Proposed Rockport budget up 4 percent

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
Posted March 09, 2012, at 1:50 p.m.

ROCKPORT, Maine — The town manager has proposed a 2012-2013 budget of nearly $4.4 million, up 4 percent.

The budget keeps town services at the same level. The amount of property taxes needed to pay for municipal services will increase 3 percent based on the manager’s proposed budget.

Town Manager Robert Peabody presented his budget Thursday, March 8, to the select board and budget committee. The select board will begin its review next week and then the budget committee will hold its reviews.

The budget will go to residents at the annual town meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, at the Rockport Opera House. The election of town officials will be done Tuesday, June 12, with the polls open at the town office from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“The development of the fiscal year 2012-2013 manager’s budget before you has been challenging as the country continues to recover from the recession. The past three budgets have reflected the atmosphere of financial uncertainty permeating Maine and the country,” Peabody said in his message to the boards. “Revenues coming in to the town continue to decrease or stabilize at diminished levels as state government shifts costs to the local taxpayers.”

The budget provides pay increases of 3.4 percent for town employees.

The public works budget is proposed at $1,288,379, down 4 percent from the approved 2011-2012 budget.

Other significant accounts or proposed changes include:

• General government, proposed at $971,495, up nearly 6 percent.

• Police Department, $479,140, up less than 1 percent.

• Fire Department, $333,486, also up less than 1 percent.

• Library, $325,663, up nearly 7 percent.

• Harbor master, $123,191, up 14 percent.

The property tax impact for property owners from the municipal budget alone will be slight. The majority of property taxes in town go to the schools. The amount that goes to the Five-Town Community School District and SAD 28 is projected to be nearly $9 million. Another nearly $900,000 goes to Knox County for its services.

The current tax rate is $12.21 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/03/09/news/midcoast/proposed-rockport-budget-up-4-percent/ printed on December 21, 2014