MECHANIC FALLS — Property owners are looking at a tax rate increase of about 25 cents under the proposed 2020-21 municipal spending plan the Budget Committee and Town Council will consider Monday.

The current tax rate of $20.95 per $1,000 of assessed property value would rise to $21.20 under the proposal.

The proposed $2.9 million municipal budget compared to $2.5 million for this year. However an anticipated increase in revenues means more than $30,000 less will be raised by taxes.

The tax rate increase is due to a higher Regional School Unit 16 budget and a higher Androscoggin County assessment.

In all, municipal, school and county spending comes in at $4.9 million for 2020-21. Last year they totaled $4.4 million.

Much of the decrease in municipal spending is attributed to removing the Recreation Committee from the operating budget and eliminating a debt service payment for the road pavement bond.

The Recreation Committee had requested $23,000 to renovate storage facilities. That amount has been placed in the Recreation Capital Improvement account. The budget will no longer fund the position of part-time recreation coordinator, a decision recommended by the Recreation Ccommittee and the Town Council.

The bond for road paving was set for $107,000, but the budget proposal seeks to delay the project.

“Considering the difficulties added to the already short paving season caused by the COVID-19 restrictions on activities for municipal staff as well as paving companies, we have opted to delay this project until spring 2021,” Town Manager Zakk Maher wrote in a memo accompanying the budget.

The decision would delay any debt service payments until the 2021-22 budget.

Town officials will still seek voter approval on the bond this year so they can accept bids on the project and be “one of the first in line for next construction season,” Maher said.

The budget presentation will be held at 7 p.m. Monday. The public may watch and listen via Zoom link or by telephone. All votes will be conducted by roll call.


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