A slight increase in the 2012 town budget was seen during a preliminary discussion on the proposed 2013 budget on Monday night.
The proposed budget was presented by Town Administrator Dave Sullivan, and shows a 2.728 percent increase from last year. The total for the proposal is $12,715,206.79, or $337,628.72 more than the previous fiscal year.
According to Sullivan, a large majority of the proposed increase is in the Capital Improvement Plan Program, which is up by $333,264.
The increase from the previous year is very similar to the budget proposed last year, before items were trimmed until the budget actually slightly decreased by about $9,000 from the total in 2011.
Sullivan broke down some of the individual departments and line items.
Salaries in the proposal are showing a net decrease of $92,460 due in part to the reduction of hours for a part-time police position.
No additional employees are being proposed for next year, but the library is requesting additional hours for a part-time employee. Funds in the Maintenance Department could lead to the hire of a part-time employee if that option is supported.
The town is seeing a reduction in health insurance costs in 2012 to $26,640. Sullivan said that the budget is based on 75 percent premium costs with 25 percent to come from employee contributions and/or balances within the health trust.
According to Sullivan, state retirement rates are also up, representing a $71,965 increase in the final proposed budget.
"If the state legislature didn't make changes in the contribution for the employer share, our retirement benefits across the town would have gone down about $20,000," he said.
No petitioned warrant articles have been delivered to the town at this time, but the deadline for those is January 2013.
Sullivan noted that a small amount of items represent the increases in this year's budget, and while he said that he wasn't suggesting it, it would only take a couple cuts for the 2013 budget to be level funded.
Residents are also seeing a level tax rate for the first time in 10 years.
A series of workshops will begin on Nov. 26. Another workshop will take place on Nov. 29 and the budget discussions will wrap up around the Christmas holiday.