MILLINOCKET, Maine — The fiscal year is half-gone, but already Town Manager Eugene Conlogue sees funding shortfalls that could spell big trouble, he says. They include:
· State revenue-sharing decreases to date are $101,000 less than a year ago, or $328,686 compared to $429,655 last year. Gov. John Baldacci has proposed additional major decreases to revenue sharing in this and next year’s budgets, Conlogue said.
· Vehicle excise tax revenues and Homestead exemption reimbursements are each $10,000 less than last year. “Given the recession and area unemployment, we are fortunate the difference is not larger,” Conlogue wrote in his report to the Town Council delivered Thursday.
This deficit could be erased quickly if the economy rebounds, Conlogue said.
· Recycling revenues have fallen from $42,033 last year to $18,654 this year, which he attributes mostly to the “stunning decrease in prices for recycled items compared to last year,” and to untimely sales by town workers.
Councilors discussed increasing storage space to help create more timely sales of recyclable items.
· The town’s legal fees budget is 115 percent over budget at $13,803, mostly because the town is defending itself in a lawsuit filed by retirees who claim the town had no right to alter their health insurance deal. That suit is pending.