Windsor releases proposed FY 2018 budget

Published 8:57 am Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Town of Windsor released a draft of its fiscal year 2017-2018 budget to the general public on Monday.

The draft specifies a budget of approximately $1.8 million for the town’s general fund and a budget of $558,500 for its water fund. The town also operates a future development and space needs fund for its  Town Center, which has a budget of $100,000, transferred from the general fund, for the coming fiscal year.

According to Town Manager Michael Stallings, the proposed budget specifies no increase in the town’s personal property rate, which currently is $0.50 per $100 of assessed value. The town’s real estate taxes will likewise see no increase from the current rate of $0.10 per $100 of assessed value. Stallings added that Isle of Wight County is responsible for valuation of personal property and real estate in the town, and has calculated a 1 percent increase in its value assessments for the coming fiscal year.

Windsor is planning on increasing its machinery and tools tax rate from $0.10 per $100 to $0.25 per $100 to remain revenue neutral using the county’s new valuation method. However, Stallings said that because the county is now valuing machinery and tools at a lower rate than it had in past years, taxpayers should see no change in their bills. The town’s cigarette tax will also increase from its current rate of $0.25 per pack to $0.35 per pack, bringing in an estimated extra $10,000 in revenue for the town.

The budget includes a transfer of $264,080 from the town’s water fund to its general fund to reimburse the general fund for the indirect services it provides the water fund and to reimburse a portion of the salaries of town employees who spend time working with both funds. Stallings said that the water fund’s payments to the general fund are adequate to balance both funds and that the general fund will not need to subsidize the water fund during the coming fiscal year. The town’s water rates are expected to remain at $7.25 per 1,000 gallons with a minimum bill of $25.38 every two months for residents who use 3,500 gallons or less.

The total cost of town employee salaries budgeted for fiscal year 2017-2018 is estimated to be $913,631.84, with $714,000 of that figure coming from the general fund and the remaining $199,657.18 coming from the water fund.

Capital project budgeted in the general fund for the coming fiscal year include $75,000 for the purchase of new radios for the town’s police department to make the department compatible with the county’s new 800 MHz system and the purchase of three new police vehicles. The $75,000 cost is expected to cover the purchase of enough radios to outfit all of the town’s vehicles, plus provide mobile radios to each officer and purchase a few additional spare radios. Payment for the new vehicles, estimated to be $120,000 for all three, will be spread out over the next two fiscal years via two annual payments of $60,000.

The only capital project budgeted for the coming year in the water fund is to update the town’s water system maps and create long-term master plans, which has been budgeted at $50,000.

Windsor will hold a public hearing on its proposed budget on May 23 at 7 p.m.