Medway to work on $130,000 budget dilemma

Posted May 07, 2010, at 8:16 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12 p.m.

MEDWAY, Maine — The Board of Selectmen will meet Monday to wrestle with a $130,000 dilemma posed within the town’s proposed 2010-11 budget, town administrative assistant Kathy Lee said Friday.

The exact meeting time is undecided, Lee said, as selectmen probably would want to attend a Katahdin Area Recovery and Expansion Committee meeting at East Millinocket’s town office at 5:30 p.m., Lee said.

A Medway town office worker said Friday that she believed selectmen would reconvene their meeting at the Medway town office when the KARE meeting ends.

The dilemma, Lee said, involves whether to shut down the town office for a day a week and make other cuts to services to ease a likely $130,000 deficit in next year’s budget, or to maintain services and increase the town’s mill rate 2½ mills. The current rate is 24.5 mills, she said.

The increase would force residents owning $100,000 worth of property to pay $2,700 in town taxes annually instead of $2,450.

The other scenario involves cutting basic town services but still falling well short of a balanced budget. The cuts, Lee has said, would include:

ä Eliminating all road paving and capital improvements next year, saving $62,000.

ä Closing the town office and transfer station a day a week and putting town office workers on 32-hour schedules. Both would save about $21,400.

ä Cutting the Public Works Department parts and transfer station line items by $15,520 and the Fire Department, payroll and radio lines by about $4,500.

A board meeting called on May 3 to allow residents to resolve the dilemma drew a relatively small crowd and a mixed message, Lee said.

According to Lee, residents “don’t want us to cut services and they don’t want the mill rate to go up,” she said.

KARE, meanwhile, will decide whether to seek a $10,000 Community Development Block Grant through Eastern Maine Development Corp., to which KARE would add $2,500 to pay an EMDC specialist to continue to help grow businesses and jobs in the Katahdin region for six more months.

The specialist’s contract, which pays him to work in the region a day a month, expires June 30.

A portion of the $75,000 that Brookfield Renewable Power Inc. pays the region annually as compensation for the shutdown of the Brookfield-owned Millinocket mill in 2008 has funded his salary and will provide the $2,500.

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