While Farmingdale town officials worked to keep spending flat for the upcoming year, the property tax rate is expected to rise.

James Grant Jr., chairman of the Farmingdale Board of Selectman, said town officials have tried to hold the line on spending in the face of expected increases of about $250,000 that are outside the town’s control.

The property tax rate in Farmingdale is currently $16.05 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Officials expect that to go up, but it’s not yet clear by how much.

The assessment that town residents pay for their share of the Regional School Unit 2 budget is expected to go up by $178,000 to $2,664,657. The cost of ambulance service, provided by Gardiner Ambulance, is increasing by $31,000 to $52,000. And the assessment from Kennebec County government is expected to increase moderately, to $221,055.

The big unknown that will be decided at Town Meeting Grant said is whether Farmingdale residents agree to fund $10,305 needed to join the Gardiner Public Library.

Earlier this year, a group of residents organized a petition to put the measure on the Town Meeting warrant, after selectmen opted for a second year not to include it, offering instead to reimburse the cost for residents to buy library cards at either the Hubbard Free Library in Hallowell or the Lithgow Public Library in Augusta and earmarked $6,000 in the budget for that.

If voters choose the Gardiner Public Library, the town will no longer offer reimbursements for the other cards.

To keep spending down, Grant said town officials did several things, including cutting $50,000 from the roads budget.

“We’re going to be really stingy with raises this year,” he said. “There’s no other way to put it.”

In all, selectmen are seeking approval at Farmingdale’s Town Meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday in the theater in Hall-Dale High School, to spend $1,419,562 in the coming fiscal year for town expenses including administrative costs to run town government and its boards and committees, summer and winter road maintenance, salaries and benefits, and other routine costs.

Not all of that will be paid for through property tax.

Farmingdale Town Clerk Rose Webster said town officials anticipate using more than $900,000 in revenue to offset what will be levied on town residents. The sources include excise tax, surplus funds, reserves and state revenue sharing.

“We are offsetting spending with surplus and we are giving back of the excise tax as I can,” she said. Excise taxes are paid by the owners of vehicles registered in Farmingdale.

That leaves $496,372 to be raised through property taxes.

In addition to budgetary items, Farmingdale residents will be asked to vote three changes to town ordinances.

The first is a proposed medical cannabis ordinance that imposes some regulations on new medical marijuana cultivation, processing, storage and distribution operations in Farmingdale.

The second is a proposal to change the purchasing, bidding and contracting ordinance to remove a policy statement from the wording of the ordinance.

The third changes the requirements in the Public Property, Utilities and Solid Waste Ordinance for grease traps to allow grease traps inside businesses.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ