LISBON — The Town Council approved the final Comprehensive Plan on Tuesday, saying the document will help guide future development and priorities in the municipality for years to come.

The state approved the plan after a thorough review, and the Planning Board recommended its
adoption by the council.

“Most of the work was wrapped up about six months ago, but it’s been a two-year process from the
beginning to now,” said Ben Smith, the contracted town planner.

The plan calls for a focus on schools, roads and infrastructure, and for boosting the value of parks
and public spaces.

“These are the themes we heard come up again and again through the public process,” Smith said,
which included surveys and public meetings.

The main points of the plan are laid out in the first 16 pages. The plan will be accessible to anyone
who wants to read it.

“That was the goal — to make it more attractive, so people could, if they are moving to the town, at least
they could look at the first 16 pages and get a synopsis of what the town is all about. And then if they
want to look and see what the population trends are, it’s also there,” said Don Fellows, chairman of the
Planning Board.

The board is also likely to affirm a permit for a street party celebrating the various businesses on Main
Street with a focus on Eastcraeft, a boutique that will mark its fifth anniversary. Eastcraeft owners are leading the effort and hoping to get all of the Main Street businesses on board for an event in the fall.

In other news, the council at its June 25 meeting officially approved a nearly $10 million municipal budget for fiscal year 2020, which voters validated on June 11. The budget will not have an impact on property taxes because increases in expected revenues offset increases in expenditures. The 2020 municipal budget is just over $400,000 more than the 2019 budget.

The town manager’s budget request included the annual Capital Improvement Program, which provides
a timetable for accomplishing major improvements on a scheduled basis. Police, fire, animal control, Public Works, and Parks and Recreation departments are included, along with the solid waste treatment plant and town buildings and infrastructure.

Capital improvements, maintenance and equipment purchases total $10.4 million in the 2020 budget, to
be financed mainly through bonds and grants.

At the June 11 validation vote, residents approved the $16.8 million education budget for the coming year. It’s an increase of $425,146 over the current year.

The estimated tax increase based on fiscal year 2019 property values and revenue would be $66 per $100,000 of property value, according to Town Manager Diane Barnes, with the state contributing about $9 million to the school budget and local taxpayers contributing about $7.8 million.

Another ongoing issue is a vacant seat for a council member. Residents interested in the position can fill out nomination papers at the Town Office.

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