By Diana Bowley of the News Staff - DEXTER - Municipal officials have restructured and shaved their accounts to bring the proposed budget in under last year's spending plan, despite the rising costs of fuel and utilities.
While the budget has not yet been finished, Town Manager Judy Doore said the proposed budget is approximately $3.3 million, which is below the current $3.4 million budget.
The council's emphasis is not to exceed the 2005-2006 mill rate of $23.70 per $1,000 valuation, she said Monday.
The council will meet next to discuss the budget at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 15, in council chambers. "We're doing more with less," Doore said of the restructuring.
The parks and cemetery departments have been combined, as have the public works and facilities committees. That restructuring eliminated a three-fourths position, she said.
The town is faced with two large projects this year, the funds for which likely will be borrowed, according to Doore.
The council wants to do a revaluation and has awarded a contract to do the work at a cost of $139,000, contingent upon budget approval. In addition, the Wassookeag Dam needs immediate repair, which is estimated to cost $175,000.
"These two projects are pretty critical," Doore said. She anticipated that the council will vote to borrow the funds over a three- to seven-year period.
The proposed budget includes the purchase of a new loader at a cost of $112,000, funded mostly through reserve funds, and a $20,000 police cruiser. About $27,000 is left from the sale of the Hewitt Building and these funds will be used to buy the cruiser and for the replacement of the roof over the police station, work that already is under way. The leaky roof caused such damage last fall that the town had to file an insurance claim, Doore said.
The council also has budgeted $68,000 for the repair of the Morrison Building roof and the area around "Nancy," the town clock.
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