Council to hold public hearing on budget

8 years ago

The Presque Isle City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2017 budget on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 5:15 p.m., the first opportunity to help shape the city’s spending priorities over the next year.

The council has started discussions with City Manager Martin Puckett and various department heads about next year’s budget and requests for varying accounts and projects.
The city manager’s recommendation for the 2017 budget relies on a total tax commitment of $13.82 million and a mill rate of $26.06 per $1,000 of property value, both representing a 1.4 percent increase.

The city charter has a deadline of New Year’s eve for a budget to be adopted. The budget could also be approved by the City Council on Dec. 12 or 19.

The last public hearing on the budget will be at the last regular council meeting Monday, Dec. 5. The abridged and full versions of the budget are available online and at city hall and the library.

“Is still in a rough draft,” wrote Puckett in the introduction to the document, showing the costs of everything from employee salaries and health insurance to contributions toward nonprofit groups like Wintergreen Arts and Quoggy Jo Ski Club.

The City Council has approved tax increases for each of the last five years amid state funding reductions, Puckett noted. At the same time, municipal departments have seen “increased maintenance expenditures due to an aging fleet of vehicles and lack of funding for capital budgets.” Among such decisions will be whether the Recreation Department should purchase a new Zamboni ice-making vehicle for the city-run ice rink at The Forum.

The budget decisions will also be impacted by changes in the homestead exemptions, and Puckett said he also looking forward to having discussions with Maine School Administrative District 1 leaders.