POLAND — Voters at the annual town meeting Saturday will act on a proposed budget of $790,000 for basic services, including administration, General Assistance and the library. The amount is $107,000 less than this year’s spending plan.

In addition, suggested budgets for Public Works and Solid Waste departments, as well as Public Safety, which includes dispatch, police protection and the fire/rescue department, total nearly $1.8 million and are virtually at this year’s level.

“I have to hand it to my department heads,” Town Manager Rosemary Roy said. “They have worked incredibly hard to watch their spending: working to find better ways, thinking of new ways to do things for less in order to keep budgets down.”

Roy noted that the amount being requested to support various capital improvement projects has been reduced to $768,000, or nearly $150,000 less than this year’s budget.

Roy was not optimistic that these efforts to reduce the budget will be sufficient to ward off an increase in the town’s property tax rate. That’s because the town could see the possible loss of more than $450,000 from various state revenue sources.

“And all this is before you figure in what the school budget is going to be,” Roy said.

In addition to budgetary issues, townspeople will act on a number of minor changes to the town’s land-use code and adjustments to zoning maps, chiefly in redefining shoreland and resource protection boundaries.

Townspeople will be asked to amend the town’s beach ordinance to prohibit smoking and the use of tobacco products at the Tripp Lake town beach, to decide how money from the Downtown Village TIF District should be spent and whether to authorize selectmen to negotiate the purchase, sale and removal of the building between the Town Hall and the Ricker Library, the so-called Walker House.

The town meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 6, at Poland Regional High School. The town charter requires that a minimum of 100 registered voters be present and that quorum must stand for the remainder of the meeting in order for the town to legally conduct its business.


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