HARRISON — Town Manager George “Bud” Finch recently presented the draft budget for 2017-18, which is projected to put the tax rate at $11 per $1,000 of property valuation. The current rate is $10.95.

At the joint Board of Selectmen and Budget Committee workshop Jan. 27, Finch said that while the tax rate is expected to increase, it is less than the $11.15 of two years ago.

The projected budget for the new fiscal year is $6.83 million, which is $115,611 more than this year. It’s a 1.7 percent increase.

The increase is mainly because of state, School Administrative District 17, and Cumberland County budget increases, Finch said. 

He said he tries to minimize the impact on the tax rate through productivity improvements and cost avoidance on the town level.

“Some departments go up a little (in operating costs), some departments go down a little bit. We keep juggling ways to reduce costs,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we are now in a position where the impact of state, education and county budget increases will soon leave our only solution options to be reduced services, reduced employment or the need for increased taxes,” Finch said.

Finch became town manager in 2011 and since then the cost of municipal operations has increased by 1 percent.

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Projected budget for town of Harrison:

* SAD 17 — $3.66 million, a $54,173 increase;

* Cumberland County — $338,580, a $5,004 increase;

* Municipal government — $1.92 million, a $56,434 increase;

* Administration — $489,688, a $5,415 decrease;

* Public Works — $574,820, a $35,094 increase;

* Fire and Rescue — $103,630, a $3,504 increase;

* Solid Waste — $242,182, a $10,615 increase;

Parks and Recreation — $189,971, a $1,188 increase;

* Insurance — $51,304, no increase;

* Public Safety — $192,533, a $5,685 increase;

* Community Service — $83,450, a $5,900 increase;

Capital and Reserve — $300,000, no increase;

* Capital Roads — $600,000, no increase.

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