BENTON — Voters at Saturday’s annual Town Meeting will consider a proposed municipal budget that represents a slight increase over the current one.

The proposed municipal budget is $540,000, a 2.1 percent increase over the current one, Town Treasurer Rick Lawrence said.

“If the voters accept everything as the budget committee recommends on the town warrant, it will be an increase of $13,300,” Lawrence said.

The increase includes an extra $10,000 in fire and rescue protection costs and $1,400 for social and recreational agencies, he said.

The current property tax rate of $12.90 per $1,000 worth of assessed value is not expected to change if the budget passes, he said.

“It won’t change as a result of anything we vote on Saturday,” he said. “The tiny increase won’t affect the mill rate.”

The proposed municipal budget does not include spending for schools and county, as those figures are not yet known, according to Lawrence.

“We can assume the county is similar to what it is now, less than a 5 percent increase, if anything, from year to year,” he said.

But if the schools do not get the funding they are used to receiving and have to pay teachers’ retirement, the numbers could change significantly, according to Lawrence.

“There are roughly a dozen things Governor LePage has proposed that will cost the town more money and be completely out of our control,” he said.

In Friday elections, Antoine Morin and Robert Morrissette are running for a three-year selectman’s seat being vacated by Kimberley Cormier, who did not run for re-election.

Incumbent Town Clerk Patrick Turlo is being challenged by Arthur Thompson Jr. for a three-year term, and Caroline Lawrence, Ronald Liberty and Reginald Means are running for a three-year seat on the School Administrative District 49 board of directors being vacated by Clayton McLaughlin, who did not run for re-election. Rick Lawrence is running unopposed for a one-year term for his treasurer’s position.

Road Commissioner Todd Hunt is running unopposed for re-election to a one-year term.

The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Benton Grange Hall. Voting for town officers will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the town office.

Amy Calder — 861-9247
[email protected]

 

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