MONMOUTH — A new sidewalk to the elementary school and two new firetrucks highlight the warrant that will go to voters at next week’s Town Meeting.

Voters will go to the polls Tuesday to vote on the warrant, which includes a little more than $3 million in spending. Voting is set for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the lower level library at Cumston Hall on Main Street.

Selectmen vetted the warrant at a public hearing last week that attracted a few dozen residents who had few questions and voiced no disagreement with articles presented in the warrant.

Voters also will select a new representative to the Regional School Unit 2 board of directors and Cumston Public Library trustee. The only contested race features incumbent Harold Jones, who is running against Sandra Schiller for a spot on the Board of Selectmen.

Town Manager Curtis Lunt said overall spending in the proposed 2015-16 fiscal year municipal budget is down $39,000 from this year. Lunt said revenue from the state is expected to increase by $33,000. Thus the total to be raised by property taxes to support the municipal budget, $1.88 million, is down more than $50,000 from this year.

But that doesn’t mean residents should expect a property tax decrease. Lunt said the proposed budget for RSU 2, which also includes Dresden, Farmingdale, Hallowell and Richmond, is up $244,000. A validation referendum on the budget will take place Tuesday.


Lunt said the school and municipal budgets combined would prompt a 2 percent increase in property taxes from $15.60 for every $1,000 of property valuation to $15.90. That means someone who owns a home valued by the town at $150,000 would see taxes go from $2,340 per year to $2,385 per year.

Lunt cautioned there is still great uncertainty, however, including potential changes in the school budget and the looming possibility that state lawmakers will turn control of the county jail system back to the counties.

“There are an awful lot of balloons in the air,” Lunt said. “That’s the way the numbers look at the moment.”

Overall spending in the municipal budget is down despite increases in specific areas because the town’s debt is shrinking, Lunt said, but the budget does include spending increases, such as a 2 percent wage increase for town employees.

Selectmen also are hoping to borrow $131,000 to build sidewalks along Academy Road from Main Street to the Henry Cottrell Elementary School. The loan would allow the town to qualify for a $525,000 grant from the Maine Department of Transportation. The project is expected to cost $657,000.

Voters also will decide whether the town should enter into a 15-year purchase/lease agreement for two firetrucks — a pumper and a heavy rescue pumper. Those would replace three existing trucks — a 1988 pumper, a 2001 pumper and a 2008 heavy rescue truck. The three trucks would be traded as part of the lease agreement.


Fire Chief Dan Roy said reducing the fleet from five to four trucks will save money in the long run. The expected payments of $108,000 per year for 15 years is less than what it would cost to replace the three trucks. Roy said it would be at least another 15 years before the department had to purchase another truck.

Roy said having a combination rescue/pumper truck would improve service. The new trucks would be equipped with advanced fire suppression systems that would require less water to extinguish fires, which Roy said would not only alleviate water damage, but also would require less water from tanker trucks.

“Essentially, we’re going to have three pumpers if this is approved,” he said. “It’s much more efficient.”

The trucks would have a standard system, which would make it easier to train new firefighters.

“We’d like to standardize it so they’re all set up the same,” Roy said. “It’s going to be so much easier to train our personnel.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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