June 24, 2018
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Tremont to hold elections, budget votes on May 9,10

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

TREMONT, Maine — Residents are expected next week to hold elections and to consider approving municipal, and grammar school budgets that add up to a total of approximately $3.8 million.

Voters are expected to go to the polls the afternoon of Monday, May 9, to elect two new selectmen, two new high school trustees, and to decide the local school board race, Tremont Town Manager Millard Billings said Thursday. Polls will be open 1 to 8 p.m. at the town office off Route 102 in the village of Bass Harbor.

Two selectmen, Charlie Dillon and Kathi Thurston, have decided not to run for re-election, Billings said. In the five-way race for those two vacancies are Hugh Gilley, Peter Gott, Jim LaPrade, Chris Lewis and Rose Edna Urquhart.

Three people are competing for two spots on the local school board. Jennifer Gott is challenging incumbents Krista Graham and Amy Murphy for one of those spots. No names are on the ballot for two available positions as trustees of Mount Desert Island High School, Billings said, which means those seats likely will be filled by write-in candidates.

Voters will be asked to approve municipal and school budgets at the open session of annual town meeting, which is set to begin at the town office at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, according to Billings.

The proposed local grammar school budget of $2,134,814 is $46,755 more than the current grammar school budget, the town manager said. Tremont’s share of the high school budget, which was approved at a separate islandwide meeting last month,  is $884,800, which is $13,890 more than its share for the current school year.

The proposed municipal budget (which does not include school costs) is $1,725,374, which is about $8,000 higher than the current budget, according to Billings. Of that amount, $835,674 is expected to be covered by surplus funds and revenues, which will leave roughly $890,000 to be paid through property taxes.

Voters also will be asked whether the town can borrow $500,000 to purchase two new firetrucks and $275,000 to buy a 50 percent share of the Hinton Estate in the local village of Bernard. The town already owns half the property, Billings said, which has an assessed value of $1.375 million. Selectmen view the purchase of the property as an investment, he said.

Billings said the proposed budgets are not expected to increase local taxes by much, if at all. The current tax rate is $7.80 per $1,000 of a property’s value, which is 10 cents higher than the town’s tax rate from the year before, he said.

“We think it will either stay the same or be $7.90,” the town manager said.

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