Monmouth voters will decide whether to double the town’s paving budget and buy a new police cruiser when they vote on the Town Meeting warrant next week.

Secret ballot voting, coinciding with the state primary election, is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Cumston Hall on Main Street.

Town Manager Curtis Lunt said the spending outlined in the warrant is up 3.6 percent to a little over $2,952,000. An increase in revenue from sources other than property taxes, like state funding and excise taxes, softens the impact of the spending increase, Lunt said. As a result, property owners would pay $64,000 of the $108,000 overall spending increase.

The budget again includes $105,000 for repaving roads, but selectmen are giving voters the option to raise an additional $100,000 for road work. If voters approve the article, the tax increase would jump about 24 cents per $1,000 property value, meaning someone who owns a $100,000 home would pay an additional $24 in property taxes.

Lunt said the school budget proposed by Regional School Unit 2 directors calls for an additional $280,000 assessment. If approved by voters, the combined impact of the school and town budget, without the extra $100,000 paving option, would be a 6 percent budget increase, about 5 percent of which would be attributable to the RSU. For someone who owns a $100,000 home, that would mean an increase from $1,455 to $1,555 in property taxes.

Lunt said much of the town’s budget increase is because of inflation, but there also are requests for additional money. He said there is a $16,500 request to insulate the fire station to prevent the buildup of mold and reduce energy costs. Lunt said there also is a $27,500 request for a new police cruiser which must be replaced biennially, and a request to set aside $10,000 for firefighter equipment, such as breathing gear.

Voters will be asked to amend the property tax assistance ordinance to base qualification upon the state’s property tax fairness credit program. The tax assistance ordinance provides up to $200 in tax relief each year to residents who are 65 and older and meet other qualifying standards.

“The senior citizen tax program seems to be the most popular one we offer,” Lunt said.

Selectmen are seeking to set raise $10,000 to fund the program this year and another $3,500 to make retroactive payments to residents who would have qualified last year but were unable to enroll because of changes in state law.

At the same time they are voting on the warrant, residents will be asked to pick members for the Board of Selectmen, RSU 2 Board of Directors and other positions. Dianna Boisvert, Lisa Hicks and incumbent Doug Ludewig are seeking two positions on the Board of Selectman. Chairman Pauline McDougald is not seeking re-election.

James Grandahl is seeking a seat on the RSU 2 Board of Directors; Randall Prince is seeking re-election as a Cumston Hall trustee and Rebecca Lazure is seeking to be a Cumston Library trustee. Philip Gauthier, Joseph Saunders and Paul Ruopp Jr., are each seeking one of three positions on the Monmouth Sanitary District Trustees.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4


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