FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Board of Commissioners during a special meeting on Tuesday considered a $3 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year that includes a 2.5 percent cost-of-living increase for employees.
The budget includes no increases in fees or taxes and is largely the same as the previous year’s budget, which totalled $3,062,575 — about $58,000 more than the budget on the table.
Town Manager Linda Vause said the budget, which will take effect on Tuesday, is “very tight.” The board is expected to adopt the the budget during a special meeting on Monday at 6 p.m.
The cost of living increase will cost the town about $22,000. According to the Lumber River Council of Governments, the cost-of-living has gone up by 13.4 percent since 2008, when the last adjustment — of 4.3 percent — was made in Fairmont.
“We owe that 100 percent to Jenny (Larson),” Vause said, referring to the town clerk. The town will switch its employee health insurance to UnitedHealthCare, which Vause said will save about $57,300 annually over the current plan. The new plans comes with higher co-pays, but lower deductibles and lower per-employee costs, Vause said.
Vause said many major projects did not make it into the upcoming budget, including an overhaul to the town’s sewer lines, some of which were built in 1914. The town had applied for a $3 million Community Development Block Grant but was not awarded any money. The water/sewer fund includes $10,000 for well improvements.
Vause expects the town will lose about $4,000 in privilege license fees as the state considers capping the fees municipalities can levy on businesses or eliminating them altogether.
The board did not take any action during a closed session regarding “a potential claim” and personnel. The closed session was a continuation of one that began after a regular meeting held June 17.