Mexico budget hearing set for May 5

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MEXICO — Selectmen set a public hearing for a $2.61 million proposed 2010-11 municipal budget for 6 p.m., May 5, at their meeting Wednesday night.

That figure represents a 6 percent increase over the current year’s operating budget. However, Town Madigan said the actual increase is 3.7 percent because a $60,000 grant for a fifth police officer is included in the total.

The town’s Budget Committee recommended a total budget of about $69,000 less than the selectmen’s recommendation.

Residents will vote on the budget through 14 written articles at referendum on June 8. The articles are organized according to similar departments, such as public safety, administration, recreation, public works, social services, health and welfare, solid waste and several others.

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The municipal budget does not include the town’s share of school taxes, which is unknown at this time, or Oxford County taxes, which are nearly $74,000, up about $5,000 from fiscal year 2009-10.

The current tax rate is $19.85 per $1,000 valuation. Madigan estimated that if all articles are passed, the rate may go to $21 per $1,000 valuation. One mill represents about $128,000 in town revenue.

Much of the proposed increase is due to higher debt service and hydrant rentals, an increase for Med-Care Ambulance Service fees, an 8 percent hike in health insurance premiums, and salary increases for municipal employees.

In other matters on Wednesday, the board approved loan agreements with the Maine Municipal Bond Bank to borrow $300,000 for 10 years and $500,000 for five years. The interest rate is not yet set, but is expected to be 4 percent or less, Madigan said.

The funds will be used to complete a number of town maintained road projects.

In a related matter, Madigan said the Swett Avenue road project has been started by contractor C.H. Stevenson of Wayne.

Other actions:

• Public Works Commissioner David Errington was appointed to another year as code enforcement officer, and building and plumbing inspector for the town.

• The board entered into a closed session to discuss a tentative proposal by a potential tenant for lease of a portion of the former SAD 43 central office building. When SAD 43, SAD 21 and SAD 39 merged last year, the two-story building located on Recreation Drive, was turned back to the town.

• The annual clean-up week will begin on May 10. All household items, tires, brush and construction debris must be placed in front of homes by that date. During the following three weeks, the public works department will pick up the items.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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