NEW GLOUCESTER — The Budget Committee will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, at the New Gloucester Meeting House in Lower Gloucester.

The 12-member panel recommends a $2.85 million spending plan for 2014-15, while selectmen recommend $2.86 million. The difference between them is $6,250. The overall increase from this year is about $184,000.

Voters will decide the amount at the annual town meeting May 5.

Increases include:

* Reinstating the full-time public works position eliminated last year.

* Sand, salt and fuel costs.

* Annual debt service of $30,000 on the Upper Village water system.

* Paving a section of Bald Hill Road from the turnpike overpass to Route 100 for $55,000.

 * A new Fire Department ambulance paid with $70,000 from capital reserve funds.

State and property tax revenue is essentially anticipated to stay flat. The projected increase in the valuation base is $1.5 million.

The Fire Station debt of $140,000 will be paid for with funds from the Pineland Tax Increment Financing District.

Selectmen propose spending $2,250 to hire the same lawyer from Brunswick who moderated the annual town meeting in June 2013. The Budget Committee opposes the proposal.

Selectmen proposed to flat fund the Community Fair, with the requirement that it charge admission in order to receive funding for 2015-16. The Budget Committee opposes it.

Both groups agree that a merit-based pay increase for employees will not exceed 4 percent.

Cumberland County and RSU 15 assessment are not included in the municipal budget.


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