Town budget season underway; Canaan, Chatham prepare for public hearings
Karrie Allen is reporting in the Chatham Courier town budget season is well underway and public hearings on the towns of Canaan and Chatham proposed 2017 spending plans are scheduled for this week and next. Canaan is looking at a preliminary budget of $1.33 million, an increase of nearly $30,000 over the current year. However, the amount to be raised by taxes will be less than last year. This is the ninth year in a row without a tax increase for the town of Canaan, Supervisor Rick Keaveney said. The preliminary budget has been filed with the Town Clerk and the public hearing will be held tonight, Thu., Nov. 3. The town of Chatham is facing a budget shortfall of more than $225,000. The Citizens Finance and Planning Committee met and made recommendations, and the board held several budget workshops before putting forward a preliminary spending plan totaling $3.4 million, a decrease of $237,000 from the previous year. In calculating the 2017 budget the board moved to a zero-based budgeting process, Supervisor Maria Lull said. Every activity supported by the budget has been calculated based on real costs, Lull said. To save money, the board will move property assessments to the county level, and is looking to eliminate a seat on the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. The historian pay has also been cut and the position made volunteer. Chatham will hold its public hearing next Thu., Nov. 10. Read the full story in the Chatham Courier.