Wilmington talks surplus, emergency fund


CHRIS MAYS , Brattleboro Reformer

WILMINGTON -- There is still time to consider establishing a rainy day or emergency/disaster fund.

The $100,000 proposed to set up such a fund at Town Meeting would come from a surplus in the end of the current fiscal year.

"We currently don’t have a fiscal year surplus," said Wilmington Town Manager Scott Murphy. "We’ll get through this fiscal year on June 30. Then hopefully, we will have a surplus and it will hopefully include that $100,000."

On March 5, he spoke briefly with the Selectboard on the matter and assured its members that the surplus would not be applied to the tax rate without discussion. It was also mentioned that if the town encountered an extraordinary event, the funds could be used.

When asked if the topic of creating the fund would be revisited at a special town meeting, Murphy said it is still a possibility.

"At the end of the fiscal year, they can do it or prior to next year’s Town Meeting or anytime before that if they want to call a special meeting," he added.

Selectboard member Susie Haughwout spoke of how the town had to fight so hard to give money back to taxpayers. Several times at Town Meeting, there were proposed amendments by residents to increase certain funds using the surplus money.

"I’ve never seen anything like it," she concluded.

There were two successful attempts. A line item for Memorial Hall marketing received an increase as well as the highway department equipment fund.

During his first meeting as Selectboard Chairman, Jim Burke shared his thoughts on the day.

"Sometimes it upsets me that the hard working people really don’t get a voice on certain things. It was a strange meeting," he said. "There was a lot of enthusiasm on both sides that you can’t have with Australian ballot."


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