EMBDEN — The town passed a $903,120 budget on Saturday, a 1.78 percent increase over the current year’s, First Selectman Charles Taylor said. 

About 50 residents attended the hour-and-a-half hour meeting, compared with last year’s six-hour meeting, and after making several minor changes in the wording, approved all articles, Taylor said. 

He said in the upcoming year the town should be able to absorb any cuts in state funding. He said the town has enough money in surplus and will plan accordingly in next year’s budget if it needs to respond with more financial adjustments. 

Taylor said before the meeting that selectmen tried to be frugal in planning the upcoming year’s budget to prepare for a potential $80,000 loss per year in municipal revenue sharing, if Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed cuts pass. 

Taylor said local property taxes should remain the same — $12.46 per $1,000 of assessed value. For a home valued at $120,000, the property tax would be $1,495.20. 

The town also passed a proposal to collect property taxes in two equal installments in July and November. The measure will save the town money and ease the burden for taxpayers by allowing the town to get some money earlier and reduce borrowing costs.

Among the articles passed at the annual Town Meeting, voters decided to continue support for the Embden Community Center and to use funds from the town’s surplus account to finish funding a proposed dam. 

The town approved a proposal to allow $100,000 from the surplus account to be used on capital improvement projects. The majority of the money will be spent on a proposed dam on Embden Pond that was approved last year. Construction wasn’t started because the water levels were too high this winter, but Taylor said he would like to see the project completed this summer.

Taylor said an engineering firm estimated the project will cost $68,000.    He said the project will go out to bid before the summer, and any leftover money from the $100,000 will go back into surplus. 

Taylor said this will prevent the town from having to call a special meeting to approve additional funds if the project bid is higher than the estimate. 

Voters also approved an article for the Embden Community Center to continue being managed by the Embden Community Club.The town examined  whether the club was cost-prohibitive for the past two years.  The club contributed about $13,000 to the town’s general fund this year.

Taylor said about 50 people voted in elections Saturday morning. There were no contested elections and everyone who ran was appointed to office.  

Kaitlin Schroeder— 861-9252
[email protected]

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