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Hope budget sees increase for fire truck reserve, admin

By Daniel Dunkle | Apr 01, 2021

Hope — The Budget Committee has been holding meetings to go over the proposed $1,161,885 municipal budget, which is up 6% ($69,478).

The proposed mil rate is 17.73, up from 16.7, where it has been for the past two years.

The amount of the budget to be taken from property taxes is about $508,000, up 11.6 percent.

School budgets make up the largest portion of the property tax bill. Hope Elementary School costs the taxpayers $2,041,167, up 8% and the Five Town CSD & Adult Education costs another $802,455, up 1%. County taxes are $293,618, up about 2%.

One large increase is in reserve accounts, which is up 52% ($31,335) to $91,535. Town Administrator Samantha Mank said the Fire Chief has asked to put $30,000 in the fire truck replacement reserve. “Last year the Select Board created the Fire Truck Maintenance Reserve, which cannot have a balance that exceeds $30,000. The plan is to put $5,000 each year until the balance has reached the maximum amount.”

The $321,303 administration budget is up 18% or $48,787. “Costs include adding new positions, planning for 3-4 elections, wage increases, utility increases, a/v equipment, and subscriptions,” Mank said.

The public safety budget of $150,300 is up 2% ($2,479). Mank said costs include wage/stipend increases and a small increase to ambulance service. This budget includes fire department, animal control and ambulance.

Public Works is $598,747, down 2% ($13,123). Mank said, “There were many carry-forwards of funds from FY21 to FY22 since Covid-19 restrictions didn’t allow for much of the work on cemeteries and recreation to get completed. The roads budget is down as is sanitation. The sanitation is down because Mid-Coast Solid Waste has contracted to take the trash to a different place for the next few years, hence a decrease in hauling costs.”

There will be a special election April 27 to fill vacancies on the Select Board. The regular election will be June 8.

The Budget Committee is meeting every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and plans a final vote for April 22.

Town Meeting is tentatively planned for June 22.

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