Fort Kent residents approve estimated $9 million budget, elect town councilors

2 months ago

FORT KENT, Maine – About 35 residents attended Fort Kent’s annual town meeting on March 25 at the Fort Kent Community High School Gym and approved an estimated $9,035,461 budget.

At the election, held at the municipal office earlier that day, incumbent councilors Andrew Caron and Corey Pelletier were both reelected for three-year terms.

With $2,607,411 in revenues and $176,804 in Tax Increment Financing appropriations this year, the total tax commitment is estimated to be $6,604,354.

This year’s budget commitment, which includes estimated commitments for both the school and county in addition to municipal expenses, represents a $625,818 increase over last year’s total budget of $8,409,643.

The municipal budget increased by $254,447 this year, with the major increases being for police, administration, and the public works department. The budget for outside agencies increased by $371,371, with an estimated $166,237 increase for MSAD 27 and an estimated $138,187 increase for county taxes.

Town Manager Suzie Paradis said the numbers from the school and county are estimated, and that the actual number will not be clear until June.

“We put an estimated increase in our budget, but the school has not finalized their budget yet,” she said.

She said the County budget is increasing this year because they are moving from a calendar to a fiscal year.

If the estimated increases are accurate, then the town’s mill rate will increase by 1.24, going from 21 to an estimated 22.24.

On the town side, Paradis said revenues have increased at roughly the same level as expenses. She said municipal expenses went up by 9.5 percent, but revenues increased by 9.4 percent.

“We’ve held our own as far as inflation,” she said.

All articles on the warrant were related to the budget, and Paradis said each item passed without any issues or changes during the meeting.