FARMINGDALE — To catch up on road maintenance, Farmingdale officials are proposing to double highway maintenance spending for the upcoming budget year.

“Instead of doing a 1-mile road project every year, which we have missed out on in the last couple years, now we’re trying to get caught up, and we’ll do 3 or 3 1/2 miles,” Doug Ebert, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said.

That project is one of the factors bringing proposed spending for the next budget year to nearly $2.35 million, about $654,000 more than town spending in the current budget year.

The property tax rate, now $17.40 per $1,000 of assessed valuation (10 cents less than in 2020), is expected to increase this year.

Of the total, about $1.58 million would come from property tax, and about $770,800 from town surplus funds or excise tax.

Ebert said he was not sure what the final property tax rate will be.


The tax rate is to be calculated later this year, based in part on what Farmingdale voters approve for the municipal share of their tax bill at Thursday’s Town Meeting.

The Town Meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Hall-Dale High School theater at 97 Maple St.

Property tax bills also include assessments for Kennebec County government and Regional School Unit 2, whose budget goes before district voters Tuesday for final approval.

Farmingdale, which is 11.55 square miles, has nearly 27 miles of paved roads the town is responsible for maintaining.

While town officials paved 2 miles of road last year, Ebert said road work had been deferred in several years before that. The $637,000 being proposed — from a mix of property tax, excise tax and Maine Local Roads Assistance Program funds — is expected to be a one-time expenditure at this level, Ebert said.

Among other changes to the budget: Additional spending for Town Office staffing, which has nearly doubled.


Last year, town officials added an administrator to the staff, which contributes to part of the change. The bigger share, however, is the result of an accounting change.

Ebert said the duties of the town’s administrative staff includes work for the town’s sewer department, which reimburses the administrative staff for the share of its time.  That had never been fully reflected in the town’s annual report.

Anticipated spending for snow plowing has also increased by about $200,000 in the proposed spending plan. In addition to the greater cost of fuel that contributes to the cost of the contract, the town is shifting to become a salt-priority town. That means mostly salt will be used during the winter instead of a sand-salt mix.

“We’ve had some complaints in the last couple years about the roads not being bare pavement, and the next town over is bare pavement,” Ebert said. “The other towns around are doing a salt-priority way of handling winter roads, so that’s what we’re transitioning to.”

The snowplowing contract runs three years. Because there are some unknowns during the term of the contract, such as the prices of salt and fuel, those costs are expected to be negotiated.

“The first year is kind of a scary year, but the following years afterward are potentially going to be less,” Ebert said. “We’ll lock into a multiyear contract, but the price is going to be different.”


The town’s municipal election is scheduled for Tuesday. Ebert is up for reelection to another three-year term in a race that is uncontested.

The second opening on the board is for a two-year term to serve the balance of the term of Wayne Kilgore, who resigned in February. Ebert is on the ballot for that position, too.

“That way, if there’s a write-in that beats the amount of votes I have for either position, I could still be in (a selectman’s) position,” Ebert said.

If no write-in candidate is elected, Ebert said, the two-year position could stay open until the election in November, or until the next municipal election, if the Board of Selectmen chooses to operate with only two selectmen for the next year.

“We’re waiting to see what happens,” Ebert said.

The Town Office at 289 Maine Ave. is to be open Tuesday for voting, but not for regular business.

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