BUCKFIELD — When voters attend the annual town meeting this weekend, they will weigh in on a $3.4 million budget that has a higher projected tax rate than the current one.

Town meeting action gets underway on the 42-article warrant at 9 a.m. Saturday at Buckfield Junior/Senior High School, 160 Morrill St.

The total fiscal 2018 budget is $3.48 million, an increase of $185,888 over the current one.

Some of the increases represent salary and benefits for a new town manager, a used flatbed truck for the Fire Department, recreation batting cages and soccer goals, inside and outside work at the Municipal Center and Public Works equipment.

The town’s operating budget totals $1.82 million.

The town’s contribution to Regional School Unit 10 is $1.55 million, an increase of $56,574.

The Oxford County tax is $101,968, which is up $2,448.

The projected tax rate for fiscal 2018 is $22.80 per $1,000 of assessed value. This is an increase of $1.28 over the current rate of $21.52. For a $125,000 house, this represents $162 more in taxes.

“It’s a hard pill to swallow,” Town Manager Cindy Dunn told selectmen and Budget Committee members at their joint meeting last month. “I am not going to lie.”

The Board of Selectmen and Budget Committee differ on some parts of the budget.

They include:

* Fire Department utility task vehicle accessories: $16,550 selectmen; $0 Budget Committee;

* Fire Department: $104,455 selectmen; $103,480 Budget Committee;

* Rescue Department: $196,680 selectmen; $196,180 Budget Committee;

* Recreation Committee: $20,490 selectmen; $19,390 Budget Committee;

* Social Services: $3,250 selectmen, $3,000 Budget Committee;

* Public Works Equipment: $26,000 selectmen, $0 Budget Committee; and

* Animal Welfare: $4,190 selectmen; $3,825 Budget Committee.

Voters will also be asked to use $565,759 in local revenues, $172,850 in state revenues and $151,400 from the fund balance to lower the tax rate.

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