AUBURN — Councilors could be faced with either budget cuts or a tax increase for the next year fiscal year, according to acting City Manager Howard Kroll.

“We’ve done the best we can, and the next steps will really be up to them,” Kroll said.

City councilors will get their first look at Kroll’s proposed fiscal year 2015-16 budget at their meeting Monday. He’ll present his draft budget to councilors in a workshop, scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. in Auburn Hall.

The meeting will be shown live on Great Falls TV, Channel 7, and on the Great Falls TV website.

Councilors have said they expect city departments to stay under a 1.8 percent property tax increase. City departments have done that in spite of some increased costs that are beyond his control, Kroll said.

The Androscoggin County budget is calling for an additional $95,000 from Auburn and tipping fees at the Mid-Maine Waste Action Corp. incinerator look to increase an estimated $105,000 for the year.


“Without even touching municipal services, I’m already $200,0000 higher in that direction,” Kroll said.

Kroll said he has managed to balance most department budgets, even with those increased costs.

“Most are coming in flat-funded, or a little bit higher,” he said. “Some are even coming in with cuts.”

A 1.8 percent budget increase matches the Urban Consumer Price Index inflation rate for urban areas during the past year. That’s a spending cap councilors have set in ordinances that lets spending increase as long as the total amount of taxes the city collects stays level with the CPI.

But the cap applies to all city departments, including Auburn schools, and their budget is not below that cap. The proposed school department budget calls for a $1.9 million spending increase, roughly 4.99 percent.

Councilors could accept the budgets as they are and approve a tax increase, cut departments in the city or cut school spending.


“I’m expecting further directives from the City Council,” Kroll said. “I’m going to leave it up to them from that point. They told us come in under 1.8 percent, and I’ve managed to do that. Whether it’s going to be enough remains to be seen. We’ll do whatever we can to keep services going.”

Kroll said he had not seen a final version of the school department’s budget as of Friday.

Superintendent Katy Grondin is scheduled to present the School Committee budget at Monday’s workshop.

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