NEWRY — Selectmen finalized their 2014-15 municipal budget Tuesday night and approved taking $346,000 from surplus for two paving projects and to lower the tax rate.

Now it’s up to voters on Monday, March 3, to decide if they want to accept the board’s recommendations, administrator Loretta Powers said Wednesday morning.

Excluding the county assessment of $344,983 and the estimated SAD 44 assessment of $2.78 million, voters will consider a municipal budget of $829,475. That’s up $57,637 from last year’s $771,838.

Selectmen decided to pave Skiway and Monkey Brook roads this year using $200,000 from surplus. That money and $71,000 from surplus that is designated for engineering on the Sunday River Road reconstruction project will be placed in the Capital Projects account pending voter approval.

Another $75,000 will be taken from surplus to reduce the property tax burden, Powers said.

The board also learned that the county tax assessment dropped $2,393, going from $347,376 last year to $344,983 this year.

Other than proposed road work, planned improvements and maintenance to the Bear River Grange Hall account for $23,000. This includes $9,000 for furnace replacement and $3,500 to repair chimney leaks, according to the budget document.

The account jumped from $12,500 last year to $35,500 this year.

Proposed work at the municipal building sparked a $16,000 increase. That includes $3,500 for chimney leak repairs, $6,000 for security improvements and $6,000 for a new carpet. That account increased from $27,500 last year to $43,350 this year.

In other business, Powers said selectmen opened bids for engineering work on the Sunday River Road project. Code Enforcement Officer David Bonney is reviewing the bids and will accept one, which will be brought before selectmen at their March 18 meeting, she said.

The project involves reconstructing a 1,200-foot section of the Sunday River Road in the Nordic Knoll Road and Letter S swimming hole area. Voters still have to approve it at town meeting.

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