NORWAY — Town Manager David Holt unveiled his proposed $2.7 million municipal budget Thursday night, saying it doesn’t mean major changes to the tax rate.

The budget of $2,705,305 is $110,464 more than this year and includes a 2.5 percent pay increase for employees and money to buy a new Fire Department pumper and a Highway Department grader.

The town’s 1997 grader has cost taxpayers about $88,000 in repairs already. Its replacement would be new and paid for with $120,000 from the equipment reserve fund and borrowing $105,000.

The cost of the $325,000 firetruck, a four-wheel pumper to access many remote parts of towns, would be paid for with $125,000 in the truck reserve account and bond proceeds of $200,000.

“This budget does not propose major changes to the tax rate,” Holt told the Board of Selectmen and newly appointed 15-member Budget Committee.

He said the $100,000 drop in state revenue over three years and approximately $300,000 drop in excise taxes in the last six years is “worrisome,” but certain things had to be taken care of this year.

He has proposed $200,000 for rural roads and $48,000 for the maintenance of in-town roads, plus funding many of the reserve accounts for items such as bridges.

In requesting the 2.5 percent pay raise for employees, Holt said, “We think it makes sense to invest in the people who serve you.”

Employees were not given pay raises last year.

Holt said one of the issues he is working on this year is shared services. Norway Savings Bank and the town are planning development of the former Herbie Roberts property on Danforth Street to increase parking. That move will also free up money being saved to refurbish the house.

The town is also proposing sharing a building code enforcement officer with Woodstock and Greenwood to save money. Selectmen on Thursday unanimously approved the appointment of Joelle Corey-Whitman as Norway’s part-time code enforcement officer. She succeeds Jeffrey Van Decker who will retire May 1. The other two towns must now approve her appointment and work out a schedule among themselves.

The Budget Committee and selectmen will begin meeting next week to hear budget presentations from each of the departments.

Voters will act on the final budget recommendation at the annual town meeting June 20.

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