Lincolnville selectmen have endorsed a 2010-2011 budget that decreases municipal spending by 8.75 percent.

The selectmen approved the budget when they met March 8 at Lincolnville Central School and are now ready to send the proposed document to the budget committee, according to the town’s annual process, before it goes before voters for public hearing and final consideration at annual town meeting.

The selectmen also discussed March 8 the process by which citizen volunteers are appointed or reappointed to the various committees. In the current process, the town notifies the committee chairmen whose terms are expiring and the respective chairmen are asked to gauge the interest of those volunteers wanting to be reappointed.

Committee appointments are generally made at the selectmen’s meeting immediately following June town meeting. Citizens interested in serving on boards and committees are encouraged to contact the town office now to learn more and to obtain the community interest form. The selectmen did not choose to change the process at the March 8 meeting.

The proposed 2010-2011 budget (to see the entire budget, click on the link below), as endorsed by the selectmen, calls for decreasing expenditures from $1.8 million to $1.6 million. But with revenues anticipated to shrink as well, the forecast is that Lincolnville taxpayers will be presented with a 1.88 percent reduction in municipal tax bills this coming year.

Revenue streams expected to diminish include boat excise taxes, down 16.67 percent, the town’s general fund balance, and municipal revenue sharing from the state of Maine, down $102,237.

There is a split of opinion on provider agencies (Red Cross, Belfast Area Child Care Services, Camden Area District Nursing Association, Interfaith Fuel Fund, New Hope for Women, Tanglewood and more), with the Lincolnville Budget Committee recommending funding the agencies a total of $9,741 and the selectmen recommending nothing be spent on them.

Lincolnville is still paying the bank for its road improvement bond, budgeting $86,020 for this coming year. Voters approved the $850,000 road plan in 2008, spreading the cost over 15 years. The town is in year two of paying off its bond issue.

Decreases

Proposed spending decreases or zero line increases (assessing and code enforcement) are spread across several departments:

Administration decreasing by 0.82 percent to $373,335, covering five full-time employees and expenses.

Police department decreasing .03 percent, to $113,478, covering the salary of police chief ($50,774), $27,489 in part-time wages and equipment expenses.

Protection (street lights, insurance, legal services and ambulance), reduced by 4.93 percent from $84,670 to $80,497. Within this line, however, is a $13.85 percent Knox County emergency dispatch increase from $5,970 to $6,797.

Town office building decreasing by 14.4 percent from $20,934 to $17,918.

Public works (roads), down 12.7 percent from $773,779 to $675,370.

Public works (other — dams, Breezemere Park and Lincolnville Beach maintenance, athletic fields and septage disposal), down almost 12 percent, reflecting a decrease in dam account reduction and Breezemere Park maintenance reduction. This budget also reflects a 15 percent increase in septage removal from $2,500 to $2,875.

Transfer station (a shared resource with Camden, Hope and Rockport), down 4.77 percent from $98,669 to $93,958.

Harbor, down 27 percent from $23,899 to $17,399, reflecting a $4,000 reduction in the pier maintenance line.

Increases

Departments showing increases include:

Animal control, up 42 percent from $4,008 to $5,160, reflecting a potential decommissioning of an animal control officer vehicle and compensating the officer for the use of his or her own vehicle.

Fire department, up by .62 percent, from $41,240 to $41,495. The increase is primarily for equipment and purchases for turnout gear, pagers and air tanks from $7,000 this year to $8,000 next year.

Boards and committees, up by 8.49 percent from $12,270 to $13,312 for tax bill inserts for provider agencies (outsourcing printing and mailing to private business) and for a recording secretary for the planning board.

Municipal support, up 6.25 percent for aging cemetery maintenance, a $2,000 donation to help the Lincolnville Improvement Association maintain the community building.

Capital improvement

If voters approve, the town will continue to tuck away funds into its capital improvement program. Those improvements include $20,000 posted to the fire truck fund for a new truck in 2012 and  $9,000 for a new police cruiser in 2012.

The selectmen have not endorsed tucking $50,000 into the capital investment reserve for future improvements to the town office.

The total proposed funding to the capital improvement program is $29,000.

In other business, the selectmen approved a Gateway 1 Grant Oversight Committee charge and citizens who wish to serve on that committee may contact the town office; approved a liquor license renewal application for the Inn at Ocean’s Edge/True North Hospitality Partners; discussed what roads and other infrastructure improvements the town wants to have the Maine Department of Transportation consider for state funded projects; and retained $3,900 into a dam reserve account.