Panel presents budget proposal to board

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BUCKFIELD — The Budget Committee brought its final proposal to selectmen Tuesday night, showing a municipal spending plan that is $176,486 less than this fiscal year.

With an increase in the county portion of $6,261 and the Regional School Unit 10 increase of $193,244.54, the Budget Committee’s overall proposal for 2011-12 came to an increase of $26,019.54.

Town Manager Glen Holmes told selectmen that his original budget was only $160,000 below last year. The Budget Committee asked him to cut more and he and Town Clerk Cindy Dunn were able to shave it down to $176,486 less than the current year.

No raises were given, according to Warren Wright of the Budget Committee.

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Holmes outlined some accounts that would go up and explained why they were going up. He said there were records dating back to the 1700s that were in need of preserving. He said an increase of $3,382 would pay for the records to be moved to the basement of the Municipal Center and by adding dehumidifiers to keep the records from deteriorating.

The sand and salt shed needs doors so the highway garage account went up $7,000, Holmes said.

The $11,430 highway equipment account increase was due to fuel cost and wages.

Taking on two more cemeteries increased that budget $7,000, and the need for more resurfacing at the Transfer Station hiked the Solid Waste account by $10,430.

Selectman John Lowell praised the Budget Committee and Holmes for the excellent job of keeping the budget down.

Holmes said the tax rate is estimated to go from $19.35 per $1,000 of valuation to $19.55.

The board voted to put the PACE Maine Green Energy question on the referendum rather than having it on the warrant. There will be a public hearing on PACE on Wednesday, May 11, at 6 p.m. at the Municipal Building.

Selectmen voted to go with low bidder RHR Smith and Co. for auditors at $4,100.

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