SOMERVILLE — One amendment was made to warrant articles for a $565,275 municipal budget that could contribute to a higher property tax rate in town.

The municipal spending plan totals $565,275, which is a 7.7% increase from last year’s total of $524,882. That budget was confirmed by 49 residents after a three-hour meeting at the Somerville elementary school on Saturday.

The last-minute increase, according to town treasurer Maria Greeley, was requested by town fire chief Mike Dostie. Greeley said Dostie’s increase included a $3,000 stipend for himself as the chief and other small expenses for upkeep and replacement of equipment.

Selectman Chris Johnson said earlier this month that he expected the property tax rate to increase between $0.68 and $2.00 per $1,000 of assessed property value, from the current rate of $17.90 per $1,000, with the increase in municipal and school spending.

Municipal revenue is also projected down about 20%, from $217,625 to $174,275. The town expects to receive more in-state revenue sharing and road assistance and local municipal fees, but Johnson said the town will not have as much surplus funding from the current fiscal year as it did last year.

While local voters rejected the Regional School Unit 2 budget by a 39-51 vote, voters across the seven member towns overwhelmingly approved the $23 million spending plan. Somerville is projected to pay $640,490, an increase of $29,977 — or 4.9% — from the current $610,513.

Somerville’s county tax actually dropped 1.4% for next fiscal year, from $72,981 this year to $71,964. Lincoln County Finance Director Michelle Cearbaugh said this was due to a decrease in the town’s overall valuation.

Voters in Somerville elected incumbent Don Chase and Jarad Greeley as selectmen on June 11. Chase, who has been on the selectboard for seven years, received 56 votes, while his opponent Rick Stimson received 40. Greeley received 63 votes, while his opponent Charlotte Coopersmith received 30.

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