STARKS — Rather than raise taxes to pay for road repairs this year, the Board of Selectmen is recommending a $150,000 loan that would be paid off incrementally over several years.
It will cost about $200,000 to repave a section of Sandy River Road, a project that selectmen hope to tackle this year with a loan from the Maine Municipal Association bond bank and $50,000 in appropriated funds. The loan is one of 63 items selectmen are asking residents to consider at Saturday’s Town Meeting, which will be held at 9 a.m. at the Starks Community Center.
Selectmen also are recommending a $521,676 budget, which is about 2 percent less than the current budget of $534,436 approved at last year’s Town Meeting. The amount of taxes to be raised would be $475,000, which is about 1 percent less than the current year’s $481,000.
Repairs and maintenance for the community center also will be discussed at the meeting, with selectmen recommending that voters authorize spending $30,000 to include maintenance and the recommendations of an energy audit completed this year. The audit recommends changes that would make the building more energy- and cost-efficient such as putting in new insulation, said Starks First Selectman Paul Frederic.
He said the repairs to Sandy River Road probably would not affect the tax rate this year if the loan is taken out, although he did not know what effect the loan would have on future tax rates.
“The question is, should we raise taxes all at once and do the repairs in one year, or if we take out a loan we can avoid raising taxes so dramatically?” Frederic said. “It’s something a lot of small towns do to finance major road repairs.”
Selectmen also are asking for approval of the following lien items at Saturday’s meeting: $72,996 for administrative costs; $23,500 for the Fire Department; $55,000 for equipment maintenance; $67,000 for winter roads; $42,076 for a new plow truck; $9,600 for the Anson-Madison-Starks ambulance service; and $40,000 for summer road maintenance.
Elections will be held from noon until 8 p.m. Friday at the community center. There are no contested races.
Rachel Ohm — 612-2368 firstname.lastname@example.org