FAYETTE — Property owners should see the tax rate hold steady at $13.55 per $1,000 of assessed value if voters approve the budget as proposed at the business portion of the annual Town Meeting June 15.

However, Town Manager Mark Robinson cautioned Thursday, “All of this goes out the window if the Legislature impacts us by cuts to revenue sharing, excise tax collection and local road funding.”

Eighteen articles dealing with spending for Fayette schools are listed among the first 22 articles on the warrant. The total proposed spending for the schools in 2013-2014 is slightly less than $1.6 million.

In contrast to most other towns’ school budgets, the Fayette school budget does not go to a later referendum.

“The school is proposing to use $160,876 of school surplus for regular operating budget to keep the local tax requirement the same as the previous year,” Robinson said. “AOS 97 also utilized its undesignated fund balance to make its request to Fayette the same amount as last year.”

Fayette and Winthrop schools make up a school district in Alternative Organizational Structure 97. They share administration services and pay to support the administration’s annual budget of $385,000.

Selectmen and the Budget Committee are at odds with the School Committee on a proposal to allow the School Committee to use money left from a wood energy project to buy down the principle on a 2012 school construction bond.

Robinson said the selectmen and Budget Committee members think it is not financially prudent to pay down a bond that has a near-zero interest rate.

The proposed municipal budget stands at slightly more than $1 million and includes a total of almost $280,000 in general government and $82,000 in public safety expenditures.

Public works is the biggest town expense at almost $429,000, which includes paving as well as summer and winter maintenance. That line is down about $15,000 this year because the town bought an excavator and no longer needs to budget to rent one, Robinson said.

The town also is taking money from its undesignated fund balance to reduce the proposed budget.

“The town is using $30,000 for regular operating budget and $90,000 of surplus to fund the Public Works Reserve request of $90,000,” Robinson said.

Several lines in the proposed budget reflect a 2.5 percent increase in salary for public works employees and for the Town Office staff, Robinson said.

Robinson also noted that the town must budget for the county assessment of $168,456.

Betty Adams — 621-5631
[email protected]

 

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