The proposed 2013 municipal budget, at $546,918, shows a 7 percent decrease from last year's approved figure.

The $44,000 reduction is due in part to a $30,000 drop in money apportioned to the Waldoboro Transfer Station.

Last year, $95,000 was secured for the payment, as opposed to $65,000 proposed this year. Select Board Chairman Alton Grover said the figure is not really lower, there was just a balance left over from last year.

Larger ticket items, such as transfer station costs, snow removal — at $50,000 — and $55,000 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 Tuesday, March 19.

The budget committee recommends allocating $20,000 for replacing a snow plow, $20,000 for fire truck replacement and $15,000 for an ambulance replacement.  Grover said money is added to existing accounts each year until enough money is raised to purchase new vehicles.

The total amount covered by excise taxes is $226,000.

To cover the remainder of the half-million budget, $320,918 must be raised by the town, if approved. This number is $12,639 less than last year.

The administration account is proposed at $76,000, the same figure as last year. The town office salaries category increased from $41,157 to $46,012 due to the hiring of a harbormaster and an increase in the salary of the animal control officer.

The fire department has proposed a $26,387 budget, slightly lower than last year's figure by $405.

The assessors' account is up $3,000 from last year, at $23,000.

The social services account, money given to area nonprofits seeking assistance, such as the American Red Cross, New Hope for Women and Penquis, dropped $3,000 from last year, to $8,031.

Knox County dispatch is proposed to receive $38,000 for service, remaining unchanged from last year.

Cushing receives a little more than $78,000 a year in municipal revenue sharing. If Gov. Paul LePage's proposed biennial budget is passed without modification, the town would lose that money — a prospect that concerns Grover.

Town meeting is slated for March 19, 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 jlaaka@courierpublicationsllc.com.