Bristol sets tax rates for FY2013

BRISTOL — At Monday’s meeting, the Bristol selectboard set the town tax rate, discussed the police department’s new headquarters and discussed the land trust proposal for the Saunders’ property on the New Haven River.
The board set the town tax rate at .6106 cents, a decrease of 0.83 percent from last year. The police district tax rate was set at 0.2892, at a 6 percent increase. The police department’s budget for FY2013 includes a 6.41 percent increase from the previous fiscal year, due to the department’s new facility at Bristol Works, a measure that district voters had approved at town meeting. The education tax rates were up 4.54 percent for homestead and 1.33 for non-residents.
“People fall into one of four categories,” Town Administrator Bill Bryant said. “Homestead outside the police district, homestead within the police district, non-resident outside the police district and non-resident within the police district.”
Homestead outside police district folks will see their taxes increase by 3 percent; homestead within the police district by 3.3 percent; non-residents outside the police district by 0.72 percent; and non-residents within the police district by 1.31 percent.
“So not bad,” Bryant concluded.
In other business from Monday’s meeting the Bristol selectboard:
•  Discussed the new police department headquarters at the Bristol Works. The space is being custom-designed for the Bristol police at a rate that was initially approved at $250,000 over 10 years at zero percent interest. The board approved a recommendation from the Revolving Loan Committee that there be a modest interest. The board decided there will be zero percent interest the first year, 0.5 percent the second year, 1 percent the third year, 1.25 percent the fourth, and 1.5 percent the fifth. At the sixth year, there will be a balloon payment and a discussion will be held on the interest rate that should be set for the remaining five years of payment for the outstanding balance. The anticipated move-in to the new space in Bristol Works on Oct. 1 still “seems doable,” Bryant said.
•  Heard an update from Bryant about a proposed land trust agreement for an area of the New Haven River that is part of the Saunders property. The Vermont River Commission has proposed to purchase the land from the Saunderses and sell it to the town with a conservation easement. The project is moving forward, but is not at a stage that required any board action.

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