News, Public Notice

Hancock council approves $4 million budget for FY2023

by Geoff Fox

Fiscal year 2023 begins July 1, 2022 and the Town of Hancock has presented and approved a budget that would see projected revenues top $4 million while projected expenses sit at $3.3 million.

The budget was presented during a brief public hearing on June 7. No member of the public spoke up at the hearing.

In the public hearing, Mayor Tim Smith laid out the total projected general fund, with revenue of $3,008,781. This is up significantly compared to last year’s projected general fund of $1,051,057. The town’s actual general fund ended up being $1,594,305.

In the FY23 budget, town officials estimated the projected water revenues would be $430,303, projected wastewater revenues at $429,149, and projected sanitation revenues at $160,000 for a total projected town revenue of $4,028,233.

Town officials project that their general fund expenses will be $1,733,900. Water system expenses are budgeted at $440,450, projected wastewater expenses at $1,000,371, and sanitation expenses estimated at $162,700. The town’s total projected expenses for the period of July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023 are $3,337,421.

The budget was unanimously approved. Digging into the proposed budget, most projections seem to be on par with the fiscal year 2022’s budget, but there are some high numbers.

In revenue, the general property tax rose from $514,219 in FY22 budget to $530,000 for FY23. Franchise fees for cable TV is also up from last year, but only by $4,000. It rose from $15,000 to $19,000.

Total general taxes and interest for the budget is $620,500 for FY23.

In the state shared taxes part of the budget, the town’s state income tax share nearly doubled in projection. For FY22, the town had budgeted $55,000 with an actual FY22 total of $87,483.

For FY23, the town has a projected total of $105,000.

The highway user tax total went down in the projected FY23 budget. Last year, the town had projected $93,858 coming in from the tax; however, it was only $64,224. In adjusting from that, the town projects $82,000 from the highway tax.

The admissions and amusement tax is the same as last year at $250.

Total revenue from the shared taxes is projected to be $187,250.

Under expenses, salaries and wages see a small jump in totals for FY23. Administration salaries go from $78,000 in FY22 to $80,000 in FY23.

The actual amount in FY22 was $70,116. Custodial salaries are expected to go from $8,200 to $15,000, compared to the actual of $12,366. Parks and recreation jumps from FY22 projected $3,500 to $6,000 projected in FY23. That is compared to the actual $4,369.

The mayor and council get a projected raise after FY22 was projected at $10,000. FY23 sees a projected mayor and council salary of $12,000.

Public safety and the police see a projected budgeted salary in FY23 of $250,000 compared to FY22’s $235,000. The actual cost for police salaries in FY22 was $165,531, with several months of a force that was short on officers.

Overall, the projected budget for the salaries and wages is $447,000, which is up from last year’s projected, and actual, budget.

The town is also budgeting $50,000 for attorney fees. Last year’s projected budgeted attorney fees were $15,000 with an actual cost of $41,800.

The projected budget for the police department was $103,700. Last year’s projected police department budget was $69,750 with an actual cost of $94,132.

The four biggest costs are vehicle maintenance at $15,000, fuel at $30,000, small equipment purchases at $10,000, and National Night Out at $15,000.

Public Works’ total projected budget is at $93,200, which is up from last year’s projected budget of $69,700 and the actual cost of $80,462.

Like everyone, fuel costs are the biggest cost for Public Works at a projected $40,000. Small equipment purchases ($14,000) and salt ($10,000) are other big-budget items in the projected budget.

Parks and recreation as a projected budget of $233,000 compared to last year’s $24,500.

The big increase comes from the town’s $150,000 grant match for the Project Open Space grant money for the splash pad. There’s also a $50,000 budgeted item for pool and splash pad engineering. Neither was part of the FY22 projected budget.

Under the Community Development line item, the town also set aside $100,000 for a Town Revitalization grant match, another $100,000 for a Business Development match grant, and $25,000 for a Project Open Space rail trail parking lot grant match. The full budget document can be viewed at the Town Office during business hours.