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Budget Process

The annual budget is a fiscal plan which presents the services to be provided to the community and the funds necessary to perform these services. The majority of work involved in budget preparation begins ten months in advance of the July 1st starting date of the fiscal year. Key steps in this process are described below.

a)      Prepare budget requests - Town departments develop their budget requests starting with the Six-year Capital Budget and Program. A month later, each department must then prepare line-item, detailed requests for their operating budget and work programs.  In addition, separate budgets are prepared for each of the two enterprise fund budgets - water and sewer. 

b)      Manager/Finance Review - All budget requests are submitted to the Manager’s office for review and evaluation by both the Manager and Finance Director.  The Manager and/or Finance Director typically meet with each Department Head to review and discuss departmental needs and preliminary funding requests.

c)      Selectboard Review - The recommended budget is submitted to the Selectboard by the Town Manager by early December.  The recommended budget is reviewed by the Board during a series of budget work sessions during the months of December and January.  In addition, a public hearing on the budget is held in early January. Following the hearing, the Board will make revisions to the budgets as deemed appropriate, and then approve the General Fund Operating and Capital budgets for submittal to the voters. The Water and Sewer Fund budgets are adopted by the Selectboard in the spring and are not subject to a Town vote in March.  The general fund budget must be approved for Town Meeting before the end of January in order to meet printing and statutory deadlines.

d)     Voter Approval - The approved General Fund Operating budget must be voted on by the townspeople by Australian ballot the first Tuesday in March in order to be adopted.
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