ORONO, Maine — The Orono Town Council approved a nearly $8 million municipal and a $13 million school budget for fiscal year 2010-11 at a meeting earlier this week.
Despite a $5,985 decrease in the amount to be raised by taxes, homeowners should expect to see a slight rise in property taxes — about $10 for home valued at $150,000 — due to a statewide reduction in the Homestead Exemption. The decrease in tax revenues should lead to a 2 cent mill rate decrease.
Funds available for economic development will rise $281,040 from last year, a whopping 733.79 percent. A large part of this revenue will come from $112,000 in tax increment financing funds for the downtown area and a $96,500 riverfront community development block grant, which is being used to construct a park along the Stillwater River at the end of Summer Street.
According to the five-year capital forecast also approved by the council at the meeting, expenditures are expected to rise to a staggering $4,034,500 due mainly to a $3 million allocation to the facilities budget for the public works department. Town Manager Cathy Conlow said this amount has not been finalized but is more of a reminder to the council that the facility needs to be replaced.
Expenditures in the school budget for 2010-2011 are expected to rise by $258,644 to a total of $13,349,091, an amount that will be offset by a $357,258 increase in revenues. This will lower the amount to be raised by taxes a scant $11,497.