Farmingdale residents will be asked Saturday to approve a budget that is about $40,000 more than current spending, along with an ordinance that would prevent certain sex offenders from living close to the schools in the town.

The Town Meeting will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Hall-Dale Middle School theater, and voting for three local positions will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Friday at the middle school’s gymnasium.

The annual town warrant also includes a proposed ordinances that would require some new buildings to have rapid entry systems installed to assist the fire department in accessing them in emergencies.

The proposed $1,478,035 budget would require $30,000 more through property taxes — $711,668 total — than the budget approved last year. The current tax rate is $13.20 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Even so, town officials don’t think the proposed municipal budget will result in tax increases. Increased tax revenue from new power lines is expected offset some of that increased draw from property taxes, said Town Clerk Rose Webster.

“We tried to keep it as close last year as we could to try to keep things and taxes low,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Doug Ebert said.

The school budget alone, however, will add 80 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to the tax rate, according to the Hallowell-based Regional School Unit 2. That means an $80 increase for every $100,000 of property value. Voters in the three communities in the district approved the $25.4 million budget June 10.

Meanwhile, the proposed ordinance that would restrict where some sex offenders can live is the result of some residents voicing concerns about the issue, Ebert said. The proposed ordinance is modeled after the residency restrictions municipalities can enact thanks for a 2009 state law.

It would prohibit sex offenders convicted of class A, B or C crimes committed against minors younger than 14 years of age from living within 750 feet a public or private schools or a municipally owned property or state-owned property used primarily by children.

The only properties that fit the requirements are Hall-Dale middle and high schools on Maple Street, according to the proposed ordinance.

The ordinance wouldn’t force offenders who fit in those categories from moving, but they couldn’t move back into the restricted zone if they lived somewhere else. Both the sex offenders and property owners would be responsible for following the ordinance and could be fined a minimum of $500 a day by the town for violating it.

There are 11 sex offenders registered with the state living in Farmingdale, according to the Maine Sex Offender Registry. It’s not clear whether any offenders that would fall under the ordinance currently live within 750 feet of the schools.

If residents approve the ordinance Saturday, Farmingdale would follow several other Maine municipalities that have adopted similar restrictions in recent years.

The Augusta City Council passed a similar ordinance in January 2013, Bangor City Council approved restrictions last April after voting them down in 2010 and South Portland approved similar restrictions in May.

Other municipalities have rejected proposals to adopt residency restrictions after considering them. Gardiner City Council declined to move forward with an ordinance in 2012, and a selectwoman in the town of Wilton withdrew a similar proposal last year after her research showed it would likely be ineffective in preventing a sex offender from committing another crime.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine has previously opposed these restrictions, saying they haven’t been shown to reduce abuse and instead create a false sense of security in the communities.

“Residency restrictions punish people twice for the same thing and push them further into the shadows and away from the services they need,” Rachel Healy, director of communications for the ACLU of Maine, said in an email. “Good policy is based on data, not fear — and the data shows that these sorts of residency restrictions are not the best way to make kids safer.”

Studies have shown that in more than 90 percent of child sexual abuse cases, the victim knows the person who committed the abuse.

Ebert said those types of objections to the proposed ordinance weren’t raised, and some residents wanted to extend the restrictions to the areas around day care centers, even though state law doesn’t allow it.

He said the goal is to “let sex offenders know that Farmingdale does have an ordinance, and they need to watch where they go and where they reside.”

The proposed rapid entry systems ordinance would require new residential buildings with more than five units and common access doors and new commercial or health care facilities to install specific key boxes for fire department personnel to access the buildings.

The fire chief could also determine an existing building needed a key box installed, but Ebert said he doesn’t think the chief has identified any.

He said the systems, which must by manufactured by Arizona-based Knox, could only be accessed by a universal key locked in a fire department truck.

Ebert, who is a captain for the town’s fire department, said the purpose of the ordinance is safety. Typically when the fire department responds to a scene, they have to wait 15 to 20 minutes for a representative from a building to unlock a door.

“That way the fire department has access to buildings without having to break doors in and cause damage,” he said.

In Friday’s election, Ebert is challenged by Nancy Frost, a member of the town’s Road Advisory Committee, for his seat on the select board. Keith Kalloch and William Rogers also are competing for the road commissioner position Kalloch holds. In the Regional School Unit 2 school board race, board member Jon Lambert is running for re-election unopposed.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @paul_koenig

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