AUBURN — Councilors are close to finishing work on next year’s budget, according to City Manager Clinton Deschene.

Councilors are slated to meet Monday for a first vote on the proposed budget. A final vote would be scheduled in the next few weeks.

“If councilors don’t have a finished budget by Monday night, I think they’ll at least be close,” Deschene said.

Monday’s meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. with a workshop and two executive sessions to discuss potential staffing cuts.

“It is a personnel matter, so we can’t talk about it in public yet,” Deschene said. “We want the council to go in with the city attorney to talk about what that means. It’s about $300,000 in cuts that are all over the city, affecting everybody a little bit.”

The regular meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

The City Council is considering a draft 2014-15 budget that calls for $76.4 million. It includes $38.6 million in school spending and $37.9 million for city departments.

As first proposed, it would push the tax rate up about $1.05 per $1,000 of property value and collect more than $41 million in property taxes. Property taxes on a $150,000 home would rise $157.50, based on that proposed budget.

But councilors said they want to keep any tax increase below the inflation rate, requiring $1.7 million in cuts from the proposed municipal budget and $300,000 from the school budget.

Deschene presented a proposed $1.8 million in budget adjustments earlier this month. Those adjustments would reduce a proposed tax rate increase to 25 cents for both city functions and Auburn schools.

“Overall, it represents some reductions and a couple of increases based from my original city manager’s budget,” he said.

Curbside recycling would be back at current twice-monthly levels, using an outside contractor to do that work. The city would create a fire department-based ambulance service that would be designed to bring in new revenues.

Deschene’s proposal also does away with training in many departments, a $4,500 plan to provide tablet computers for city councilors and cuts most services shared with Lewiston.

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