CLINTON — The Board of Selectmen signed off this week on a proposed $3 million municipal budget that Clinton residents are to consider at the Town Meeting in June, along with a proposal for a one-year moratorium on large-scale solar projects.

The proposed spending plan, which selectmen approved 4-1 on Tuesday, with Selectwoman Geraldine Dixon opposed, represents a 12.7% increase to current spending. Town expenses came in at $3,334,148, an increase of $375,159.

Officials said most of the increase is related to costs the town cannot control, such as gasoline prices for the Police and Fire departments and electricity costs charged by Central Maine Power Co.

Another increase for the Police and Fire departments is the cost to join the Maine Public Employees Retirement System. The chief in each department pitched the retirement plan as key to retaining employees, and selectmen voted for the town to switch over with the new budget.

Voters at the Town Meeting are to vote on switching to the Maine Public Employees Retirement System.

During a budget hearing Tuesday, the selectmen’s recommendations on spending agreed largely with those of the budget committee. An exception was funding for nonprofit organizations, for which the budget committee recommended $15,195 and selectmen $18,695.


The difference came from a disagreement on how much to allocate for the Police Athletic League, which sponsors youth sports programs.

While the budget is increased from current spending, it is difficult to say how it would affect the town’s property tax rate because officials do not have the final Kennebec County and school budgets.

Also on the warrant: A moratorium on solar projects, which would ban for a year new solar energy systems that are 15,000 square feet or larger while the Planning Board develops an ordinance for solar projects. One project now in development would not be affected by the proposed moratorium.

Several other central Maine communities have instituted similar moratoriums this spring after officials noted local comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances do not address solar projects.

Frank Gioffre, Clinton’s code enforcement officer, said he thought the ordinance made sense.

“We’re behind the world’s technology,” he said, “and that gives us time to catch up.”

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