May 27, 2018
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Proposed Thomaston budget reduced from last year; town manager criticizes county spending

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

THOMASTON, Maine — The town manager has proposed a 2013-2014 municipal budget that calls for lower spending.

Town Manager Valmore Blastow, however, criticized Knox County for spending increases that hamper the towns and increases property taxes.

Blastow unveiled his $2.8 million budget Feb. 28 to the town budget committee. The proposed package is more than $9,000 less than the current budget, while including a 2.7 percent raise for town employees.

The budget committee is expected to complete its work by the end of the month and present its recommendation to selectmen on April 1.

In his budget message, Blastow said that projections for how much state revenue sharing the town will receive is a moving target. The town had expected to receive $229,000 from the state, but the governor has proposed elimination of those funds.

While the municipal leaders have no direct control over the Knox County budget, Blastow took aim at the county’s spending practices.

“The Knox County budget is unsustainable in any economic times, much less the current one,” Blastow stated.

The town manager attended the county budget hearing in December and also voiced his concerns about spending then.

In terms of the manager’s proposed municipal budget, the public works budget is at $441,000, up less than 2 percent.

The general government budget for the town is proposed at $350,274, nearly the same as approved by town meeting voters in 2012-2013.

The police department budget is proposed at $297,463, up less than 2 percent.

The sanitation budget is proposed at $214,000, up 6 percent.

The ambulance budget is proposed at $107,440, up less than 1 percent.

The fire department budget is proposed at $100,087, up 3 percent.

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