WINSLOW — The Town Council on Monday approved a municipal budget of $31 million that represents a $1.9 million increase over the current spending.

With that jump in the budget comes a property tax increase of $1.36 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The budget passed as written with no change since its first reading in April, Town Manager Erica LaCroix said Tuesday. Budgetary increases from last year were largely driven by inflationary pressures such as the increasing cost of utilities and maintenance, and cost-of-living adjustments to employee wages and benefits.

An $800,000 increase in capital expenditures accounted for 40.5% of the total budget increase, LaCroix told the council in April.

Jerry Quirion was the only town councilor to vote against the budget, which was approved 6-1. He attempted to introduce a motion to cut the budget by $150,000, but did not specify where cuts could be made. He failed to gain support for the motion.

In other matters Monday, LaCroix announced that the Chaffee Brook river crossing bid came in this month almost $1 million higher than what town officials had anticipated.


“That’s unfortunate, it is going to mean that we probably need to borrow more money to complete this project,” LaCroix said Monday. “The earmark funding we thought was going to cover the entire river crossing is no longer going to cover the river crossing.”

The Chaffee Brook pumping station, built in the 1970s, pumps untreated sewage in a single pipe beneath the Kennebec River to the Kennebec Sanitary Treatment District on Water Road in Waterville.

Federal funding for the project came in at $1 million but the bid was approved by the council on Monday at $2.4 million. The contract was awarded to Richmond-based Wyman & Simpson Inc., one of a few contractors in New England that can perform the in-river work required as part of the upgrades to the pumping station.

The council in February approved up to $6.8 million in bonds for upgrades to the pumping station, but will now need to approve additional spending.

Also Monday, School Superintendent Peter Thiboutot announced that school administrators have applied for a $77,000 COPS grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. They will find out in September if they’ve been awarded the money, he said.

“School safety is on the minds of everyone,” Thiboutot said. “Every time you open the newspaper or turn on the TV you hear of another tragedy.”

Administrators would use the money to improve campus security equipment in Winslow public schools, provide staff with new walkie-talkies and install more security cameras at the elementary school, Thiboutot said.

Construction is expected to be completed on an addition to the elementary school this summer and Thiboutot said the extension led to a reevaluation of school safety plans.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.