New budget on agenda for Pittsfield council

Posted Nov. 16, 2009, at 10:22 p.m.

PITTSFIELD, Maine — Budget season begins in earnest tonight when the Town Council begins soliciting public feedback on the town’s 2010 spending plan.

Tonight’s preliminary discussion, according to the agenda for the meeting, will set the stage for a night of public comments Dec. 15.

The 2010 budget proposal, which was developed by Town Manager Kathryn Ruth and the heads of town departments, calls for a 2 percent decrease, or about $57,000, in spending, according to a memo to the council from Ruth.

The combined capital and municipal budget is proposed to be $2,829,473. It doesn’t include expenditures for public schools and county government, which won’t be known until next spring because those entities operate on a July-June fiscal year.

Despite the decrease in expenditures, Ruth wrote that because of sinking revenues and rising costs in other areas, taxpayers could face a tax increase. The town won’t know how much the tax increase will be until all of the factors that affect the budget are known, which includes any changes decided by the council in the coming weeks.

The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, in Town Council chambers in the basement of the Municipal Building.

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