The proposed budget heading to Randolph voters Wednesday is up about 4 percent from what they approved last year, but a significant portion of the increase is because of needed repairs to aging portions of the town’s sewer system.

The $2.07 million budget proposed by the Board of Selectmen is about $85,000 higher than last year’s budget. The amount proposed to be raised by taxes is around $1.6 million, up about 3 percent from last year.

The Town Meeting for residents to vote on the budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at T.C. Hamlin School.

The impact of the proposed budget on the property tax rate won’t be known until the town’s new value is assessed, said Janet Richards, tax collector, treasurer and deputy town clerk. Based on the current value, the proposed budget would increase the tax rate of $17.55 per $1,000 of assessed value by around 50 cents, Richards said.

The largest new request in the town warrant is $75,000 to replace about 150 feet of sewer pipe on Central Street. About a quarter of the town’s 10.5 miles of sewer pipes need to be replaced to prevent groundwater infiltration and reduce potential failures, said Mark Roberts, chairman of the select board. He said the town needs to reduce the amount of groundwater getting into its sewer pipes because the town ends up paying to treat the water and it can lead to sewer overflows.

The pipe under Central Street has a patchwork of older clay tile pipe, which has been failing, and newer pipe, Roberts said.

The town warrant is also requesting to double the funding for sewer work from $20,000 to $40,000 and raising $11,000 to purchase a new camera system to be able to look into some of the smaller pipes without hiring a contractor, Roberts said.

Another new request is $25,000 to pay for a preliminary design of a new fire station on a property between Kinderhook and Windsor streets. Voters approved purchasing the property three years ago.

The town collaborated with the University of Maine at Augusta’s architecture program at the end of last year to develop potential designs for the station. The town chose three concepts created by groups of students in the class and will use those to develop a more detailed design, Roberts said.

The $25,000 would be used to hire an engineering and architecture firm to create a plan for the fire station, including an estimated cost, he said. The time frame to build a new building isn’t yet known and will depend on the funding, Roberts said.

The town is looking to replace a roughly 50-year-old station that houses the town’s volunteer fire department on Water Street because it’s located on the floodplain and is too small, he said.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @pdkoenig


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