NEW GLOUCESTER – Selectmen are calling for across-the-board cuts as they develop a municipal budget for 2020-21, interim Town Manager Paul First said this week.

A final budget was not made available after Thursday night’s board meeting. The initial proposal presented in January was $3.82 million.

Some of the cuts being considered, First said, include a Parks and Recreation employee position reduced to 35 hours per week, the code enforcement account, the assistant librarian position and the New Gloucester Public Library’s hours of operation.

On the expense side, town officials are looking to hire a deputy director for the Highway Department and a full-time mechanic, and selectmen are asking for an increase in their stipend.

The board’s final spending plan will go to the Budget Committee, which will hold hearings Feb. 24-26, followed by a public hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at the Meeting House in Lower Gloucester.

Last year, voters approved taking $550,000 from surplus to keep the tax rate down, First said. The surplus account had $3.45 million as of June 2019, First said. The town tries to keep between $2.5 million and $3 million in it to operate the town in case of emergencies.

The municipal budget does not include the town’s share of School Administrative District 15’s budget or the Cumberland County budget.

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