Cushing accepts warrant without a hitch

By Juliette Laaka | Mar 19, 2014
Photo by: Juliette Laaka Cushing residents approve a $600,000 municipal budget March 18 at town meeting.

Cushing — A municipal budget totaling a little more than $600,000 was accepted unanimously by Cushing residents March 18 at town meeting.

About 40 residents breezed through the town meeting articles making no changes. The meeting lasted about a half hour.

Incumbent Laurie Haynes was elected to serve another three-year term on the select board, and Katherine E. Hoyt was elected to serve a three-year term on the assessor's board.

The total revenue to be generated to keep town operations running is $606,378. A portion of that figure, $263,493, will be paid for by boat and vehicle excise tax. The town will raise a proposed $370,939, about $50,000 more than last year.

Select board Chairman Alton Grover said a lot of little things have added up to account for the increase, including $9,500 more for the assessor's account, and $5,000 more appropriated for the fire department.

Additional money, $29,000, was voted to be raised to cover transfer station costs. In last year's budget, the entire cost of the station was covered by excise tax revenue.

Voters approved to allow the board to negotiate and finalize a loan to purchase a water access property for the town. A total of $10,000 will be added to an account for the town to purchase a deep water-access parcel sometime in the future, said Grover. About $143, 000 is currently in the account.

He said there is no land in particular eyed for purchase at this time, although some properties have been considered previously.

Larger ticket items, such as transfer station costs, a portion at $73,000, and snow removal — at $50,000 — and $60,000 for fire truck, ambulance and town truck replacements, will be covered by vehicle and boat excise taxes collected.

The highest expenditures includes the administration account, at $77,000, town office salaries, at $46,323, and county dispatching services, at $39,640. Those departments remain relatively unchanged from last year.

The fire department has proposed a $30,550 apportionment, slightly more than last year's budget of $26,387.

The assessors' account is up $9,500 from last year, totaling $32,500. This includes the assessors' agent's salary.

The social services account, money given to area nonprofits seeking assistance, such as the American Red Cross, New Hope for Women and Penquis, dropped slightly from last year, to $7,661.

Knox County dispatch is proposed to receive $39,640 for service, about $1,500 more than last year.

Cushing will raise approximately $2.5 million for the Regional School Unit 13 and $246,937 for the county tax.

Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at jlaaka@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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Juliette Laaka
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594-4401 ext. 118
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Juliette primarily covers the cops and courts beat for The Courier-Gazette.

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