DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — While the proposed 2009-2010 municipal budget reflects less spending, more will be required from surplus to offset an anticipated loss of nearly $170,000 in declining revenues.
Dover-Foxcroft Town Manager Jack Clukey told selectmen Monday that the proposed budget reflects an increase in the use of the town’s undesignated fund balance (surplus) from $165,000 this year to $200,000 in 2010 to offset the tax commitment. The increase from the surplus account is possible because the town didn’t use all of the contingency funds set aside for 2009, he said.
“We’ve got a base budget that stays within LD 1,” Clukey said Tuesday. “Our challenge is to meet the needs of the town with declining revenues and a difficult economy.”
The proposed budget will be reviewed next month by the town’s budget advisory committee before presentation at the annual town meeting in June.
Clukey said the proposed budget reflects an overall net reduction of $48,735 in spending, but also defers some important expenditures, particularly capital budget items. As examples, he said the budget contains no funds for:
ä Replacement of the grader and the excavator for the public works department;
ä Additional seasonal employees for road work such as reconstruction of the dump road or funds to do other gravel road reconstruction projects.
ä Paving outside of the approximately $80,000 allotted for paving through the state road assistance funding.
If the funding for these expenditures and other capital needs were included in the budget it would increase the LD 1 limit by $208,075, according to Clukey.
What really hurts this year’s budget is the projected decline of revenues because of the depressed economy, including about $60,000 less in local excise tax collections and about $48,000 less in state revenue sharing funds, Clukey said.
“This proposed budget is a starting point and it is the beginning of a process by which I hope the town can set priorities and provide for the long term needs of the town, including the need to operate with limited financial resources and within this current difficult economic environment,” Clukey said.