ROCKPORT, Maine — The interim town manager has submitted a $4.55 million municipal budget, a proposal that adds a few positions to town government.
“The development of the budget has been challenging as a result of the continuing slow recovery from the recession, the capital needs of the town which have accumulated over the past several years, and the possible reduction in revenues from state sources,” interim Town Manager Roger Moody stated in his budget message to the Select Board and budget committee members.
Moody is recommending that a patrol officer position eliminated four years ago be reinstated. He said that the addition of a police officer was one of the requests made by residents during meetings between the Select Board and residents during the past year.
The $4.55 million budget represents a 4.2 percent increase from the 2012-2013 approved budget.
There is no projected tax rate included in the budget but the amount of property taxes to be raised to help pay for municipal services is proposed at a little more than $3 million, an increase of about $400,000. The impact on Rockport from the Five-Town Community School District and School Administrative District 28 budgets is not yet known.
In addition to the patrol officer position being added in the municipal budget, the manager is recommending that the assistant public works director be made public works director and that the director become a public works foreman. The budget also calls for making the part-time youth services librarian a full-time position as it was before the past year.
The budget includes 2.2 percent cost-of-living raises for employees. Health insurance costs are projected to increase 8 percent.
The manager also included $64,000 for the Camden First Aid Association. This is a $40,000 increase from the current budget but is less than the $129,000 requested by the organization for emergency medical services for the community. Moody stated in his budget message that the $64,000 he included is a starting number for the budget development process.
The largest account in the budget is public works at nearly $1.6 million. The department’s budget is up 9.3 percent.
The public safety budget is proposed at $1.2 million, an increase of 17 percent.
The general government budget is recommended at $1 million, up 4.7 percent.