LITCHFIELD — When they gather Saturday for the annual budget vote, Litchfield residents will consider a proposed spending plan that reflects trimmed-back special projects and road work to keep cost increases to a minimum.

The annual Town Meeting comes a month later than usual and will take place at the Litchfield Fairgrounds at 44 Plains Road, to ensure those who attend can maintain appropriate distance from one another under Maine’s state of emergency due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Selectwoman Rayna Leibovitz said the town’s Budget Committee has been helping the Select Board moderate increases and find decreases in proposed spending.

Given the uncertainty in the economy and spike in unemployment, Leibovitz said town officials would not be serving town residents properly if they did not factor those concerns into budget calculations.

“It’s the prudent thing to do,” she said. “Indeed, we started with certain projections of what expenses would be, costs would be and what our tax bill would necessarily be. And as coronavirus issues have continued, we scaled back.”

There was no target for reducing taxes, she said. Instead, they reviewed the budget line by line to consider what could be rolled back or reduced.


The result is a proposed spending plan that totals about $2.2 million, with $1.07 million, or a little less than half, to come from property taxes.

The property tax rate that resulted from the budget passed a year ago is $14 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The new property tax rate, which reflects assessments for Kennebec County government and Regional School Unit 4, will be calculated later this summer.

Deputy Town Manager Kelly Weissenfels said with the proposed budget, the new property tax is expected to remain close to the current rate.

Voters also will be asked to decide on several proposed changes to Litchfield’s ordinances.

The first change, to the Land Use Ordinance, would allow the sale of recreational vehicles at a permitted and licensed campground. with Planning Board review.

The second change, to the Land Use and Shoreland Zoning ordinances, would allow the town’s code enforcement officer to issue permits to property owners who want to build structures on dwellings to make them accessible to those with disabilities.


The third change is the creation of a new Mass Gathering Ordinance. For most of the last year, a committee has been working to craft an ordinance that would govern how mass gatherings in Litchfield would be handled, including requirements for public safety and sanitation.

The Town Meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the barn adjacent to the pulling ring at the Litchfield Fairgrounds.

Leibovitz said 8-foot benches will be set up so people can sit appropriate distances from one another.

While Litchfield Town Meetings usually draw between 80 and 90 people, it is unclear how many will attend the delayed meeting.

Litchfield officials delayed the annual budget vote because of the state’s public-gathering restrictions, put in place because of the global coronavirus pandemic, and uncertainty about tax projections at the state and federal levels.

Town officials said they considered waiting until August, but eventually set the date for Saturday.

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