$106,000 budget adjustment fails in Waldoboro
Waldoboro — A second referendum-style town meeting failed to pass proposed municipal budget adjustments at the polls Sept. 10.
The question failed with a vote of 221-188. The other four articles on the ballot were approved.
Article 4 was designed to accommodate the $106,000 reduction in state revenue sharing.
The original amount proposed for the police department for 2014 was $641,585, and did not pass at the polls in June. Subsequently, the board presented a budget of $581,585 — a $60,000 reduction.
The $704,198 public works budget did pass in June, however with the impending revenue sharing deficit, the board recommended a reduction of $35,000.
These two items alone account for $95,000 of the $106,000 the board sought to cut from the municipal budget to accommodate the reduction in state revenue sharing.
The remaining $11,000 was proposed to be deducted from the Finance and Customer Support Department and borrowing from undesignated fund balance — in the amount of $2,710 and $8,290 respectively.
As a result of this failed attempt, the board of selectmen will now meet Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m. to determine how to proceed.
If the board decides to call a third referendum-style town meeting, the tentative plan would be to hold it Tuesday, Nov. 5 in conjunction with the state referendum. In order to hold the referendum-style meeting on that date, the selectmen must, by law, deliver the warrant to Town Clerk Linda Perry no later than Saturday, Sept. 21.
Town Manager John Spear also said that should a referendum-style town meeting be called, the budget committee would need to reconvene, as state law requires its recommendation to be printed on all appropriation articles.
In order to comply with this tight timeline, it is tentatively planned that a joint meeting of the selectmen and budget committee will be held Thursday, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m.
Should the selectmen decide — at the Sept. 17 meeting — to call a traditional open town meeting, the budget committee may or may not need to meet, depending on what action the selectmen propose to take, Spear said.
The articles that did pass Sept. 10 were:
Article 2 sought voter authorization for the selectmen to expend an amount not to exceed six-twelfths of the previous year's appropriation should any municipal budget question fail to pass. This passed 299-106, with six blank ballots.
Article 3 sought voter approval for the 2014 budget for the Office of the Town Clerk in the amount of $69,874. At the June 11 town meeting, this amount was included in the Finance and Customer Service budget, which did not pass. Subsequently, the selectmen decided to present the budget for the town clerk as a separate article. This passed 275-132, with four blank ballots.
Article 5 asked for voter approval to authorize the selectmen to release the Lincoln County Fish and Game Association from deed restrictions in the April 17, 1948 deed from the town that conveyed the 196 Cross St. to the association. This passed 325-79, with seven blank ballots.
And Article 6 asked for voter approval to designate certain areas of town that are frequented by children, such as parks, as drug-free safe zones. This passed 365-45, with one blank ballot.
There are more than 3,700 registered voters in Waldoboro. A total of 411 cast their votes.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
594-4401 ext. 125
Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.
Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.
Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.
Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 13.
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