June 25, 2018
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Newport residents will look at flat funding budget proposal at town meeting

By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff

NEWPORT, Maine — Cost trimming by selectmen, which Town Manager James Ricker called “a sign of the times we’re in,” has resulted in a municipal budget proposal about $7,100 lower than spending in the current year that residents will address at Saturday’s town meeting beginning at 10 a.m. at the Newport Recreation Center.

A major factor in the decrease is that selectmen propose spending $51,000 on the recreation program, as opposed to $100,000 in the current year. This will mark the second year the town has run its own recreation programs since selectmen pulled back $100,000 in funding from the Sebasticook Valley Community Center last year. That led to the end of that organization.

Ricker said expenses are increasing in personnel, administration and health insurance but are falling slightly in several other categories. Ricker said the overall budget proposal for the coming year is $2,399,850, which does not include schools or county government.

In town meeting business that doesn’t involve the budget, residents will decide on changes to the town’s land use and shoreland zoning ordinances.

In municipal elections Friday, there is only one contested race, with four people vying for two seats on the Regional School Unit 19 board of directors. They are Cecil Kershner, Richard Peck, Winn Price and incumbent Erik Stitham.

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