Lewiston City Council

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

City Council Chamber, City Hall

Budget public hearing

What happened: The City Council hosted the first of two public hearings on the fiscal 2018-19 budget. 

What it means: Only one person – Charles Soule – spoke during the hearing on the proposed $46.8 million budget. He encouraged voters to vote against the proposed school budget, which will go to referendum May 8. 


Overall, next year’s municipal budget represents an increase of roughly $1.6 million, or 3.7 percent. The school department has proposed increasing its spending by $8.9 million, which is offset by a 17 percent increase in state funding. 

Altogether, the budget increases would result in a property tax rate increase of $1.12, however City Administrator Ed Barrett said that number is likely to change. He said the council has already agreed to amend its debt service, which would reduce the city’s portion of the tax rate increase. 

What’s next: The City Council will continue through April with a series of budget hearings on each municipal department. A final budget public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 1, prior to the final vote to adopt the budget. 

School budget referendum set

What happened: The City Council voted unanimously to set the date of the school budget validation referendum for May 8. 

What it means: The city will host a local election for voters to authorize the fiscal 2018-19 school budget, which is proposed at $83.2 million. 


This year, Lewiston is receiving about $9.1 million more from the state, a total of $61.7 million, which includes $3.3 million for the new elementary school now under construction. To get all of the state money, local taxpayers have to spend a minimum local share for education, which this year is collectively $1.2 million more.

What’s next: If the school budget moves forward as is, taxes on a property valued at $150,000 would increase about $85.

City Manager’s contract extended

What happened: The City Council voted 6-1 to extend City Administrator Ed Barrett’s contract another year, to June 30, 2019. 

What it means: Barrett, who was hired by the city in 2009, will continue as the City Administrator, and will received a 2 percent cost of living increase in July. When his contract was extended in 2017, Barrett’s salary was $127,455. 

City Councilor Michael Marcotte provided the lone vote against the extension. He said he voted in opposition because he disagrees with the compensation package, not that Barrett should have the job. 

Barrett told the council that the 2 percent increase is based on annual increases equal to other nonunion employees. 

What’s next: Barrett’s contract will be up for another extension in the spring of 2019. 

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