BREWER, Maine — With only three residents in the audience, city councilors Tuesday completed the city and school budgets, setting the local tax rate for 2010 at this year’s level.
“It’s a pretty good budget,” Councilor Larry Doughty said after the 15-minute meeting.
No one from the public spoke at Tuesday’s meeting or at the council’s public budget hearing held a week ago.
The property tax rate will remain at $17.95 per $1,000 of valuation.
The combined budget will be for $31,096,152 for 2010, an overall increase of 3.87 percent.
That includes a municipal budget of $12,083,385, an increase of $80,920 or 0.67 percent. The school budget is up 6.4 percent to $18,162,887, an increase of $1,093,265.
That amount includes $1.3 million in school construction funds for the new elementary-middle school that are being funneled through the district, Superintendent Daniel Lee has said.
The combined budget also includes a $799,880 Penobscot County assessment, an increase of $18,070, and a reduction of the overlay account from $85,000 to $50,000.
The water rate is expected to stay the same as last year, but the sewer rate is increasing by nearly 5 percent. The increase for the average sewer user is $6.75 per quarter or around $27 more annually, city officials have said.
To keep the tax rate the same, city officials cut funding for the annual civic reception; eliminated the city’s newsletter, the Brewer Beacon, and the leaf bag program; froze salaries; and decided to close the library early once a week.