Town holds taxes level for coming budget year

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 17, 2005

MONTICELLO – Town aldermen decided Tuesday not to raise taxesfor the 2006-2007 budget year.

“We’re proposing no tax increase. That’s firm,” Mayor DavidNichols said.

No tax increase does not mean departmental budgets will remainat this year’s levels, however.

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“Every budget has an increase,” Nichols said.

The increase varies from department to department based onemployee salaries and other needs, he said. Every employee, exceptnew hires still in their probationary periods, will receive a raisebased on a percentage of their salary in the new budget.

The budget also includes a new police vehicle, riding lawnmower, bush hog and air-conditioning for the town’s dump truck.

“Those are the largest new big-ticket items,” Nichols said.

The increases were possible because of increases in sales taxrevenue and budgeting adjustments, he said.

In other matters, the board reviewed its policy on new policeofficers and adjusted the length of time officers will remain onprobationary status after being hired.

Under the old policy, police officers fell under an umbrella90-day policy that remains in place for all city employees. Theboard decided Tuesday to place new officers on probation for 12months.

“We don’t see them in action as much as we see the others, so itgives us more time to evaluate them,” Nichols said. “We see theoffice workers and the street department employees on a dailybasis, so we know what they do and how they act. We don’t see thepolice officers that often.”

The mayor said the policy change was not based on any incidentthat may have occurred recently.