RICHMOND — Richmond voters will gather Tuesday for the annual Town Meeting to vote on the $2.9 million proposed budget for the next fiscal year.

The proposed town budget, along with the $7.9 million proposed Richmond School Department budget, will be presented in 61 warrant articles. The school department’s budget makes the first official budget from the school department since withdrawing from Regional School Unit 2.

Voting will be in-person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic and will start at 6 p.m. at Richmond High School on Tuesday. After the town vote, the school department’s budget will still have to be approved by secret ballot in a budget referendum on Tuesday, June 13, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the town office.

The town budget itself is $182,634 more than last year’s spending plan but makes use of $621,156 from the town’s undesignated funds and $138,625 in tax increment financing revenue to help offset expenses. That makes the amount to be raised by taxpayers $2,152,775.

Town Manager Laurisa Loon said most of the increases to the budget are to keep up with competitive pay in the town’s departments in order to retain employees, along with the increased cost of services, materials and repairs.

“The 2023-24 budget attempts to keep expenses as tight as possible while still not sacrificing services offered to the town,” Loon said. “To be successful with this approach, it required hard work from all parties involved — department heads, the Richmond Board of Selectmen, and the Budget Committee.”


The town’s Department of Public Works has the largest potential increase at $66,969 more than last year, bringing the total budgeted amount to $490,971, but the entire increase will be paid for by the town’s TIF in the amount of $70,920. The largest increase under the department is within the wages of employees, which is $23,925 more, to bring the total amount of employee wage costs to $218,093. Loon explained in a March budget meeting that the reasoning is to keep the “great crew” they have as other communities struggle to hire public works positions.

“We do have employee turnover and we have to be able to find someone,” Loon said at the meeting. Additionally, the public works director is a union-based position, so the $68,000 salary was negotiated. The other three positions are being paid $21, $25 and $26.16 an hour.

The other large expense in Public Works is in the area of overtime, which Loon explained usually happens if employees are called to plow snow beyond the timeframe of their hours. Overtime is a $7,000 increase from last year and brings the total budgeted amount for next year to $25,000.

The Police Department has a slight increase in its budget as well, at a proposed increase of $36,459, which brings the total budgeted amount to $281,473. Like the Department of Public Works, the increase is mostly due to salaries, with payroll for full-time employees at an increase of $27,744 from last year for a total of $195,600 next year, and part-time employees at an increase of $6,500 from last year’s budget.

The town’s administration has a slight increase of $11,861 to bring the total proposed amount to $218,621, which mostly accounts for payroll expenses.

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