Voters approve municipal budget at expeditious town meeting

By Susan Mustapich | Jun 14, 2019
Photo by: Susan Mustapich From left, David Kinney, Lincolnville town administrator, swears in newly elected Budget Committee member Jordan Parker, Selectman David Barrows (re-elected), and Five Town CSD board member Deb Harbaugh.

LINCOLNVILLE — A supportive group of registered voters attended Town Meeting June 13, approving a 2019-20 municipal budget, with a lower impact on property taxes than last year's budget, and all other articles on the warrant.

Voters approved municipal expenses totaling $2,094,256, up 3.5 percent from the prior year (Articles 6 through 16). With non-property tax revenues projected at $1,102,704, up 9 percent from the previous year, the amount to be raised from property tax is down 2.3 percent.

Each of the following budget categories was approved separately by voters:

Administration and finance departments, $429,503, up 4.34 percent; municipal protection, $239,684, down 3 percent,; town office building, $29,671, down 1.4 percent, contingency expenses, $10,000, no change from the prior year; code office and assessing, $86,648, up 3.5 percent; municipal boards and committees, $10,763, up 0.5 percent; municipal support, $25,755, down 9 percent; debt service, $65,350, down 7 percent; provider agencies, $7,683, no increase.

The public works budget, totaling $1,028,499, is up $58,899, up 6 percent. This includes harbor costs, $29,049, up 9 percent, with costs for repair and maintenance to the town pier up 13.5 percent to $21,500. Also included are costs for the Megunticook dams, totaling $8,000, up 370 percent. Lincolnville pays a third of the costs of the East and West dams at Lake Megunticook. Costs for maintaining the athletic fields at the Lincolnville Central School, another cost in the public works budget, totals $28,320, up 166 percent. A new plan for the fields will switch over to the use of organic products after current supplies are used up, eliminate any use of Roundup weedkiller; and pay for more maintenance.

The capital improvements program, totaling $160,500, is up $5,100. This category contains reserve funds to save for large expenses in the future, and includes the fire truck fund, road improvements, harbor improvements, town building repair fund,  and solar array purchase.

Voters also agreed to accept non-property tax revenues totaling $1,647,558, to reduce the property tax assessment. The amount includes the local non-property tax revenues,  $400,000 from the town's unassigned fund balance, or surplus, and $542.454 om state education funding (Article 17).

Voters agreed to take $175,000 from the fire truck reserve account, to be put toward the purchase of a new fire truck. The reserve account currently totals $397,000 (Article 19). Half the costs are paid by the non-governmental, nonprofit Lincolnville Community Foundation.

Also approved by voters is an easement deed to the Lincolnville Sewer District to construct and maintain a sewer pump station on the town-owned property where the Lincolnville Improvement Association building is located (Article 20).

In response to a question, Town Administrator David Kinney explained that the location has not yet been decided, but will probably be adjacent to a pump out tank near the building, which is hidden from view by some fencing. Kinney said the Lincolnville Sewer District has agreed to pay for the costs of the pump station in perpetuity. In response to another question about whether it would detract from the appearance of the building, he did not offer an opinion, but provided factual information instead. He said the pump station will be about 5 feet in diameter, he said, and mostly underground, with a control panel about 3 to 4 feet above ground.

Updates to the town's Land Use Ordinance, regarding minor changes to shoreland zoning provisions, were approved (Article 21).

The meeting was completed in 30 minutes, thanks to agreement by all to expedite certain routine votes. Voters decided a paper ballot vote was not needed to increase the property tax levy limit over what is allowed by state law, because the 2019-20 budget will not increase property taxes (Article 18). They also agreed, at the suggestion of Rosey Gerry, to approve housekeeping articles 22 through 30 in a single vote.

 

Voters at the June 13 Lincolnville Town Meeting approved a $2.09 million municipal budget. (Photo by: Susan Mustapich)
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