SKOWHEGAN — Voters at the annual Town Meeting on Monday night will be asked to spend 5.5 to 6 percent more in the coming year to make up for spending cuts made over the past few years.

The Board of Selectmen is recommending a spending package of $8,819,268 for fiscal 2012-13, a figure that is $500,647 more than the current budget.

The town Budget Committee is recommending a budget of $8,783,383, or $464,762 more than this year’s budget.

There are still too many variables in the budget recommendations of selectmen and the Budget Committee and with the final county and school budgets to say what impact the town meeting votes will have on the tax rate, according to Town Manager John Doucette Jr.

The current tax rate is $15.86 for every $1,000 in property valuation, meaning the owner of a $100,000 home paid $1,586 in property taxes this year.

Spending articles are to include $1.2 million for general town government — finance, administration, the town manager’s office, economic development and insurance and benefits.

Voters also will be asked to spend about $1.079 million for the Police Department; $716,151 for the Fire Department; $796,204 for solid waste management; $884,00 for debt retirement and a total of $1.25 million for public works’ summer roads, winter roads and vehicle maintenance.

Doucette said voters and town officials alike agreed to cut spending in 2011 and now have to make up for some of the cuts.

“Selectmen and the Budget Committee felt there were a lot of concerns that we made some cuts over the years that are kind of hurting us now and we’re trying to catch up,” he said. “We cut a police officer and that affected overtime; a police officer was put back in this budget.”

Also back in this year’s budget is a full-time employee at the transfer station and another in Public Works, plus a part-time employee in the front office.

Doucette said voters also are being asked to raise money for capital reserve funds in most departments to put money aside for the future.

“Unfortunately, what happened was we didn’t put money aside for a while and our future’s caught up with us,” he said. “We’re having to replace a lot of these things so we end up using that money now or we have emergencies.”

One of the big items under capital reserve accounts is a request for $100,000 for the assessor’s department for a property revaluation, Doucette said. He said that account usually asks for $25,000.

“We are way past — we haven’t had a revaluation since ’92,” he said. “There are a lot of homes in this town that have been redone inside and some with no work done.”

Selectmen and the Budget Committee are split on raising $100,000 for the revaluation, but agree on taking $756,864 from surplus to offset taxes in the coming year. There currently is about $3 million in the surplus account.

Voters will also be asked to vote on changes to the town’s subdivision ordinance, a building ordinance and a cemetery ordinance. A fireworks ordinance will be part of the ballot for Tuesday’s voting.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. in the Opera House at the municipal building. The annual election of officers is Tuesday.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.