Local News
November 29, 2017

Budgets in development for town departments

By Evan Johnson

Killington’s offices have been busy preparing budgets for the coming fiscal year. At a town Select Board meeting Sept. 21, managers from Green Mountain National Golf Course, Killington Police Department, library, town listers and planning and zoning departments presented their progress on budgets for fiscal year 2019. The operating and capital budgets are not finalized and do not include health insurance premiums. Town manager Deb Schwartz said the town is doing an analysis of the premiums from Blue Cross Blue Shield and will present findings
at the Dec. 5 regular meeting.

Green Mountain National Golf Course

General manager for GMNGC David Soucy said the only increases in the FY2019 budget were cost of living adjustments for the golf course’s superintendent and mechanic. Due to the state of his commitments as a Vermont state Senator he will not take a cost of living adjustment in addition to a $11,000 pay cut next year.

“This is a difficult time and with my Senate duties and responsibilites, some of my time will be taken away,” he said. “Given the state of the golf course, I thought it was the right thing to do,”

As part of a plan to increase revenues, Soucy said the golf course has hired an events director to attract tournaments. Soucy also said he’s been able to attract more events through his work with the Vermont Senate. The golf course also hopes to collect more email addresses through digital marketing. Replacing the golf carts at GMNGC will have to wait another year. Soucy said he’d like to see more development in technologies before exploring acquiring a fleet powered by solar.

Killington Police Department

The new budget of $139,963 represents a 14.02 percent increase from the previous year. In addition to the 2 percent COLA increase, the police department’s budget includes a salary boost for the one part-time officer to work up to 20 hours a week, up from eight. Before offering his budget for the next fiscal year, Killington Police Chief Whit Montgomery shared some statistics on the small force’s activities this year. In the past 11 months the department responded to 860 service calls and their phone system answered 933 calls. Montgomery said traffic enforcement has been increasing as the department wrote 394 tickets this year and issued 159 warnings. The increase in tickets has given a boost to department revenues.

“It’s not something we try to do,” Montgomery said, “But it does offset some of our additional expenses of having officers on the road.”

Montgomery said the department has pursued grants for DUI enforcement and equipment. For continuing education this year, officer James Riehl completed a course in death investigation while chief Montgomery completed a three-week course in leadership organized by the International Association of the Chiefs of Police. In revenue sources, the department has started to charge insurance companies and attorneys who request written reports or videos. Montgomery said the department is also exploring charging a fee to provide special traffic detail for private events that use public roadways.

Sherburne Memorial Library

Librarians Jane Ramos presented a proposed budget of $214,121 that reflected a 3.01 increase over last year. Ramos said the largest item in was a $800 increase in the library’s telephone and telecom budget to increase the internet speed. Due to increased fees in the inter-library loan program, the library’s budget for print materials has gone up $1,000, as has the budget for audiobooks and DVDs. Ramos also added that more library patrons are downloading audiobooks and the number of downloads has increased from seven to 1,500 downloads a year.

Planning and zoning

The budget for the Killington planning and zoning department remains relatively unchanged. In addition to the cost of living adjustment, the revenues line item has been raised by $1,000 in anticipation of fees from the development at Bear Mountain.

Listers

The proposed listing budget of $25,769 for fiscal year 2019 represents a 2.2 percent drop from 2018. The budget shows a drop in the salaries and wages line item from $22,000 to $21,419.

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