Lincolnville’s School Committee has presented a proposed 2010-2011 budget that incorporates a $6,960 reduction in expenditures from the current budget of $2.7 million.

Lincolnville Central School Principal Paul Russo described the school’s upcoming spending plan on April 27 at a joint hearing of the budget committee, selectmen and school board. The school educates students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade.

The town, likewise, presented its own budget with a 8.7 percent decrease, or $150,222, from the current budget. The public budget presentations took place in an upstairs classroom at the Lincolnville Central School and were televised over local cable television.

The budgets take different process paths but ultimately go before voters in June for final approval: the municipal budget at annual town meeting on June 12, and the school budget at a May 25 public meeting, and then at the polls on June 8.

The proposed school budget stands at $2.7 million, down $6,960 from the current budget. Of that, Lincolnville taxpayers will be asked to fund $2.3 million, down $7,161 from the current year, while the state will contribute almost $500,000 — $52,773 in educational subsidy and $421,511 in debt service for construction of the town’s new school.

Spending decreases include a $58,207 reduction in the special education account; less $3,381 in extracurricular activity spending, with fewer long-distance Busline travel games scheduled; a $14,591 decrease in support services, with nursing hours at the school reduced each day by one hour, and less spending on staff training; a $3,987 decrease in spending in the superintendent’s office; and a $3,874 reduction in operations and maintenance at the school. Some of that is due to the unexpected energy efficiency of the new 47,000-square-foot building.

According to Russo, the school burns on average 6,000 gallons of fuel per year, as opposed to 13,000 gallons.

“We are heating it on roughly half of what the engineers anticipated,” he said.

A full budget for the school’s 2010-2011 year will be available at the school’s Web site, said Russo.

The budget will go before the town at a May 25 special town meeting, beginning at 7 p.m. at the school. Citizens will vote on the floor on each account line, and have the opportunity to modify the budget. Then that final budget will go to the polls on June 8. If the budget fails at the polls, it will return to another special town meeting, and then go back to the polls.

Voters this year will also consider whether they want to continue with the current method of considering the school budget or return to the traditional way, with voting on it at town meeting. By state statute, voters must consider the budget approval process every three years.

Town budget

Proposed municipal spending is decreasing by 8.7 percent and the budget 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 and that taxpayers choose to fund them through a different process using the mailing of tax bills as the vehicle.

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 the 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 a private business) and for a recording secretary for the planning board.

Municipal support, up 6.25 percent for aging cemetery maintenance and 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 in 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.