LINCOLNVILLE — The budget that will be put before voters at town meeting has been finalized. If approved as recommended by the Select Board and the Budget Committee, the budget will raise $891,195 from taxes, an increase of just 0.55% from last year’s $886,355. The total municipal budget recommended by the two bodies, not including the town’s share of county and school budgets, is $2,685,723, a 17.8% hike from the $2,279,198 approved last year.

For each spending article on the warrant, residents will see the amount spent in fiscal year 2021, the amount approved for fiscal year 2022 (which ends in June) and the Select Board and Budget Committee recommendations for fiscal year 2023. The board and Budget Committee agree on all their recommendations.

Among the larger changes in this year’s budget versus last year’s is the amount allocated to reduce property taxes. This year, Select Board members recommend using $1,794,528 for this purpose, up 28.8% over last year’s $1,392,843. Town Administrator Dave Kinney told The Republican Journal April 20 that one reason for the increase is that the town is getting more money in state revenue-sharing than last year, and those funds are intended to be used to reduce property taxes. In addition, he said, the town has recently sold one parcel of tax-acquired property and plans to sell another in the near future; the receipts from those sales will go into the town’s fund balance, increasing the amount in that account to be used to offset taxes.

Another sizeable change is in Public Works, recommended to rise from $1,033,632 to $1,240,021, a jump of 20%. Kinney said part of the reason for the increase in this area is simply the work planned for this year under the 10-year resurfacing program. He noted that the town tries to schedule portions of road that are near each other to be done in the same season. Work scheduled for this year includes Heal Road, the paved portion of Martin Corner Road, Proctor Road, as well as culvert trench patching. Also contributing to the increase in this item is the fact that the cost of paving is up, he said.

The amount allocated for Capital Improvements is slated to rise 76.3%, from $178,250 for fiscal year 2022 to $314,250 for 2023, in part because the town needs to start setting aside money to pay for a property revaluation, which was last implemented 15 years ago, Kinney said. The total cost is expected to be $250,000, with $100,000 allocated this year and next, and the remaining $50,000 allocated in fiscal year 2025, when the revaluation should be ready for implementation throughout the town.

Another item that saw a big jump this year was road improvement, the account where the town puts aside money to upgrade town roads to a better standard so that less money has to be spent on repairs, he said. One of the projects included under this item is reconstruction of Calderwood Road; another is a drainage structure for Townhouse Road, according to the notes in the budget.

A third item, harbor improvements, including the rewiring of the town pier at a cost of $35,000, was considered for funding from Capital Improvement monies. However, the Select Board chose instead to pay for that work out of the Harbor Savings Account, which, according to the notes, is expected to contain about $170,000 at the end of fiscal year 2022.

Also recommended to rise is Debt Service, budgeted to go from $58,367 to $76,518, a jump of $31.1%. Kinney said the reason is that in 2018 the town agreed to pay the Lincolnville Sewer District $190,000 over 10 years once its project was complete to help with the debt service on the project. The sewer district serves the Lincolnville Beach business district and the nearby residential area, Kinney said, primarily along routes 1 and 173.

The town meeting is at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 16, at Lincolnville Central School.

filed under: