NEW GLOUCESTER — The public got a say on the Budget Committee’s proposed $2.86 million budget for fiscal year 2015 at a meeting that drew eight citizens Wednesday.

The 12-member budget group advises the Board of Selectmen, which will make budget recommendations for voters as it finalizes the town warrant this month in preparation for the upcoming May 5 town meeting.

Resident Roger Levasseur’s questions Wednesday clarified that the $70,000 to buy an ambulance to replace a loaner would be taken out of the capital reserve account, not taxation.

Levasseur and others spoke against funding a town meeting moderator for fiscal year 2015 at $2,250.

Last year’s annual town meeting brought a Brunswick lawyer to run the meeting for the first time. But residents said there are capable townspeople who could moderate the meeting.

A problem in the current fiscal year budget is unanticipated overspending on fuel, sand and salt from the harsh winter. The extra cost has surpassed the budget allocation and will be computed, Interim Town Manager Paul First said.

Resident Alan Gregory asked about the future funding of the Town Fair. Selectmen have said that to receive funding, the fair must begin charging admission. The Budget Committee allocated $1,000 for the event.

Budget Committee Chairwoman Tammy Wayboer said this budget was challenging. The group held four workshops and met with some department heads and selectmen for a joint meeting.

“There is a lot of expense, a lot of money, but not a lot of fluff in the budget,” she said.

Budget Committee member Lenora Conger said, “The town is like any business. It has to have its own limits. It can’t exceed what taxpayers can afford to pay. We are conscious of what our people in our community can afford to spend.”


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