Despite capital improvements, Webster tax rate likely to stand pat at town meeting

  • Webster firefighter Rob Wolinski (center) talks with Dave Collins, Chris Schadler and Sue Roman as voters come out of Webster town hall during the snowstorm during voting on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Residents will head back to town hall Saturday, March 17, 2018, for town meeting. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor file

Monitor staff
Published: 3/15/2018 6:11:52 PM

Webster’s tax rate won’t be raised this year, even with a 16 percent budget increase, select board Chairman Bruce Johnson said. Most expenditures – many dedicated to town infrastructure projects – will be funded through capital reserve money and grants, Johnson said.

Hot topic: Town residents are set to decide whether to hire a town administrator at town meeting this year. Webster currently has one administrative assistant, Leslie Palmer, but no administrator.

The article to hire a town administrator was submitted by petition, Johnson said. He said the select board does not recommend the article.

“While we appreciate the petitioner’s support of the select board, we do not see this as necessary at this time,” Johnson said in an email. “We support our present administrative assistant, and do not see the need for any changes.”

Budget: The proposed operating budget is $1,458,784, up 16 percent from last year. Major budget increased come from capital improvement program projects like the replacement of the Knights Brook Culvert on White Plains Road, budgeted for $295,000.

Despite these expenditures, Johnson said taxes would remain the same.

“Because this increase includes grant-funded projects and the use of capital reserve funds, the amount to be raised by taxes this year is about the same as last year,” he said.

Webster’s tax rate will remain at $22.97 per $1,000 of assessed property value, the same as last year.

When and where: Town meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at town hall.

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