CARTHAGE — The tax rate is on track to fall by $2 per $100,000 of property value as townspeople vote Monday on a budget at town meeting at 7 p.m. at the Town Office.

“This is an unusual year for us because of the taxes from the 12-turbine Saddleback Ridge Wind project,” Selectman Stephen Brown said Friday.

“If things pass as proposed there, the tax rate will drop from $15 mills to $13,” Brown said. “And we had already dropped it from 18 the previous year. The tax rate is going down because the valuation of the town is going up.”

He added, “This is the highest valuation that Carthage has had for a full valuation of the town. It will decline from here because the turbines depreciate.” 

 The proposed budget is $394,458. 

Brown said the town has a little more money to spend, so $100,000 would be set aside toward replacing the compactor truck.  

“There’s a considerable delay for the school assessment increase to kick in, so we’re setting money aside to cover that,” he said. “We’re also putting more money toward sanitation, upgrades to the Transfer Station. We’re also looking for more money in the tarring and reconstruction road account.”

The town re-decked a couple of the bridges this year, he said. It will be working on replacing a large culvert in the future.

The town, with a population of 563, has gradually been growing. Brown said Carthage now is in a five-year contract with Municipal Waste Services in Norridgewock. The town is hauling the trash, as well, and is working toward getting a larger truck so fewer trips to the landfill will be necessary.

The town has paid off a used firetruck, which cost $100,000.

Brown said Carthage gets $48,000 per year from the Saddleback Ridge Wind Community Benefits Fund.

Articles 44 and 45 ask voters to appropriate some money from that fund, with $2,000 for the new Generations Club.

“It’s kind of a new Mothers Club, but anyone can join,” Brown said.

The Budget Committee recommends budgeting $5,000 for the Newman Cemetery Association for additional fencing. The cemetery is the largest in town.

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