Mexico proposed budget up 6 percent

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MEXICO — Selectmen unanimously adopted a municipal budget Tuesday night that, if approved by voters on June 8, would increase the current year’s spending by 6 percent.

Town Manager John Madigan said, however, that the actual increase would be 3.7 percent because $60,000 comes from a federal grant that allows a fifth police officer to serve on the Mexico Police Department.

Approved by selectmen was a municipal operating budget figure of $2.6 million, up from $2.46 million for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

The Budget Committee, which met in a joint session with selectmen, adopted a budget figure $69,000 less than selectmen.

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If the selectmen’s figure is approved by voters, Madigan said he expects a tax rate of about $21 per $1,000 valuation. The current figure is $19.85 per $1,000 valuation.

Still an unknown is the amount of school tax the town must pay Western Foothills Regional School Unit 10. That number will likely be known in early May. The town’s Oxford County tax will rise from $69,370 for 2009-10, to $73,957 for 2010-11.

Madigan said the proposed budget hike is attributed to employee raises, $14,000 more for hydrant rentals, an increase of $3,700 for Med-Care Ambulance Service fees, $10,000 toward retention of a fifth police officer after the federal grant expires in two years, an 8 percent hike in health insurance payments, an 11 percent hike in workers compensation premiums, and $35,000 toward a road bond.

He said the town is also expected to receive about $100,000 less from state revenue sharing.

In a police department related matter, Madigan said Mexico officials want to continue talks with the neighboring Dixfield board about possibly merging or sharing police services.

Madigan will recommend that a public hearing on the proposed municipal budget be set for 6 p.m., May 19.

Residents act on the budget through a referendum ballot, rather than at a traditional town meeting.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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