STRONG — Selectmen are proposing a tight budget for this year to avoid raising taxes.

In their review of department requests Tuesday night, they agreed to cut the town charges account from $28,000 to $24,000 and increase the administration budget by $1,000 to $71,000. Town charges include money to operate the town office.

Town Treasurer Sandra Mitchell said she was concerned that Spectrum, the local cable television franchise, might no longer be required to pay the town a user fee and that loss would tighten the budget even more.

Other challenges include increases in salaries and insurance and selectmen agreed they’d have to increase the amount for insurance.

Board Chairman Rob Elliott said some of last year’s costs were one-time expenses. They included software and technology upgrades to process tax payments and other accounting processes. The Harris Company in Bangor, which sells and supports TRIO municipal software packages, will conclude the year-long transition process by mid-February, according to Town Clerk Betsy DuBois.

Last year, voters took $150,000 instead of the proposed $250,000 from surplus to reduce the tax commitment. The commitments for school and county taxes, along with 2019 voter-approved increases in required raising the tax rate from $15.50 to $17.80 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation.

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