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D-F leaders propose $5M-plus 2018-19 budget

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — On Saturday, April 28 residents will gather in the gymnasium at the Morton Avenue Municipal Building at 9 a.m. to vote on a seven-article warrant during the annual town meeting. Items approved on April 28 will then go to the referendum ballot set for Tuesday, June 12.

During a public hearing hosted by the selectmen and budget advisory committee on March 28 at the town office, a proposed $5,019,355 municipal budget for 2018-19 was presented. This gross figure represents a $55,465 decrease (1.09 percent) from the current fiscal year.

The $5 million-plus would be offset by a little less than $2,192,000 in revenues, down $180,755 (7.62 percent) from the figure for 2017-18. The result would be a net amount of $2,827,650 to be raised through property taxes, an increase of $125,290 or 4.64 percent.

“This warrant will be moved forward to the April 28 town meeting,” Town Manager Jack Clukey said, as hearing attendees looked at a draft of the document as well as a municipal budget summary. “It’s a very similar format to the warrants we’ve had the last few years. The only difference is we don’t have any non-monetary items this year.”

Looking at the totals of the gross budget, revenues and net budget, Clukey said the revenue line was down in large part because last year $300,000 for public works capital was used for planned department equipment payments.

Clukey said the 2018-19 spending plan being brought to town meeting in late April “translates to a little less than 2 percent increase in the mill rate.” He said .4 mills (1.95 percent) would increase the mill rate from $20.90 per every $1,000 in assessed property to a projected rate of $21.30.

The town manager explained the finalized 2018-19 mill rate depends on the municipal valuation “but we don’t know those numbers until July when the assessor is done with the additions and subtractions and construction.”

“We’ve heard from the school department and they’re expecting a budget that’s virtually flat,” Clukey said about the RSU 68 spending plan. The current school district budget totals a little more than $10.8 million, which includes a $2,780,636 assessment for Dover-Foxcroft.

“The wastewater department is expecting to come in at the same level with rates,” Clukey said.

The rates are projected to be a minimum charge of $89.65 for up to 1,200 cubic feet, and an excess charge of $9.37 for more than 1,200 cubic feet. These figures are the same as in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

“I would like to say to all of you that we need people to run for the board of selectmen and the school board,” Select Vice Chair Cindy Freeman Cyr said at the conclusion of the meeting.

The town will a pair of of positions, for terms of three years apiece, for both the select and school boards to be decided on the June 12 ballot. The referendum will include a three-year position on the HAD 4 board of directors and a one-year term on the Thompson Free Library Executive Committee. Nomination papers are available at the town office and the deadline for filing is 4 p.m. on Friday, April 13.

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