Waldoboro sets third budget vote for Nov. 5
Waldoboro — It took members of the budget committee and board of selectmen less than an hour to come up with a compromise for adjusting the budget to accommodate the revenue sharing shortfall of $106,000 during a joint meeting Sept. 19.
After discussion, but no decision-making at a meeting Sept. 17, the board of selectmen unanimously approved the entire proposal presented by Town Manager John Spear. The budget committee then unanimously passed all but two articles.
Prepared and presented by Spear, the budget was adjusted for a third time.
"I feel so good about this proposal, I created it in draft form to present on the warrant," said Spear.
"People came together and made it work," said Val Skov, budget committee member. "Thank you."
The draft was outlined as follows:
— Shall the town vote to raise and appropriate $176,576 for the Finance and Customer Service Department? This was passed 7-0 by the budget committee.
— Shall the town vote to raise and appropriate $586,884 for the Police Department? This was passed 6-1, with Duncan Morrell voting against it.
— Shall the town vote to reduce the amount raised and appropriated at the June 11 town meeting for Public Works by $9,159 to $695,039? This passed by 7-0.
— Shall the town vote to reduce the amount raised and appropriated at the June 11 town meeting for Planning and Development by $8,830 to $65,499? This also passed 7-0.
— Shall the town vote to reduce by $106,000 the sum approved at the June 11 town meeting for Intergovernmental Revenues to be applied to reduce the 2014 tax rate to $234,463 to accommodate a $106,000 reduction in State Revenue Sharing? This passed by 7-0.
— Shall the town vote to increase by $5,600 the sum approved at the June 11 town meeting for Other Financing Sources to reduce the 2014 tax rate to $121,526? This passed 7-0.
It was further explained the money would be taken from a Transfer Station account to fund Public Works.
— Shall the town appropriate the sum of $25,000 from the Undesignated Fund Balance to reduce the 2014 tax rate? This also passed, but 6-1, with Morrell objecting.
"I'm voting no on this one too because we didn't build the fund balance up to what we had agreed we would," said Morrell. "This body right here used it when it was not necessary."
If the warrant passes Nov. 5, the mil rate will be set and tax bills will go out.
The final item addressed the timeline of the first 2014 tax installment, due to the referendum vote falling so closely to the original due date of Nov. 15. The selectmen voted 3-2 in favor of changing the due date to Dec. 3 — James Bodman and Ted Wooster opposed.
Bodman proposed discussion of an open town meeting.
"That way we could get everything done on time and save some money," said Bodman.
Wooster supported Bodman saying, "I agree, a third referendum could put us in the sticky."
"In 2008, 1,919 people voted for referendum voting," said Chairman Craig Cooley. He added only 717 opposed. He stated he did not feel comfortable going against what so many people wanted.
It was noted the town will need to borrow money — with anticipated interest of nearly $2,000 — as it only has enough to pay bills through Oct. 1.
Upon learning this, some residents asked if the town would accept early payments prior to tax bills being issued. The town agreed as it would lessen the amount needed to borrow.
Should the referendum fail a third time, another meeting would need to be set within 45 days.
The earliest that tax bills can be issued, if the budget is approved Nov. 5, will be about Nov. 13 or 14.
The polls will be open Nov. 5, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Waldoboro Municipal Building.
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.
Recent Stories by Beth Birmingham
Dec 06, 2013
Dec 06, 2013
Dec 06, 2013
Dec 05, 2013
Dec 04, 2013