WATERFORD — Voters will be asked to approve a $1.5 million municipal budget at the annual town meeting Saturday, March 4.

Voters will meet at 9 a.m. in the Waterford Municipal Building, 366 Valley Road, to act on a 70-article warrant.

The Board of Selectmen reports that if the budget is passed as presented, this year’s tax rate will remain at $15.30 per $1,000 of assessed value. It is the same rate as 2016 and only $0.10 more than 2015.

The proposed budget is $37,208 more than last year.

In his annual report to residents, board Chairman Randy Lessard said the town’s financial situation is sound. That good news is allowing the board to request funds from the Surplus Account to create a new part-time recreation position.

Voters will be asked to approve funding a part-time community coordinator who will organize, coordinate and communicate with all the volunteers who help with sports and recreation programs in town, particularly for youth and senior citizens. The position will be funded over a three-year period using $18,500 from surplus.

In other action, voters are being asked to appropriate the following:

Highway Department, $202,161;

Fire Department, $45,000;

Operation of the Transfer Station, $184,332;

Resurfacing roads, $300,000;

Winter road care, $114,214;

Future purchase of equipment, $50,000; and

Upkeep of municipal buildings, $26,300.

Voters will also be asked to appropriate $123,922 for town employee salaries; $32,900 for sports and recreation activities; $75,000 for health insurance; and $25,170 for a certified assessor.

Officials are asking voters to approve $6,150 for charitable organizations, a total of $2,250 less than the actual requests from 11 organizations. Organizations failed to provide information on their financial benefit to the town, with the exception of Androscoggin Home Care and Community Concepts Inc. Seven of the 11 organizations provided the number of Waterford residents served.

Voters are asked to appropriate $27,500 for the legal expense account. According to the board, the town has funded this account at $40,000 for the past three years. Last year, the town was awarded approximately $30,000 in connection with a subdivision violation case. Nearly all of that award compensated the town for legal fees.

Selectmen are requesting voters allocate $26,676 from the 2016 school tax surplus to lower the school portion of the tax rate.

Selectmen said when the tax rate was set last year, the estimated amount of taxes required to cover payments to the School Administrative District 17 was $26,676 less than budgeted. State law mandates that any unspent money raised for the schools be carried forward for the same purpose in the next fiscal year.
The school budget is still being developed so the actual assessment to Waterford is not available.
Town reports are available at the Town Office.

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