Proposed Cushing budget up 11 percent
Cushing — A municipal budget totaling a little more than $600,000, an increase of 11 percent from last year's proposal, will be put before voters March 18 at town meeting.
Two town political seats are also open, with incumbent candidates running unopposed. Laurie Haynes is running to keep her three-year selectman seat and Katherine E. Hoyt is seeking a three-year term on the assessor's board. Voting will take place at the community center Monday, March 17.
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.
The selectmen will also ask voters to approve the board to negotiate and finalize a loan to purchase a water access property for the town. $10,000 will be added to an account for the town to purchase a deep water-access parcel sometime in the future, said Grover.
He said there is no land in particular eyes 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 if approved by voters at town meeting March 18.
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.
Grover said he is not sure yet what amount of revenue sharing the town is set to receive from the state. Last year, the town was projected to receive $54,000.
Town meeting is slated for Tuesday, March 18, at 7 p.m. at the Cushing Community Center.
Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.