By Don Nelson
The Winthrop Town Council has adopted a 2018 budget that calls for spending just over $4 million for operations, including funds for a third law enforcement officer, infrastructure improvements and continued progress on various parks projects.
With total 2018 revenues estimated at about $5.2 million, the town has a cushion for unanticipated expenditures.
Some highlights of the budget:
• The Marshal’s Office budget includes salary for a second deputy marshal, which would restore the law enforcement contingent to three full-time officers. For the past few years, the department was funded for two officers, but at times there were no full-time officers employed because of departures and dismissals in the Marshal’s Office. Marshal Daniel Tindall is currently in the process of hiring a deputy. The projected 2018 budget for the Marshal’s Office is $343,640 compared to the 2017 budget of $307,890. However, only $148,000 was spent in 2017 because of the gaps in staffing.
• Twenty percent of local property taxes will go toward supporting the current expense fund (day-to-day operations). Seventy-nine percent will go toward street department projects, including additional street overlays and extending the sidewalk on Castle Avenue, while 1 percent will go into a parking improvement fund.
• The budget calls for continued progress on the Susie Stephens Trail including the Highway 20 crossing, and for the first phase of construction on the Riverwalk Trail.
• Progress is anticipated on various water system upgrades, including a project to increase water flows for fire service in the Horizon Flats area.
• Water rates and sewer rates will each increase by 2.5 percent to meet ongoing expenses and to build up a reserve.
• Work will continue on developing an improved downtown transportation and mobility plan.
• Improvements are planned for the band shell in Mack Lloyd Park, the town’s public restrooms, and the Hen House meeting room at the Winthrop Barn.