AUBURN — City Manager Clinton Deschene said he is shopping a slimmer budget among department heads, keeping with a council directive that would trim at least $300,000 off of his budget request.

“I have a draft that staff worked on last week and I’m getting comments from department heads right now on what they like or don’t like about the changes and to see if they have other ideas about how to do it,” Deschene said.

He said he plans to present the updated budget at the council’s next regular meeting on May 6 and said a draft should be made public before that meeting.

Deschene outlined his first draft budget to councilors on April 1. It would have increased spending by $930,464, a 2.56 percent change. Last week, councilors directed Deschene to match the consumer price index, adopting a budget with a 1.7 percent increase.

“That’s a 1.7 percent increase for the entire city, for schools and municipal,” Deschene said.

It’s part of the schedule Deschene said he’s working on that would get the entire municipal budget settled and approved by May 28, before the June 11 school budget referendum.

A 1.7 percent increase amounts to a $619,000 increase over last year’s approved $36.4 million municipal budget. Depending on state revenue, that could lead to a tax rate increase of about 34 cents per $1,000 of property value, or roughly a $50 increase on the tax bill for a home valued at $150,000.

Deschene told councilors he expects they will have to adopt a supplemental budget later this year once the state settles its budget and determines how much Maine cities and towns will receive.

Councilors on Monday continued reviewing departmental budget requests based on the April 1 budget. Monday, they heard from the police and fire departments. Under Deschene’s April 1 budget, those departments would have received $7.7 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year — $4.2 million for the Fire Department and $3.5 million for the Police Department.

“But the 1.7 percent request is not for every department,” Deschene said. “It’s for the city as a whole. Some departments will have smaller budgets and some will be allowed to increase a little.”

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