WATERVILLE — City councilors could not take a first vote on a proposed $39 million municipal and school budget Tuesday night because three out of seven councilors were absent from the meeting, so the council didn’t have a quorum.

Councilor Sydney Mayhew, R-Ward 4, was out of state; Councilor Dana Bushee, D-Ward 6, was sick; and Councilor Karen Rancourt-Thomas, D-Ward 7, was at a class night event for her son.

As Councilor Rosemary Winslow, D-Ward 3, left The Center with other councilors, department heads and residents who turned out for the meeting, she said that only one other time in 14 years had a council meeting been canceled because of lack of a quorum.

A special council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 9, to make up for the meeting.

At that session, councilors will consider taking the first of three needed votes on the proposed $39 million municipal and school budget for 2015-16.

The budget represents an increase from the $37.2 million budget councilors approved last year. If approved, the $39 million proposal would increase the tax rate from $27.40 per $1,000 worth of valuation to $29.90 — a hike of $2.50.

With that tax rate, a person owning a house worth $100,000 would pay a $250 increase in taxes. A homeowner with a $300,000 house would pay an increase of $750.

The city’s finance committee recommends cutting the proposed budget by eliminating a proposed police cruiser, public works funds, paving projects and funding to outside agencies. That committee also recommends taking $400,000 from surplus to reduce the proposed budget by a total of $600,000. If the reduced budget figure is approved, the increase in taxes would be $1.50 per $1,000 worth of valuation. A person owning a $100,000 house would pay a $150 increase in taxes in that case.

Mayor Nick Isgro has said he would not accept a budget that represents a significant increase and would veto it.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17