Dover-Foxcroft panel to review $4 million municipal budget

Posted Feb. 14, 2011, at 11:27 p.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A draft municipal budget that reflects an increase of $178,725 will be forwarded to the Dover-Foxcroft Budget Advisory Committee for review.

Expenses are pegged at $4,028,790, which will be offset by $2,018,153 in anticipated revenues. The $2,010,637 difference, the amount to be raised in the draft plan, is slightly under the tax levy of $2,024,533 imposed under LD 1.

The Legislature adopted a law in January 2005 that regulates the amount of money towns and cities can raise through property taxes. That amount takes into consideration the growth of statewide personal income and local property development within the towns and cities.

Included in the draft budget is a “pretty steep” increase in fuel costs, a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for employees and a 9.5 percent increase in health premiums, Town Manager Jack Clukey told selectmen Monday. He said employees received no cost-of-living increase last year.

Selectman Elwood Edgerly said some employees would rather forgo the increase in order to keep the current insurance plan, and he tended to agree.

Warrant articles to fund the budget will be adopted in late April for the annual June town meeting.

It is expected that school expenses will increase by about 2 percent from last year, selectmen were told.

The board on Monday voted to convey the title to Central Hall to the Friends of Central Hall in order to accept a brownfield grant of about $106,000 to help renovate the historic building. The grant had to be awarded to a nonprofit organization. The intent is that once the grant has been awarded, the organization will deed the building back to the town.

Chris Maas of the Friends of Central Hall said much interest has been expressed in the use of the building. Last Saturday, more than 150 people attended a Valentine’s Ball to benefit Womancare, the Piscataquis YMCA, the Piscataquis Chamber and the Friends of Central Hall. He said academy students may hold their prom in the building, and the local Kiwanis Club plans a winter social in the near future.

Clukey and Edgerly reported that the newly paved Main Street was being torn up downtown to repair a bad water main leak. The downtown mains were not replaced when the new pavement was installed because they had not been a problem in the past, Edgerly said.

The board also voted to amend the town’s ordinance for the operation of vehicles to reflect two-hour parking in the downtown from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The town previously had three-hour parking during those hours. Also approved was a change in the weight limit on Essex Street from 6,500 to 20,000 pounds. Both changes will become effective on April 1.

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