MEXICO — The town’s proposed 2024-25 municipal budget is up about 6% , according to Town Manager Raquel Welch-Day.

She said proposed budget sits at $4.027 million for 2024-25, up from the current $3.72 million.

Welch-Day said that if approved, “there may a slight tax increase, but it’ll be the first increase since I became town manager five years ago, and maybe longer than that.”

She said wages and insurance are the biggest reasons for the increase, and the town’s share of the county budget is up 16 percent, and the school budget is up around 7 percent.

“Keeping the budget increase down was difficult,” said Welch-Day. “I really had to do some cutting. We definitely didn’t get everything we wanted. Roy (Hodsdon, police chief) and I gave up quite a bit of money in our raises. We gave up on making the town garage part-time position into a fulltime position. We also made cuts from various accounts.”

Welch-Day said the budget doesn’t have any big ticket items because voters took care of that during a special town meeting on Jan. 11. Among the approved expenditures from surplus were $300,000 for two fire and highway trucks, and $100,000 for repairs to the fire station damaged in the Dec. 18 flood.


“We were lucky we did it that way,” she noted.

Welch-Day said the proposal for a $40,000 electronic sign has been taken off the ballot. “I didn’t want to go over LD 1, and we had to make some cuts. To me, there’s no hurry on that right now. We have this one over here.”

On the June ballot will be a question asking if citzens want to accept the Meroby Elementary School building from RSU 10. “If they don’t accept it, then those plans are dead in the water and we’ll have to go in a different direction,” noted Welch-Day.

She added, “Who knows if we going to move to Meroby at this point. I don’t know what’s going to play out with all that. The town is still waiting to estimates of the cost involved to use that building. But it’s going to cost significantly less to make that move rather than building a whole new structure.”

The town earlier purchased a parcel of land on the Roxbury Road when it was thought the new fire station would be built there.
On the ballot will be an article to see if they will allow a solar farm by Next Amp to be built there. It would utilize seven acres on that 22-acre parcel. “It would be on the second level. It’s not even near the road. So if something happened and we needed to put the fire station there, there’s still enough room on top,” said Welch-Day.

Addressing rumors in town, she noted there will be nothing on the June or November ballot regarding selling any town buildings.


And despite spending down the surplus at the January special town meeting, Welch-Day said the town still has $1.1 million in surplus, which the town can use if there’s an expected expenditure over the next budget. “And that can dwindle pretty fast, with just a couple items…With this, we can cover an expense when it happens.”

She said there are two openings on the Select Board, to be voted on at the June 11 town vote.

Richard Philbrick is seeking re-election for a three-year term to the board. He will be opposed by Edward Varnum.

The second position is to fill the remaining two years of a vacated board seat. Running for that are Tom Hines and Melinda Stewart.

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