Limestone moves budget along

    LIMESTONE, Maine — The town of Limestone’s 2016 budget is still preliminary and town manager, Fred Ventresco, said the town is shooting for sometime mid-May to have a finalized budget.

Selectmen along with Ventresco met with local department heads on April 8 to get the ball rolling on this year’s budget.
The current departmental budget for 2015, not including schools or County tax, is $1.397 million and 2016 will see about a .2 percent increase bringing the budget to approximately $1.4 million.
“Total budget with the schools for 2015 is $2.1million. That’s the big question mark though is we don’t have any preliminary figures for schools yet for 2016,” Ventresco said.
Ventresco doesn’t expect budget numbers from the Limestone Community School or MSSM until the last minute.
The slight increase in the preliminary departmental budget is due to training obligations for the town’s new staff.
“Some lines are up, some are down. We saved considerably on changing our liability insurance this year, however we had to go up in staff training because we have all new staff here,” Ventresco said.
New staff members are required to have certifications which means travel to Bangor and Augusta.
Another expense hitting the town will be the cost to repair the roads. Selectmen discussed the rough winter and the challenges of how much it will cost for new paving, culverts, ditching, and patching potholes.
Next on Ventresco’s plate is to schedule a meeting with the budget committee to discuss the draft budget. This meeting should be within the next two weeks, according to Ventresco.