HOLDEN, Maine — Residents on Tuesday will consider eight town charter amendments, select Town Council and school board members and decide — by a thumbs-up or thumbs-down vote — whether to approve the SAD 63 budget, Town Manager John Butts said Monday.
Then on Wednesday, residents at the annual town meeting will vote on the town budget and two annual warrant articles regarding rules for allocating local matching funds and setting aside $100,000 in case it’s needed for the planned Interstate 395-Route 9 connector.
The preliminary fiscal year 2013-14 municipal budget is $2,389,305 or $18,338 more than this year’s $2,370,967 operating budget, Butts said.
Residents of SAD 63, which includes Holden, Eddington and Clifton, last week approved a $9.38 million budget that is $190,536, or 2.07 percent, more than this year’s budget and will cause property taxes in town to increase, the town manager said.
“That will definitely cause a mill rate increase,” Butts said. “[The allocation for education is] going up nearly $400,000.”
Holden’s share of the SAD 63 budget is $2,732,413, an increase of $399,212 or 17.11 percent. Eddington’s share is $1,632,539, an increase of $214,854 or 15.15 percent; and Clifton’s share is $738,923, an increase of $79,769 or 12.10 percent more. Residents in all three towns vote Tuesday in the school budget referendum.
Butts did not speculate on how much the town’s property tax rate would increase. He also said the town created its budget based on “normal year-to-year operation costs” because “we had no idea what Legislators were going to do” and so may need to modify numbers down the road, depending on what happens in Augusta. Legislators completed a $6.3 billion biennial budget early Saturday that temporarily raises the sales tax, which Gov. Paul LePage has promised to veto.
The eight Holden town charter amendments are mostly bookkeeping changes that move budget item rules to the correct article and change outdated numbers, Butts said.
“It took a committee of five and myself to put these together,” the town manager said. “We moved stuff from one section to another and we added definitions.”
For example, the charter still states that seven people should be elected to sit on the school board when only four are now required, Butts said.
Three people are on the ballot for the two open town council seats, and two people are running against each other for the single school board post.
Town Council incumbent Paul Amorosa is running for his seat against Thomas Copeland and Malcolm Coulter Jr., a planning board member.
RSU 63 incumbent Christopher Doering is running against Christopher Galinski.
Holden residents can vote on the charter amendments, local elections and the SAD 63 budget between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday, and the annual town meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Holden Elementary School.
Polls for Eddington and Clifton residents to vote on the school budget referendum are open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday at each town’s municipal building.