Waterford voters presented with $1.3 million budget


WATERFORD — Voters will act on a proposed $1.3 million municipal budget for 2014, a $103,700 increase from last year, at annual town meeting Saturday, March 1.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the municipal building on Valley Road.

Residents will also vote for a selectman and member of the SAD 17 Board of Directors. Selectman Randy Lessard and SAD 17 Director Barry Patrie are both running unopposed.

Polls will be open from 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at the municipal building.

In their annual report to residents, Selectmen Lessard, Richard Hunt and Wyatt Andrews said the budget increase “is due to spending initiatives aimed at improving the conditions of our roads and the accuracy of our tax assessments.”

The municipal budget does not include payments to the Oxford Hills School District, which makes up more than half of the entire budget.

Residents in the district’s eight towns will vote on a budget in June, but selectmen expect an increase of about $47,000 from last year. Waterford’s total projected budget for 2014 is $3.4 million, according to the report.

Despite the increases, the town’s tax rate is only expected to increase by 50 cents from last year, to $14.80.

The escalating cost of asphalt is driving the increase in the town’s paving budget, which is being increased to $200,000 from $150,000. About three-quarters of the line-item increase will come from taxes, while the remainder will be rolled over from last year’s surplus, selectmen said.

A townwide revaluation is also being proposed by selectmen, at a cost of $21,600, more than half of which will come from the town’s savings.

State law requires a revaluation every 10 years, and the town’s last assessment was in 2003.

“Although the last revaluation has served us well, it was highly simplified and therefore not as accurate or evenly distributed as it could have been,” selectmen said in their report.

Lessard, working with other selectmen and a state-certified assessor, is expected to spearhead the revaluation effort. Field visits to all properties in town are expected to begin in March and go through July. Selectmen hope to have the revaluation completed by the end of the year.

[email protected]