Norway budget proposal includes capital projects

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NORWAY — Town Manager David Holt told the Budget Committee on Tuesday night that he is recommending $427,500 in capital projects for the coming fiscal year, but maintaining a stable tax rate is essential.

The project include a new firetruck, highway truck and road improvements.

“Our tax rates have been level for almost six or seven years,” Holt said. “It’s essential to have a stable tax rate.”

The Budget Committee concluded its review of department requests, including the capital projects Tuesday evening, but reserved any vote on each department’s budgets until it meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall.

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Budget Committee members and the Board of Selectmen have been meeting weekly for almost a month to discuss the proposed $2.7 million budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year that begins July 1.

Selectmen are expected to meet at 6 p.m. Thursday to finish work on the budget. The final recommendations by the Budget Committee and selectmen will be presented to town meeting voters in June.

During Tuesday’s two-hour session, Holt told the budget panel and selectmen that his General Assistance request is increasing by about $25,000 to $100,000 because the need is increasing. Holt said he supports changes to the current system to try to rein in the increasing number.

“We have to do something to curb this increase,” he said.

Holt also reviewed a number of other budget requests, telling committee members that overall debt service is down this coming year from $402,775 to $353,087, despite some new capital project bonding requests.

The town will have to pay an additional $26,000 this year to Oxford County for a total of $327,143. The money supports the county’s dispatching system, Registry of Deeds office and other items.

Warren Sessions also met with the Budget Committee to present his proposed $275,000 solid waste budget that is about $15,000, or 1.49 percent, higher than last year. The increase includes a one-time hike in universal waste disposal costs. The increases are offset by other items such as savings in the town’s assessment from Oxford County Regional Recycling.

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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