As we write this we are preparing for the budget hearing on February in advance of the 2015 Town Meeting.   We hope to hold the Harrisville operating budget for 2015 to no more than $1 million.  We ended fiscal year 2014 spending a bit less than budgeted; this end-of-year surplus goes into the town’s Fund Balance that can be used in following years to reduce taxes.  This fall we used $50,000 from the fund balance to reduce taxes.  Harrisville retains a healthy fund balance ($500,000 or so) and we try to use it wisely.

One of our responsibilities is setting the tax rate each year. The taxes we each pay are based on the cost of running the town including the school budget, the town’s contribution to the operations of the county and the town’s contribution to the state school equalization formula.  The selectmen are responsible for approving the various departments’ budgets, that is: fire, police, highway, recycling, town clerk, tax collector, and our administrative staff.  The Harrisville school board and the SAU is responsible for the school budget. The county tax and the state school equalization tax are dictated to us.   Selectmen are continually trying to maintain a stable tax rate, while planning for long-term Town needs.

 Gross value of town

FY 2013

FY 2014

% change




Tax rates per $1,000 value

Town tax rate




County tax rate




Local schools tax rate




State school equalization rate




Total tax rate




Considering long-term needs, and guided by the Capital Improvements Plan, the Board will present two large capital projects to the Town this year.   A new Town Highway Garage, planned for the Salt Shed site on Willard Road, is anticipated to cost $500,000.  The Selectboard will seek to withdraw around $130,000 from the Town Buildings Trust funds and appropriate the difference with a 10-year note that will add about $42,000 to the operating budget for principal and interest payments.  Also, the section of Hancock Road along Lake Skatutakee from Main Street to the bridge needs reconstruction. The Selectboard will seek to withdraw $180,000 for the $200,000 project from the Town Roads Trust funds and fund the difference through taxation.

The Selectboard also hopes to dispose of the property at 119 Main Street in the coming year.  We would like to sell the lot and house and return it to the tax base.   Our hope is to set conditions that the home be relocated or rebuilt away from the road where it will be safer and easier to maintain properly. We have obtained Zoning Board approval for such action.

On a final note, the makeup of the Board will change in 2015.  Seth Kallman will not ‘reenlist’ for duty.   His service to the Town over many years has been valued by both Jay and Charles.  We hope the next member of the Board brings their own experience and talents to the task, but it will be hard to replace Seth’s special set of abilities.   Good job, Seth.

As always, Selectmen are available most Thursday nights to discuss concerns residents may have.  Those who can’t make it to our meeting can write us or email to

Your Selectmen, Jay, Charles and Seth