Farmington board discusses COLA and salary raises

2 mins read

FARMINGTON – The municipal budget continues through a lengthy workshop process, but the selectboard established a plan for cost of living adjustments during their meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

The discussion Wednesday night revolved primarily around COLA and salary raises.

In the past, municipal salary increases take effect on April 1, following funding approval through the March town meeting vote. The first quarter of the year remains at the previous year’s wage, with the carryover in the first quarter of the following year. This staggered cycle is somewhat similar to a school budget, with the school’s fiscal year starting six months after the municipal fiscal year starts.

With this in mind, Selectman Byron Staples requested some adjustments to the budgets for salaries. Several positions have salary adjustments proposed in the current budget to bring the salary up to a ‘market value’ rate, to help compensate employees fairly for the work they do. For these, the actual budget impact for the fiscal year 2023 will be 25% at the 2022 salary rate and 75% at the increased 2023 salary rate. The remaining 25% of the 2023 salary increase will be reflected in the first quarter of 2024.

Tthe COLA has been set at 3% of the 2022 salary. For some positions, the COLA increase will be the only wage adjustment, which allows for somewhat easier calculations. For other positions with additional salary increases, the COLA will be calculated based on the 2022 salary, then 25% of that adjusted salary will be added to 75% of the proposed salary for 2023 to provide the total impact in the 2023 fiscal year budget.

Due to this adjustment, Town Manager Christian Waller needed additional time to calculate the salary changes, including adjustments to the budget figures for benefits such as retirement and health insurance. In looking at one department, the town reduced the salary budget by nearly $11,000; this was a substantial reduction in the budget figures. As such, the board determined it would be best to review the budgets again after all the department budgets have been adjusted.

The selectboard is expected to review the budget on Monday, Feb. 6, at 6 p.m.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email