HALLOWELL — City councilors on Monday plan to hear public input on the fiscal year 2020 expense and revenue budgets, of which three possible scenarios are all showing a sharp increase from last year’s total municipal and school spending.

A public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. at City Hall. The City Council will then discuss the second budget reading and the budget could be finalized in August.

The Finance Committee met on July 2 to discuss the budget further and spent the first part of the meeting going through individual line items. The budget included in City Council meeting agenda documents published July 3 shows slight changes from the one circulated before the June 25 special meeting.

The second budget reading was postponed twice in June because some councilors were uncomfortable with aspects of the spending plan.

As was the case before the June 25 meeting, three potential expenditure budgets were presented, but they all differ from the three previous ones. The first shows total expenditures of $6,489,664, breaking down to $3,062,505 for the city’s school payment and $266,560 in county taxes and $3,160,599 in municipal spending. The second shows $6,293,256 in total spending, with $2,964,191 being municipal, and the third shows $6,474,883 in total spending, with $3,145,818 being municipal.

All scenarios show a large increase from last year’s total spending of $5,773,289, but city officials said the budget contains backlogged capital expenditures, such as the first year of a lease for a firetruck, the purchase of a police cruiser and funding for repair or replacement of bulkhead decking at Granite City Park.

Three scenarios of the revenue budget show $1,068,046, $1,069,046 and $1,070,046 in municipal revenue, which are 5.3%, 5.4% and 5.5% over last year’s municipal revenue of $1,013,895.

A document circulated by City Manager Nate Rudy on July 2 show four scenarios for funding expenditures through the city’s tax-increment financing, or TIF, funds. The scenarios range from $97,078 to $122,662. Major differences in scenarios are decreases in Hubbard Free Library strategic plan funding, decreases in fire vehicle lease funding, a decrease in funding for a new police cruiser and a decrease in funding for an extrication tool for the city’s Fire Department.

Nate Rudy

Rudy will not be in the office from Tuesday to July 26 because he is attending a Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School.

He said he would work on a contingency plan during his absence and said last month that it would not affect any budget readings. The City Council voted 5-1 to allow Rudy to attend the program in April.

The program’s cost, $16,500, will be offset by a $12,000 scholarship and Rudy trading in a week of vacation, which he estimated at a value of $1,300. The remainder of the cost, $3,200, will be drawn from the city’s training budget in fiscal year 2020.

Other business at the meeting includes:

• recognizing Tony and Linda Masciadri as the Old Hallowell Day Citizens of the Year and Rosemary Presnar as the recipient of the Barry Timson Award for 2019,

• discussion of providing trash cans at public parks,

• and accepting two grants: $10,000 from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation for the purchase of equipment for the Hallowell Fire Department and $10,000 from the Maine Office of Tourism for advertising the Maine Luthiers Exhibition and Music Showcase.

Budget drafts and other documents are available for review on the city’s website. 

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