Town Manager Joe Wiszowaty explained the proposed budget includes the $4.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds St. John was awarded. Over the summer, the Town Council drafted an ARPA spending plan, which includes new equipment for the police and fire departments, the repaving and reconstruction of multiple roads, pickleball and tennis courts at New Gates East Park, a washroom and pavilion at Gates Park and two new snow plows/dump trucks for the Public Works Department.
During initial ARPA meetings, the police and fire departments requested funds be used to hire additional employees; however Wiszowaty said the town decided to include the requests in the budget instead.
The proposed budget would fund two full-time police officers, bringing the department to a total of 26, and two full-time firefighter/paramedics, bringing the department to 16.
The proposed budget also includes a 5% raise for all town employees. Last year employees received a 3% raise.
Wiszowaty said the proposed raise could ultimately be reduced before the budget is approved. The town will hold a public hearing for both the proposed budget and the ARPA spending plan appropriations Oct. 12. The budget will undergo final council approval Oct. 26.
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