VASSALBORO — Residents are scheduled to vote at Town Meeting on a municipal budget that is 3.09 percent greater than last year’s, but a projected revenue increase of 11.6 percent is expected to offset the effect on local taxes.

The meeting to vote on the 66-article warrant is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Vassalboro Community School.

The proposed town budget totals $2.02 million, according to Town Manager Mary Sabins. Last year the approved town budget was about $1.96 million.

The increase in spending will go toward paving a number of roads in town, catching up on work the Public Works Department said is behind schedule, Sabins said. The paving program would get an increase of 23 percent, or $69,850, if the budget is approved, and Public Works would get a 9 percent, or $39,673 increase.

A projected increase in revenue from $1.37 million to $1.53 million would offset the increased expenses. A change in the Homestead Exemption that will provide more reimbursements for the town is pushing most of the revenue increase, which would decrease the tax levy from last year by nearly $100,000.

The town also is asking residents for permission to submit a grant application to the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation so it can begin a cemetery mapping and inventory project.

Sabins is asking for just under $50,000 for the project, she said. Vassalboro has 26 cemeteries, but no electronic records of any of the burial lots nor any maps of most of the cemeteries.

“It’s really a hardship when people want to buy a lot or want to see how many spaces are left in a family’s plot,” Sabins said.

Sabins has found a man in New Hampshire who provides cemetery mapping services and can X-ray the ground to determine if there are unmarked graves in an area.

Some believe that the Civil War monument on Route 32 in East Vassalboro is the site of an unmarked burial ground for veterans from the Civil War.

Part of the grant money would go toward examining that area, Sabins said.

“I was hopeful that that might be enough to trigger the interest of those folks who award the grants,” she said.

Last year, Sabins found the grant opportunity through the King Foundation, but the application was denied. She was encouraged to apply again, though, she said.

“Sometimes you have to kind of take your number and wait in line,” she said.

If the town wins the grant, Colby College students potentially would help enter the data along with maps from the New Hampshire man using cemetery software used by other towns. Sabins said the town would make the information available and searchable on its website over time.

Residents also will vote on whether to allow the town to spend money it’s already raised to renovate the China Lake boat launch in the west basin. The $28,700 for the project was raised at previous meetings, Sabins said, so it would not affect taxes.

The state is partnering with the town to renovate the boat launch, which Sabins said folds up every year in the winter because of ice, creating work for the Public Works Department. The boat launch is also dangerous, she said, because it is in poor condition and could damage tires or other equipment.

The state plans to complete the work in the fall when the lake water level is lower, she said.

The town also is asking residents to exercise the “put option” with the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. to sell the town’s share back to PERC for about $13,500. The town already has voted to stay in the Municipal Review Committee and send its trash to a yet-to-be-built Fiberight plant in Hampden beginning in April 2018.

Residents are scheduled to vote on proposed shoreland zoning ordinance amendments, which they rejected in November.

Sabins said the selectmen felt the public might not have known what they were voting on, so they put it on the warrant to let people discuss it at Town Meeting.

The proposed changes would be a “relaxation of the rules” from the town’s current ordinance, Sabins said, and would bring the language into line with recent changes at the state level.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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