DRESDEN — Residents of Dresden will be asked to vote Saturday on a proposed spending plan that is about $60,000 more than the budget approved in 2019.

Total proposed spending is $1,048,992, almost 6.1% more than current spending. It reflects greater anticipated costs for building maintenance, solid waste hauling and ambulance services, among other expenses.

Town Administrator Michael Henderson said the budget proposal had been completed before the state of emergency was declared in Maine as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic. In the wake of that declaration, businesses, government offices and school buildings were closed to slow the spread of the highly contagious respiratory virus, and public gatherings were limited to 10 people.

In Dresden, those closures delayed the special election to fill the unexpired term of Trudy Foss, who resigned as first selectman earlier this year, and election of the third selectman. It also prompted postponement of the town’s annual budget vote.

Henderson said the budget has not been revised since then.

The spending is expected to paid for with property taxes, $199,100 from state revenue sharing, Maine Department of Transportation block grants and a reimbursement from the state of Maine on the Homestead exemption, among other sources.

Voters will also be asked Saturday to weigh in on policy decisions.

Among them: Moving the Town Meeting from Saturday morning to Tuesday night.  Of those responding to a town survey on the matter, Tuesday night emerged as the preference.

Town officials are seeking approval to:

• Move penalty fees assessed under Dresden’s Land Use Ordinance and site plan review fees into the Planning Board expense account.

• Carry forward any unspent funds from last year’s account into a Planning Board expense account to be used by the board for future expenses for land use regulation and the board.

Voters will also decide whether $50,000 in surplus funds should be used to reduce the property tax commitment, and whether an additional $5,000 should be moved to a contingency account for the Board of Selectmen.

The property tax rate in Dresden is $18.80 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The property tax rate for the new budget year will be calculated later this summer. It will reflect the Lincoln County and Regional School Unit 2 assessments.

The Town Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Dresden Fire Station, next to Pownalborough Hall, at the intersection of state Routes 128 and 197.

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