When the Gardiner City Council meets this week, its members are expected to discuss and debate a proposed city budget that has undergone some trimming and reshaping.

Two weeks ago, At-Large councilors Jon Ault and Tim Cusick asked that city administrators find a way to cut $87,000 from the city’s proposed spending plan, bringing the expected municipal increase of 45 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation down to 20 cents.

District 4 City Councilor Philip Hart had also requested a change to the budget — increasing spending on the Gardiner Police Department by no more than $32,000 to ensure that the city’s police cars are up to date and outfitted with the gear they need. He asked that money be taken from the city’s fund balance, so there would be no impact to taxpayers.

The City Council voted to support both moves, and they will be considered Wednesday, following a public hearing.

The proposed $5 million budget reflects a 5 percent increase over the current year. The city’s capital budget at $676,267 reflects nearly a 44 percent decrease in spending, Combined, they total a $5,692,875 spending plan proposed for the year.

Gardiner’s current tax rate is $21.45 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

City elected officials are also expected to hold a public hearing and vote to extend the city’s moratorium on commercial marijuana establishments. City officials appointed a committee to develop recommendations to deliver back to the City Council governing those businesses, but bad weather and delays at the state level have made crafting those recommendations by early this month impossible. By law, the City Council can extend the temporary ban by 180 days.

The city council is also expected to:

• Meet in executive session at the beginning of the meeting to consider a buy back of tax foreclosed properties

• Hold a public hearing and consider final approval of two general obligation bond measures totaling more than $1.8 million to fund Gardiner’s sidewalk improvement and paving program

• Consider renewing liquor licenses for FOE — Cobbossee Aerie 4330 and Smith Wiley Post 4 American Legion

• Consider granting a liquor license for the Food Truck Festival

• Consider granting special event permits for the Johnson Hall Free Waterfront Concert Series and the Animal Rescue of Kennebec Vendor Sale and Bike Run

The Gardiner City Council meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Gardiner City Hall at 6 Church St.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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