RUMFORD — The proposed municipal budget of $10.24 million is $338,492 more than the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, Town Manager Stacy Carter said.

He said the increase is mostly due to inflation, an extra week of payroll for 2022-23 and a 15% increase in the police budget.

“A lot of that has to do with their overtime budget,” Carter said. “We’re down one officer. There’s a shortage of 300 police officers in the state, so municipalities are raising wages and we need to stay competitive so that we don’t lose anybody and we’re able to attract to fill our vacant positions.”

The town manager said the overall municipal budget increase does not mean the property tax rate will necessarily go up.

There is more coming from revenue sharing and new development that will add to the tax base, he said. “So we don’t know what the bottom line is yet … but my thought right now is that we’re probably going to hold the line.”

The first part of the Town Meeting is set for 7 p.m. June 6 at Mountain Valley High School for voters to decide on 10 articles on the annual warrant. One is whether to accept two parcels of land from Larry Costa of Andover. He is an abutter to a town parcel on Waldo Street near Hosmer Field and has has offered to donate a third of an acre on a parcel that has a storage building and a small garage, Carter said.


“One of the concerns down there is that there is very limited parking,” he said. “And when there’s games, people just park anywhere, so we hope to, in the next year or so, to do some formalized parking there.”

The second parcel at 35 Congress St. has a building on it with the back facing River Street.

“It’s a great development opportunity for us,” the town manager said. “The vacant lot we can use for parking or put it out to develop. Our recommendation to the voters is to accept it. There’s a lot of value there, and there will be a lot of increased value if we’re able to get it developed and fully utilized.”

The warrant also include a straw poll on whether voters favor appropriating money to repair and improve the 1828 Rumford Center Meeting House, the original town hall. Carter said it has significant historical value.

It is used by the Village Improvement Society, a volunteer group in Rumford Center.

Dirigo Architects looked at the building about two years ago and estimated it would cost about $600,000 to fix the foundation and bring the structure up to code, “but it likely is higher now,” Carter said.

“The grants that are available are fairly small,” he said.

Voting on the remaining 43 warrant articles, including the budget, will take place June 14 at the polls at the American Legion.

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