Manager's Message

For the Week of January 28, 2019

Aaron Frank, Town Manager

Tazor: Thank you to Colchester community members who honored Colchester Police K-9 Tazor and celebrated the Colchester Police K-9 Officer program last week.  Tazor was a true public servant who loved his job, working until his last week, doing tasks that only a K-9 Officer can do. Our thoughts go out to his handler/caretaker Corporal David Dewey, his family, and extended family at CPD and throughout the Town. 

Local Option Tax: In March 2015 Colchester Voters approved a 1% Local Option Tax (LOT).  About 87% of the tax is paid by out-of-town residents.  A 2014 survey of residents indicated the primary interest in use of the LOT would be to reduce taxes. Beginning in FY 16, the LOT paid for voter approved debt. This reduced property taxes by 5%.

In FY 20, the LOT will pay $517,884 in voter approved debt for: drainage improvements in the Bellwood Neighborhood, the Bayside Hazlett Property, and Town public service buildings on Blakely Road. The LOT will continue to pay this current debt until it is payed off in June 2028 according to the schedule in place prior to the LOT approval.  In doing so, the LOT continues to suppress the property tax.  The LOT generates about $1.5M a year before paying the existing debt. The LOT fund is estimated to be $3,239,334 June 30, 2019.

Proposed Malletts Bay Sewer Funding: The 2014 survey of potential uses of the LOT indicated infrastructure projects were the second priority.  A sewer project was included in a list of potential LOT funded projects. The Malletts Bay Sewer project seeks to meet an environmental goal of improving the public waters of inner Malletts Bay which are enjoyed by the entire Town. 

The Sewer project’s estimated cost of $14.3M would be financed by: a grant of $3.5M, $2.15M in cash from the LOT fund, and a bond in the amount of $8.6M.  The bond will be paid back by a combination of sewer fees and annual LOT contributions, up to $250,000 for 30 years.  The total LOT contributions of $9.65M will be repaid by sewer fees, making the LOT available for other projects.

For more about the Town Manager’s Office visit http://colchestervt.gov/manager or call (802) 264-5509.