fact is the economy is changing, and choices are going to be made, whether people like it or not. In this case, its hard to justify a community of 14,000 having 8 fire engines, and four fire houses. There is also more paper work then volunteers can do. Thus, there will come the day when a paid person will be there. At that point, people need to think outside the box and start asking what are the savings of changing the entire arrangement.
Disgusted

Bennington, VT

#29 Jan 2, 2011
incredulous wrote:
<quoted text>
How is being fiscally prudent putting volunteers down. They won't come play if they can't have new toy's whenever they choose. If they are really that petty, they are not truly voluntering. I hope their civic spirit is true.
Thanks for your service.
No one said that volunteers will leave if they don't get "new toys". I said that if you play around with their fire districts you are going to lose good firefighters. I don't think there is a problem that they enjoy their firehouses and take pride in their equipment. I think that is a plus for this community and all others who get their protection from a stricly volunteer department. Times are tough right now and it is surely understandable that we may not be able to afford a new truck this year but why disrupt the whole system of fire service that has been working for a very long time? Oh, and by the way, I am not a firefighter, just a very greatful private citizen who has lived here all my life. It is also a question to me why we don't save ahead for trucks that we know will need to be replaced, therefore eliminating a bond at the time of replacement.
TiredOfFreakingF lattys

Watseka, IL

#30 Jan 6, 2011
Tax Income is answer wrote:
why not approve the biomass powerplant.. wasnt the taxes on that thing gonna dounble the budget???
Wrong town there flatty
TiredOfFreakingF lattys

Watseka, IL

#31 Jan 6, 2011
TruthTeller wrote:
<quoted text>
Vote the BSD and MAU budgets down (the only way to stop the SVSU budget)-- and keep voting them down until the schools learn that there is not an endless supply of tax money.
But it's for the children..........

I say tell the state and feds to take their mandates and stuff them.

It's THE largest, MOST expensive union in the state. Student population goes down, budget keeps going up. It's time to tell the reps. and the school, no more. Enough is enough, the goose has laid it's last golden egg. Vote no on budgets. When was the last time any school budget was voted down???

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