PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The proposed 2024 budget presented by outgoing City Manager Martin Puckett is lower than the current budget, but the total appropriation from taxes would increase.
Puckett, whose last day as city manager will be Oct. 15, presented the proposed budget to Presque Isle’s City Council on Wednesday. The next budget meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 18.
Infrastructure investments are a major factor in the $14.2 million proposed budget for 2024, which is down from $17 million in 2023, including airport terminal funding, a Main Street redesign and large capital projects from each department.
The total appropriation from taxes would increase by 1.81 percent from the 2023 budget. Revenue is expected to increase by $744,000.
A project to repair two large culverts that have collapsed on Egypt Road is estimated to cost $1 million, but Puckett recommended a 10 year loan costing $120,000 per year for the project.
Minimum wage increases adjusted for inflation that cover election workers, part-time city staff, and address the inequities in management level positions are projected to cost around $325,000.
The public works budget is proposed to more than triple, from $150,000 in 2023 to $493,000.
Puckett said public works needs a new plow truck that will cost $255,000, and he recommended the city use solid waste reserves to pay for it as it has done in the past. A new snowblower costing $210,000, which will be hooked to a loader and used to clean the downtown and country road areas, is also needed, Puckett said.
Replacement of the heating system for public works has an estimated cost of $130,000. The proposed paving cost of $620,000 for 2024 is up from $570,000 in the 2023 budget.
At the start of the meeting, Puckett was presented a chair inscribed with the dates of his tenure as city manager, and the city dedicated a new conference room to him for his years of service.
Lewis Cousins, the city assessor, will serve as an interim city manager until a replacement is found.
“It’s been a pleasure serving the citizens of Presque Isle,” Puckett said.