WILMINGTON -- The Selectboard has established several dates next month to draft the budget it will present to voters at Town Meeting. A new citizen review group is forming that will follow the process while offering public input.
"I had discussions with the committee formerly known as the Budget Committee," said Wilmington Town Manager Scott Murphy at a Selectboard meeting last week. "They are on board and ready to go."
On Oct. 23, the Wilmington Selectboard held a special meeting to discuss how it would handle the budget process this year. It was decided that the dates for those discussions will be Nov. 6, 12, 19 and 20.
Murphy notified Doug Wheeler, who is coordinating the efforts of the budget review group, about the schedule. Former Selectboard member Tom Consolino will also be a member of the group.
Since 1926, Wilmington has had a Selectboard-appointed Budget Committee that made recommendations to voters and asked the Selectboard for clarification on certain line items. Then the committee assisted voters with any questions they have before voting at Town Meeting. The new committee is replacing the old one.
The members of the old Budget Committee used to attend meetings regarding the budget construction process where the board asks different department heads and funding sources questions related to what is required and anticipated for the following year.
Earlier this year, the Selectboard found out through the Vermont League of Cities and Towns that this wasn't the correct process for Town Meeting protocol anymore. The board discussed how a citizen review group could be formed to replace the committee, however, its members would not be appointed or elected like in the past.
"Several members of that former committee are getting together and intend on attending Selectboard meetings when we have discussions on the budget," said Murphy. "I think they have five or six people from what I hear."
He told the Reformer that he'd keep members of that group informed about the schedule for those discussions.
According to Murphy, topics to be addressed at the upcoming meetings include "the possible funding of large capital accounts for the fire and highway departments, staffing levels, funding resurfacing and costs for town roads."
Another discussion will be regarding the possibility of a new article question proposing to voters the funding of a matching $250,000 grant to pave class two roads.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or email@example.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.