CARTHAGE — If residents approve all money items at the annual town meeting Monday night, the budget will rise less than 1 percent.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Monday, March 29, at the Community Hall, formerly known as the Webb River Grange. But first, a public chicken supper will be served by the Newman Cemetery Association starting at 5 p.m. to benefit the organization.
First Selectman Stephen Brown said the 40-article municipal warrant asks for $188,302 to be raised by taxation and another $84,000 to be raised from excise tax and state road aid.
The total budget does not include Oxford County taxes, which Brown said he expects to drop slightly, or the town’s share of Western Foothills Regional School Unit 10 operations.
Brown will seek his 11th three-year term. Current tax collector and Town Clerk Linda Berry is expected to seek additional one-year terms for both positions. Incumbent treasurer Nancy Blodgett is also expected to seek a third one-year term to the post.
All elective positions are nominated and elected from the floor.
Brown said he expects the current tax rate of $13.70 per $1,000 to rise slightly once the school tax and county tax are added in. Bills will most likely be mailed in September. Residents will have 30 days to pay their property taxes in full without penalty. Late bills will be assessed an 8 percent annual interest rate.
Few changes have been proposed between this year’s town warrant and last year’s adopted budget. Among them is an $1,800 increase for the town’s share of the Med-Care Ambulance Service fee because of the town’s increased population to about 550. Each member town’s assessment is based on population.
Fewer dollars are requested for solid waste disposal, at $31,500, because of some carryover money. The amount of aid set aside for the poor was doubled to $1,000. Brown said more people have called on the town for help in recent months. In addition to the general assistance funds, Brown said the town operates a food pantry for residents in need.
Selectmen also recommend raising another $200 to go toward updating the Veterans’ Memorial, $1,500 for the River Valley Growth Council, $150 for the River Valley Chamber of Commerce, down from $250 last year, and $1,040 for Community Concepts Inc.
Just under $70,000 is expected from excise tax fees. Those funds will pay for plowing and sanding winter roads. Another $14,500 will be received from the state for use in reconstructing and tarring town roads and bridges.
The cost of the supper is $7 for adults, free for children under age 12.