The Day – Lyme proposed consistent tax rate for fifth year
Lyme — The Finance Council earlier this month approved a proposed $12.4 million budget for 2022-23, which will keep the tax rate at 19.95 mills for the fifth consecutive year.
The budget proposal contains an increase of $1.43 million, or 13%, in expenditures over the previous year.
“Lyme City does a good job of predicting eight to 10 years into the future. We like to look at the mill rate for current years, but also for years to come. We try to smooth out the impact on the taxpayer,” first coach Steve Mattson said.
The budget and mill rate aren’t final until residents vote at a town hall meeting set sometime after the school’s May 3 budget referendum. More details about the town hall will be posted on the town’s website, townlyme.org.
The proposed increase in spending is largely due to planned capital expenditures of $2.44 million, which includes public safety and road projects, to name a few.
“Our increase is due to two bridge replacement projects and will likely reach the construction phase this year,” Mattson said. The Birch Mill Road Bridge and Macintosh Road Bridge projects account for $1.41 million of the increase.
Funding for the Open Spaces Reserve Fund has increased by $323,000 in the proposed 2022-23 budget. Last year, the Finance Council dramatically reduced the fund’s allocation from $479,000 to $75,000 and halved the fund’s minimum target to $500,000. Residents opposed the move and in May last year voted to set a minimum target of $1 million in the fund and to replenish it in a timely manner after any property acquisitions.
The American Rescue Plan Act funds, which the city received to deal with the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, represent a $685,422 increase in capital expenditures.
Alan Sheinness, chairman of the finance council, said there is a plan for ARPA funds to go towards some of the city’s infrastructure needs, roadwork and to help organizations that have struggled during the pandemic. Mattson added that applications for ARPA funds are available for nonprofits negatively impacted by the pandemic, on the city’s website at townlyme.org/?s=arpa.
School budget costs for Region 18 are split between Lyme and Old Lyme, and each city’s share fluctuates based on the number of students from each city in the school system, which is calculated twice a year in April and October. . Lyme’s current share stands at 17.8% of the district’s student population, with the city’s total education spending projected at $5.92 million for 2022-23, a slight decrease of $77,311. dollars compared to last year.
The proposed total budget for Lyme-Old Lyme schools has a 0.13% decrease in spending, or $44,084 less than 2021-22.