Town approves 2013 budget

At the town meeting last week, the board approved the final 2012/13 budget. This includes a general fund and water/sewer revenue amount of $1,556,023 and an expenditure of $1,555,334.

Since the budget was approved, the water and sewer rates were increased with a resolution by $1 in both funds. This was included in the budget and is effective on Jan. 1, 2013. The water rate will go from $25.72 to $26.72 for residential, $27.22 to $28.22 for commercial and from $26.22 to $27.22 for churches, schools and government entities. The sewer rates will also increase.

The board approved the purchase of lab equipment for the wastewater treatment facility for $5,564. The original sink, counter and cabinets were in the construction contract, but the lab equipment was more economical to be bought separately and directly from the supplier. The money will come from the state required testing fund, which has only had $2,907 used since October.

Also approved was the purchase of seven e-readers for the use of the board. This will include a draft policy for use of the e-readers. The money, $1,500, was budgeted for the purchase and the total cost will be $1,440. The use of these electronic devices for distributing board packets by e-mail will decrease the amount of money spent on making copies of the board packet twice monthly and is optional for the board members.

The board will not meet on Dec. 26 and will meet again on Jan. 9, 2013.

At a special meeting that was called on Tuesday, Dec. 11, the board discussed the hiring process. While there are variables to the process, this is the timeline that they will follow -

Jan. 13-20 - Review the resumes that have been sent in and choose six semi-final applicants.

Jan. 22 and 24 - Conduct telephone interviews of the semi-finalists and choose three finalists.

Feb. 12 - Conduct final interviews with the three final candidates. There will be four panels - one with professional colleagues, one with all the trustees, one with citizens and one with department heads. A schedule will be created so that the candidates will rotate between the four panels while they are here, and each panel will be in a separate location, such as the town hall, community center, or visitors center. A reception for the final candidates will be held so that the public can meet them and ask questions.

Feb. 12 or 13 - The trustees will make a final decision based on the panels' opinions and the panels' priorities.

Feb. 15 - An offer will be made to the final candidate. In the event that no candidate accepts the offer, the process will begin again.