Middlefield First Selectman Jon Brayshaw has presented a $4.74 million budget proposal to the town's finance board.
Under the proposal, town spending would increase by $323,218, or 7.3 percent, according to Brayshaw, causing the average annual tax bill in Middlefield to jump by $62.
The tax increase does not reflect any additional increase that might result from next year's $35.58 million proposed school budget, he said.
"Often times when we [include] the school budget it sort of spreads a little bit of a different light because of the inbalance of the numbers," said Brayshaw, who opted to present a town-only budget on Feb. 28.
A significant amount of the increase in the 2013-2014 budget was due to higher spending on capital improvements that have previously been pushed off, said Brayshaw, who worked closely with finance director Joe Geruch on the proposal.
"The focus, this year, was going to be to spend a little bit more money on capital so that we can be prepared for the future," he said.
The improvements include about $63,000 for repaving the parking lots at Town Hall, the Community Center and Levi E. Coe Library.
The budget also calls for $20,000 for a new emergency storm fund, $5,000 for two police dashboard cameras, as well as $207,000 for the fire department and nearly $285,000 for the library.
In addition, Brayshaw has proposed setting aside $50,000 to pay for the initial costs related to a proposal to dredge Lake Beseck.
The amount is significantly less than a $600,000 estimate to dredge parts of the lake in anticipation of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's plan to lower the lake to rebuild the dam, although Brayshaw said the two projects coinciding was "a once in a lifetime opportunity."
"We can't waste this opportunity to do something. The something is yet to be defined but we do need money to do something," he said.
Middlefield's current mill rate is 32.15 but would jump to 34.26 if voters approved the proposed town and school budgets. To offset an even higher tax increase, the first selectman has requested using $275,000 of the town's current $1.5 million fund balance.
The finance board will hold several meetings to review the budget. A public hearing and town meeting will also be scheduled this spring.