When the Hallowell City Council meets Monday, its members expect to take final action on the city’s proposed spending plan for the fiscal year and look at the plan for the city’s new fire station.

City Manager Nate Rudy said that while the proposed budget would add 70 cents to the city’s property tax rate, increasing it to $19.70 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, the spending plan is as lean as it can get without affecting public safety or the city’s ability to do business.

The Hallowell City Council is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the council chamber at City Hall on Winthrop Street.

In his preliminary report to the City Council in April, Rudy said the city’s spending was anticipated to increase 2.92 percent, or $172,000, taking the budget from $5.87 million to $6.04 million. The source of the increase was increases in administrative costs and legal services charges as well as changes in the city’s Fire Department.

Since then, however, the funding picture from the state has become clear and both the Regional School Unit 2 budget and the Kennebec County budgets have been set.

“We are looking at a $5.94 million budget,” he said. In addition to school and county taxes, that also includes the tax increment financing district funds.

The city’s share of that is $2,548,992, and the increase in spending is $170,000.

“We cut everything that was reasonable to be cut,” Rudy said. In some instances, that meant trimming some spending; and in others, extending debt over time by leasing vehicles instead of buying them.

Rudy said city officials are projecting lower revenue to be safe, although he doesn’t rule out a bump if marijuana retail sales are legalized. City officials also are expecting to see additional taxable vale at the Stevens Commons campus.

“We’re hopeful to see something happen there as return on city’s investment,” he said.

City elected officials also will take a look at the preliminary elevations for the proposed Hallowell Fire Station at Stevens Commons.

In March, an anonymous donor pledged $1 million to pay for building a fire station, and city officials voted to accept the gift a month later. The current fire station, nearly 200 years old, cannot accommodate modern firetrucks and equipment.

The donation comes with several requirements. Among them is that the station be located on Stevens Commons and the money would not be transferred until the city provides satisfactory evidence that it has entered into a binding contract to build the station.

The move has halted discussion about sharing a facility with Farmingdale.

On Friday, the Fire Station Working Group had its first look at preliminary drawings of the building. Architect Rosie Curtis said in a memorandum to the working group that preliminary building design is intended to be both functional and efficient and to make the station a good fit esthetically. The design reflects architectural details of buildings on Stevens Commons.

Rosie Curtis, the architect who is designing the building, said the project is on an accelerated schedule, with project approvals sought this month and next and a groundbreaking that is now scheduled for the second half of September. If the schedule holds, the building could be complete by late next spring.

“It’s quite a miracle how this project is evolving,” Curtis said.

The goal is to make the building a center for the community, for both the firefighters and the people they serve, she said. The administrative space will be designed so that it could also function for training and community events such as baked bean suppers and blood drives.

“It’s very fast-track, but it’s coming together really well,” she said. “It has a huge amount of support in the community.”

“All of the credit goes to the donor who has so graciously given so much already,” Rudy said, “and instructed the city to continue with the design of a beautiful and functional building.”

Hallowell officials on Monday also will consider:

• supporting a resolution to Go Gold in September to support Childhood Cancer Awareness;

• establishing city roads at Beech Street and Coos Lane;

• adopting the 2017-18 tax due dates and setting the interest rate for delinquent taxes and overpayment of taxes;

• adopting an order authorizing application of property tax payment against outstanding or delinquent taxes in chronological order;

• approving a re-appropriation of $4,974 in funds assigned to the DARE program to use for Police Department capital spending and supplemental budget support;

• approving the sale or donation of a Hallowell Fire Department tanker vehicle and the acceptance of a utility fire vehicle from the state of Maine; and

• hosting the regular City Council meeting in September at the Vaughan homestead after a community potluck supper there at 5 p.m.

An executive session on real estate matters is planned.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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