Orono holds public hearings on town budget, downtown development proposals Monday

Posted June 08, 2014, at 7:22 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — Residents will be able to voice their opinions about the proposed town and wastewater budgets, as well as a new Orono Village Center District Development Program and associated tax rate during public hearings scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Monday.

The proposed combined municipal, county and school budgets are increasing this year, and taxpayers are expected to pay about 75 cents more per $1,000 in property values, according to the proposed operating budget posted on the town’s website.

“The net municipal budget is up $99,017 over last year,” Town Manager Sophie Wilson wrote in an email Sunday. “This, combined with increases of $17,551 in county tax and $100,277 in the school assessment, results in a total increase in the taxes to be raised from the local property tax of $216,845.”

The proposed budget includes decreasing personnel by a half-time employee as a cost-saving effort, she said.

Ordinance amendments are the first listed public hearing, but they are not yet finished; councilors are expected to open the hearing and continue it at their July 14 meeting, according to the council packet.

Public hearings for the municipal and Water Pollution Control Facility budgets are scheduled second, followed by two hearings concerning the proposed Orono Village Center District Development and a Village Center Tax District. The proposal, if approved, would create a downtown district and a corresponding tax district that would establish a “maximum rate of assessment be extended in any one year: $0.50 per thousand dollars of assessed value as of April 1, 2014,” the council packet states. “The assessment will be levied for a one-year period commencing on July 1, 2014 and ending on June 30, 2015.”

The meeting will be held in the council chambers.

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