Peru residents to discuss budget at meeting

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PERU — Residents will have a chance to learn about the town’s municipal budget at a public hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the former Peru Elementary School.

Voting on the 32 articles will take place by referendum on June 8 at the town office.

Board Chairman Jim Pulsifer said the municipal budget and the town’s share of the Oxford County budget proposed for fiscal year 2010-11 is expected to be about 8 percent higher than the current year’s figure of $667,439.

This is largely the result of the town’s plan to spend about $90,000 more on roads, as well as higher insurance premiums. Virtually all other accounts are the same as the current year’s, he said.

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Pulsifer said when the town’s share of Western Foothills Regional School Unit 10 tax is figured in, he expects a $1.30 per $1,000 property tax hike, to about $17.50 from the current $16.20.

The town’s share of the school tax is expected to be almost $1.5 million. With the carryover funds from the former SAD 21 of $104,000 deducted, that figure will be less, he said.

Pulsifer did not want to compare the proposed 2010-11 municipal budget of $793,408 with the current year’s because it will be reduced by excise tax and state revenue sharing.

“This will be a tough year,” he said.

Residents will also decide whether to retain the former town office building in Peru Center for use by the Peru Historical Society.

The former town office was once a small schoolhouse and is believed by some to hold many historical characteristics. If residents approve, the town will be able to use the land, and will pay up to $1,000 a year from surplus to operate the building.

Townspeople will also decide whether to give the go-ahead to the Peru Recreation Committee to build a bathhouse and concession stand at the former Peru Elementary School in West Peru.

Pulsifer said the Recreation Committee plans to hold fundraisers to pay the cost of construction, and the town would pay up to $1,000 a year for utilities and insurance.

A special committee in town has been working to transform the former school into a community center.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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