AUBURN — In a meeting that saw little drama, the City Council on Monday night approved a $90.1 million budget for 2019-20.

That is compared to earlier this month, when the council voted to reconsider its initial decision to vote down the 2019-20 budget.

This time, the vote was unanimous in favor of the spending plan that will add 15 cents to the property tax rate, equaling a bump of $22.50 on the tax bill of a home valued at $150,000.

Prior to the vote, Councilor Andy Titus made a motion to reduce next year’s tax levy by $300,000 because of additional state-revenue sharing Auburn is expecting from the state.

Titus proposed putting half of the city’s expected take of $600,000 into the city’s fund balance, with half going toward property tax relief.

Assistant City Manager Phil Crowell and Finance Director Jill Eastman said the plan was sound, and was supported by City Manager Peter Crichton, who was absent Monday.


The council initially voted down next year’s budget during the first reading June 3, but revisited its decision and flipped the vote, backing the $90.1 million budget for 2019-20.

Recycling Committee

Also on Monday, the City Council unanimously approved a document outlining the the purpose, composition and goals of its recently formed recycling committee.

The committee was created in May after the council decided to hold off on a previous call to suspend the city’s curbside recycling program. While some officials have argued the program is more costly than beneficial because markets for some materials are down significantly, others have defended the program and practice of recycling as necessary for the environment.

The committee, according to the memo Monday, will be comprised of six residents and one city councilor, appointed by the City Council for a six-month term with the option to expand the term an additional six months. The committee will have a minimum of six public meetings.

The memo lays out its main goals to “identify the key impacts of the current recycling program; compare the current model with different models we could adopt; identify our current costs for recycling and compare with other municipalities, which have adapted to the changing market; and create a public education and awareness campaign for the recommended changes.

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