While everyone is waiting for "the other shoe to drop" as far as the long-range financial impact of Irene is concerned, the Ludlow Select Board has managed to keep the town budget for the coming fiscal year down to a 1.1% increase over the prior year.
The budget, as published in the 2012 Town Report, which includes $105,808 to be raised in taxes for the separate Cemetery Commission budget, reflects a total estimated expenditure of $4,527,719.92 against projected revenue of $1,016,238. This amounts to $3,511,481.92 to be raised in taxes compared to $3,472,630 in the current year. This amounts to an increase of $38,851.92 over the current budget.
The report cited estimated damage totals due to Irene in the range of $2.5 to 3 million dollars. Of this, the town is expected to have to pay 10% of the total. FEMA and the state are expected to pay 75% and 15% respectively.
In anticipation of the monies that will have to be expended to cover this, the Select Board approved a $1,000,000 loan at 1% interest to deal with the town's immediate funding requirements.
The budget will be voted on at Town Meeting on March 5.
The following day, in addition to electing town officials, the voters will go the polls to address two questions placed on the ballots by petition:
1 - The voters will be asked to say whether they approve of the proposed move by the Rutland Windsor Supervisory Union to join Windsor South West SU in forming a new Supervisory Union that incorporates all of RWSU and most of WSWSU. This is a non-binding referendum; and
2 - Should the town authorize the collection of $20,000 for the repair of the main entrance into the Fletcher Memorial Library.