OTISFIELD — The Board of Selectmen approved a 45-cent increase in the mill rate for the fiscal year that began July 1, bringing the rate to $12 per $1,000 of property value.

“Many factors contributed to the increase,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Hal Ferguson said. These include lower state revenue-sharing and a $79,798 increase in the SAD 17 assessment for local schools.

The increase is also attributed to action taken at the June town meeting, including funding the Cobb Hill Road project and building improvements that include a new Town Office boiler and a Western Foothills Land Trust purchase, Ferguson said.

The $1.5 million municipal budget amounted to about a 3 percent increase over last year’s $1.47 million.

Voters supported a request from the Western Maine Foothills Land Trust for $5,000 to help acquire and protect a 252-acre parcel known as Twin Bridges as a working forest with public recreation benefits. The purchase is part of a 730-acre, $1.6 million Crooked River Forest Project in Otisfield and Harrison in collaboration with the Loon Echo Land Trust.

Voters also OK’d $55,000 for improvements to Cobb Hill Road, including $12,500 for the design by the Oxford County Soil and Water Conservation District and $42,500 for labor and materials.

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