SEARSMONT — Figures from Searsmont’s budget workshop Feb. 9 show a projected 2.1% increase in the municipal budget from $1,189,728 last year to $1,215,005 this year. 

The line item for Rescue, which includes EMTs and the ambulance service, saw the largest projected increase, at 20.6%, going from $40,000 last year to $48,261 this year. The line item Planning Board/CEO is projected to jump 18.5%, from $29,869 last year to $35,398 this year.

Roads and Bridges had the largest overall budget, with $446,518 expected for this year, up from last year’s $426,700. The $19,818 difference represents a 4.6% increase. 

Not all departments showed budget increases. The Fire Department is budgeted for $8,200 less this year than last. The total 2021 budget for the Fire Department was $84,765, compared to a projected $76,565 for this year, a drop of 9.6%. The transfer station saw a decrease of nearly 14.2% in its operating budget, from $71,335 in 2021 to an expected $61,220 for this year.

In the Reserve Funds budget, most accounts stayed the same, with the exception of the Emergency Management Reserve, which was funded at $500 last year, but is expected to receive no funding this year. Also, the Rescue Equipment Reserve was expected to receive $15,000 this year, a 50% increase from last year’s $10,000.

Overall, the reserve funds showed an expected 5.8% increase from a total of $76,500 last year to $81,000 this year.

Combining municipal department budgets with reserve account funds results in a 2.3% increase from $1,266,228 last year to $1,296,005 this year. This total does not include town revenues such as fees taken in by the ambulance service, Planning Board fees, cemetery fees and library donations.

No other budget workshop is planned before the April 2 town meeting.

filed under: