A 5.31 percent budget proposal increase over the present year's spending was delivered this week by Sherman's Board of Selectmen for fiscal year 2010-11.

Of the $12.4 million proposal, said First Selectman Andrea O'Connor, $400,000 of the increase would be bond debt. Just $62,000 would be represented by increase in town spending.

The mil rate increase actually would result in a 3 percent tax increase, she explained.

"We cut deep," Ms. O'Connor said. "We kept very lean. No new programs. One part-time public works employee for parks work... we are up primarily due to debt service."

The town is canceling its short-term bond anticipation notes and converting to a 20-year bond issue. Debt service in the coming budget year will be $250,000 on the BANs, an anticipated $135,000 on the new bond issue, and interest due on the BANs, Ms. O'Connor said.

Since the Board of Selectmen also serves as the town's Board of Finance, the board has scheduled an April 15 public hearing on the budget at 7:15 p.m. in Mallory Town Hall.

Following the hearing, the board would either revise or send the budget to referendum.

The town meeting for the budget is set May 7 at 7 p.m. in the Sherman School cafeteria, to be adjourned to referendum on May 15 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the cafeteria.

-- Susan Tuz