MONMOUTH — Federal pandemic relief funding and town reserves will help keep expenses flat in a proposed $4.4 million municipal budget that goes to a vote Tuesday.

The annual Town Meeting ballot vote will take place at the Monmouth Academy gymnasium from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Town Manager Justin Poirier said that unlike other towns in the area, Monmouth’s Town Meeting warrant items will all be voted on during the election.

“It’s all on the same day, and all by referendum,” he said.

The town is planning to use American Rescue Plan Act funds and monies from the unappropriated fund balance in order to keep the town’s expenses the same for the 2022-23 budget year, Poirier said. The overall municipal budget of $4,448,945 will be offset by a total of $1,430,757 in anticipated nonproperty tax revenue, he said.

Most of the increases are due to capital projects, particularly much-needed road work. Altogether, Poirier said about $600,000 alone was set aside for the paving reserve account.


Both Poirier and Kent Ackley, vice chair of the Select Board, said Sanborn Road in particular needs serious work.

“The Sanborn Road has been a sore thumb for the entire town,” said Ackley. “That’s going to be a paving job, not a dirt-road job.”

Ackley said the town decided to use money from the undesignated fund balance for one-time expenditures now, as inflation may continue to rise. “Our undesignated fund balance is essentially losing value while it’s not working for the town,” he said. “It’s like a savings account that’s paying 0.5%, which makes zero sense in an 8% inflationary environment.”

He said the town has made every effort to keep the municipal budget flat, adding that Regional School Unit 2 is looking at a roughly 3%-4% increase for the town of Monmouth, which is still under the increases expected given the current rates of inflation.

“My hope for the property taxpayers of Monmouth is that we can come in under inflation when we total their bill,” he said.

Select Board Chairman Douglas Ludewig said that, aside from road repair, some other additions this year include cost-of-living increases for all employees as well as parts and equipment for town departments, which has been made particularly difficult due to supply-chain issues.


“We’re trying to deal with all the interruptions caused by what’s going on in the world,” he said. “It’s difficult getting parts and equipment, and it makes it hard for different departments.”

According to the meeting warrant, a total of $243,546 in pandemic relief funds will be used to “purchase equipment for the police department, upgrade software and digitize the tax maps in the Assessing Department, purchase a storage shed for the Recreation Department, purchase and replace the condenser units in Cumston Hall, purchase a transfer pump for the Fire Department tanker truck, make general repairs/improvements to the Town Hall, and contribute to the Road Maintenance fund.”

The warrant also includes a three-year lease agreement for the purchase of a new police cruiser, with $15,500 being used for the first annual payment, and the issuance of up to $125,000 in general obligations bonds or notes for the town to purchase a used 1-ton plow truck and a used sidewalk plow for the Public Works Department, with the first annual payment being $1,200.

Residents will also be able to vote on two candidates for a three-year term on the board of selectmen. Incumbent Harold Jones is running against challengers Joseph O’Donnell, Mark Burgess and William Burgess. Selectman Timothy McDonald, whose term is up this year, is choosing not to run again.

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