West Paris holding town meeting Saturday

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WEST PARIS — Residents will elect a selectman and water district director and act on a $1.13 million budget at the annual town meeting Saturday, March 1.

The meeting begins at 10 a.m. in the gymnasium of the Agnes Gray School on Main Street.

Selectmen Chairman Dennis Henderson, who has served on the board since 2006, and longtime Water District Director Shane Poland are up for re-election to three-year terms. Candidates are nominated and elected at the meeting. 

The requested $1,134,334 in the 2014 budget recommended by selectmen and the Budget Committee is $11,403 more than in 2013.

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Selectmen and the Budget Committee are recommending more money for the highway and fire departments, administration, and money for a revaluation reserve account. 

Taxpayers are likely to see a tax increase of more than a $1 per $1,000 worth of property value as a result of using less of the cash reserves and a drop in the amount of municipal revenue sharing from the state, Town Manager John White said.

Last year, the town used $115,000 from the undesignated fund balance to offset the tax levy, White said. This year, the Budget Committee and selectmen are recommending applying only $50,000 from town reserves because there is less in the fund balance, he said. 

“We’ve been pretty close on our budgets so we haven’t been dumping that money in (to fund balance) every year,” he said. “We want to preserve our fund balance so we have to cut back on the amount we use to lower taxes.”

Similarly, the amount of revenue sharing from the state continues to dwindle. Last year, the town budgeted about $107,000 and received $98,860. This year, selectmen and Budget Committee members are only expecting to receive about $75,300.

pmcguire@sunjournal.com

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