A municipal budget that’s increasing mostly because of new capital spending makes up most of the warrant for Tuesday’s Richmond Town Meeting.
The budget as recommended by the Board of Selectmen is $2.85 million. That’s $185,115 higher than the 2013-14 budget, an increase of 7 percent.
Clarence Cummins, chairman of the selectmen, said the municipal budget would increase taxes by less than 50 cents per $1,000 of valuation.
Town Meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Marcia Buker Elementary School.
The biggest change in the budget is in the capital outlay article, which is $186,990. That’s more than double last year’s $72,550 for capital outlay, an increase of $114,440.
Town officials want to increase the paving budget by $50,000 to make it $90,000, more than the budget for all capital improvements last year.
“We have not done much paving in about three or four years because of the budget crunch, and we’re getting to the point where we need to do some work,” Cummins said.
Other purchases planned in that article are $40,000 to overhaul a dump truck, $22,240 to repair a fire engine and a $10,000 generator for the public works department.
“This stuff does add up,” Budget Committee Chairman David Guillmette said. “You have to stay with it every year, otherwise you get some pretty significant increases.”
Two articles have different amounts recommended by the selectmen and the Budget Committee.
For the fire department, the Budget Committee recommends spending $2,000 less by eliminating the stipend for the position of assistant fire chief.
The Budget Committee also recommends appropriating $1,000 less for the public safety account because they believe that if there is an assistant fire chief, that person should serve as emergency management director for the town.
Guillmette said they believe a fire chief and a deputy fire chief are sufficient to handle the administration of the fire department.
It will be up to the selectmen to decide what to do about those roles, Guillmette said.
The warrant includes several routine articles and an article that makes housekeeping changes to the land use ordinance.
Also on the warrant is an article to authorize the selectmen to lease the former church building of St. Matthias Episcopal Church to the Richmond Area Food Pantry.
The diocese gave the 15 Spruce St. property, with its two buildings, to the town last year, and the food pantry started operating in the church in December. They’ve also used the other building on the property, the parish hall, as a place for clients to wait, but Cummins said town officials haven’t decided on long-term uses for that building.
Cummins said the town would lease the former church building to the food pantry for $1 per year for up to 10 years, and at the end of that period the town could sell or give the building to the food pantry.
Food pantry director Janette Sweem said a longterm lease would allow pantry volunteers to focus more on securing donations and distributing food to residents of Richmond, Dresden and Bowdoinham.
“It has worked out very well for us, and we’re very, very grateful that the town office has agreed to let us stay there,” Sweem said. “And I hope they’ll let us continue to stay there.”
Richmond voters will decide races for local office, including a contested race for two seats on the select board, during the state primary election on June 10.