Limestone Town Meeting scheduled for June 13

12 years ago

Administration, Public Works proposed budgets each see $20,000 increase

By Natalie Bazinet
Staff Writer

LIMESTONE — Limestone residents will be asked to vote on 35 articles during the annual Town Meeting on Wednesday, June 13 and while most departments will see increased funding, others will not.

For the first time since June 2009, both the Board of Selectpeople and budget committee members are recommending that the town allocate nothing for community development. Last year, the town allocated $38,000 for community development and in 2010, the town allocated $48,000.

Aside from the deep community development cut, nine departments are seeing potential budget increases this year, as suggested by the budget committee and the board of selectpeople.

“With another financially tough year on the books, the Board of Selectpeople has made the request that the department heads do more with less for another year,” Selectperson Chair Fred Pelletier wrote in the town’s Annual Report. “With due-diligence, the Board of Selectpeople was able to keep the mil rate increase to approximately 1 mil that also includes the school budget request for school year 2012-13.”

In their recommendations to the town, the board of selectpeople and members of the budget committee agreed on all suggested figures for the 2012/13 budget.

Suggested allocations are in the following amounts:

• Administration: $229,235. Administration’s suggested appropriation is up $25,209 from last year’s allocation of $204,026 and up $31,678 from 2010.

• Public Works: $421,620. The Public Works suggested appropriation is a $22,480 increase from last year’s budgeted amount of $339,140 and up $72,655 from 2010.

• Police Department: $232,365. The Police Department is looking at a suggested $3,805 increase from the 2011 budget of $228,560 but the suggested increase still puts the department well below its 2010 budget of $258,152.

• Fire Department: $93,600. The suggested Fire Department budget is $3,730 lower than it was last year, and $4,132 below the 2010 budget of $97,732.

• Library: $69,509. The suggested Library budget is up $1,669 from last year. The current allocation is $1,139 above the 2010 allocation of $68,370.

• Parks and Recreation: $86,690. The suggested Parks and Recreation department for 2012/13 is up $4,290 from last year and up $1,420 from 2010.

• Insurance: $71,804. Insurance, which has been discussed by the selectpeople at multiple meetings due to its surprising increase, will see a proposed raise of $8,954 from last year’s budget. From the 2010 budget, this proposed figure represents a $7,154 increase.

• Utility services: $104,500. That $104,500 figure has been consistent since the 2005/06 budget.

• Solid Waste Disposal: $47,500. The proposed solid waste disposal allocation is up $3,000 from last year and up $3,500 from the 2010 budget of $44,000.

• County Tax: $69,137. County taxes are down $579 from last year and down $1,159 from 2010.

• Community Development: $0. As previously stated, the town allocated $38,000 last year and $48,000 in 2010. The last time the town voted $0 for community development was in 2009, after the town paid consultant Larry Stamen over $40,000 for the creation and presentation of “Limestone 2020 Vision: Blueprint for an Idyllic Maine Community.”

• Social Services: $37,160. The proposed social services budget is up $100 from last year, which was the same as the 2010 budget of $37,160.

• Unclassified: $17,668. The proposed budget for unclassified (which includes expenses like $5,000 for the Fourth of July and $2,361 for homeless shelter services) is up $147.

• Debt Retirement of the fire station: $20,914. This suggested amount is down $18,000 from the past two years; an additional article in the annual report (article 28) asks the town if they would like to allocate $18,000 from income the fire department earned when the former central heating plant at Loring was imploded last August, which would be used toward debt retirement of the fire station.

The town is also looking to raise and appropriate $2,000 for the parks and recreation reserve account, $10,000 for the public works reserve account, $10,000 for the library building reserve account and $5,000 for the revaluation account.

Usage of the income from the heating plant implosion, as previously mentioned, is discussed in five articles; the town will be asked to vote on whether implosion proceeds can be used to purchase an in-car camera for the police department at $4,000, two GTU-10 GPS trackers for the police department ($400 total), maintenance on the police department’s Ford Explorer ($1,600), the previously mentioned $18,000 for the Fire Department Debt Reduction and $2,319 to reprogram the town’s radios for the new narrow-banding frequency.

The annual town meeting is at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the Limestone Community School.