The Strong town budget may decrease if residents approve the proposed $565,059 budget, down $128 from the year before.
The annual Town Meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Forster Memorial Building.
Sandra Mitchell, town treasurer and tax collector, said while the budget is not expected to increase the town portion of the property tax rate, the residents won’t know the final rate until county and School Administrative District 58 budgets are approved.
The property tax rate is $12.80 per $1,000 of valuation or $1,280 on a $100,000 property. Selectmen have also proposed taking $250,000 from surplus to reduce the tax commitment.
Voters will be asked at the meeting to approve $10,000 to repair the roof at the Town Office. Mitchell said the town had been saving $2,000 annually for the past four years for new siding, but officials were told the roof was also in need of immediate repair. She said there should be enough funding for both projects, if the voters approve the requests.
A host of area nonprofit groups who were denied funding last year will once again be asking for money. The American Red Cross, Safe Voices, Work First, Kennebec Behavioral Health and Maine Public Broadcasting are asking for a total of $1,850. Community Concepts, which did not request money last year, will be requesting $1,000. Selectmen and the budget committee did not make a recommendation on the requests from community groups.
The United Methodist Economic Ministry, the lone nonprofit granted its request last year, again asked for $1,500. Selectmen and the budget committee recommended voters approve the request.
Mitchell said while residents have paid for vehicle purchases outright with savings in the past, this year they will be asked to borrow up to $58,300 for a new plow truck. Residents in the past have set aside $20,000 a year into the fund, and she said the only difference will be for the next three years, the $20,000 will go toward paying off the loan. Along with the loan, the selectmen recommended taking $116,7000 out of the savings fund to purchase the $175,000 truck.
Voting will be held 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at the Forster Memorial Building. Selectman Jim Burrill is running again uncontested for his seat on the board. Lois Barker and Rupert Pratt are both running for the three-year term on the Phillips-based SAD 58 school board. There is no one running for the two-year term on the board, though Mitchell said a write-in candidate could be elected.
Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252 email@example.com