MEXICO — Work on the development of the 2011-12 municipal budget is set to begin March 16 when selectmen will meet with the town Budget Committee.

From there, a schedule of meetings will be set. Usually, the committee and selectmen meet twice a week for several weeks before finalizing a figure to present to voters.

Town Manager John Madigan said at Tuesday’s selectmen’s meeting that some funding needs or revenues are already known. Among them is a nearly 13 percent increase in the town’s share of Oxford County taxes.

Madigan said the drop in valuation in neighboring Rumford of about $100 million led to a decrease in countywide valuation. Each town must pick up a share of the loss from Rumford. That town’s valuation loss is attributed to lower property values at the NewPage paper mill.

Mexico county taxes will rise from just over $73,000 to $82,500.

In other budgetary matters, Madigan said the town’s share of cable franchise monies from Time Warner came in higher this year than last, at nearly $10,700. He said half of whatever the town realizes from franchise fees is given to the local television access channel.

The town also learned that Northern Oxford Regional Solid Waste is returning one month’s assessment for the service to each of its six member towns, largely because of lower costs attributed to higher returnables rates. For Mexico, that means $15,000.

Last year’s approved municipal budget came in at just over $2.6 million. It carried a $21.50 per $1,000 valuation tax rate. Voters will decide on a new municipal budget at a town meeting in June.

Also at Tuesday’s board meeting, Madigan reported on a Department of Labor safety inspection of all municipal buildings done late last year that showed a variety of infractions. Because the inspection was requested, infractions can be repaired and no fines will be applied.

Madigan said most involve electrical issues, a need for emergency lights, a lack of emergency action plans for each building, and the lack of some required training. He said some of that training and testing, such as for public works employees, will likely cost a few thousand dollars which will be built into the upcoming budget.

Other infractions include a requirement to train all employees on the use of fire extinguishers, prohibited use of some extension cords and power strips, and the need for several signs.

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