ST. GEORGE, Maine — Property owners may see a smaller tax bill later this year based on budget projections unveiled this month by the town manager.
“The true answer will not be known until the municipal budget and school budget votes are completed. However, my projection is the mill rate will drop,” Town Manager John Falla stated in his budget message to the town’s Select Board.
Falla released his proposed 2012-2013 municipal budget to the board on Feb. 6. The package calls for spending $2.4 million. This compares to the previous 18-month municipal budget of $3.45 million that voters approved to allow the town government to switch its fiscal year from a calendar year to a July 1 through June 30 schedule. The 2010 calendar year budget for the town was $2.27 million.
The Select Board is expected to review the budget again at its Feb. 27 meeting and is scheduled to finalize it March 12 when the package then goes on to the budget committee for its deliberations. The budget committee will make its final recommendations on March 26 and then the proposals will be presented to voters at the annual town meeting on May 15.
The public roads budget is the largest account in the proposed municipal budget at $632,175. Within that budget, $345,000 is proposed for paving.
The town office account is proposed at $498,785; solid waste at $467,462; and the fire department at $339,389.
The other proposed amounts for departments in the budget are parks and recreation at $100,580; planning at $93,490; select board/assessors $88,603; harbors $82,145; social and community service $45,933; unclassified $30,000; general assistance $11,250; and animal control $10,350.
The town manager notes that he expects the town’s payments to Regional School Unit 13 and Knox County will increase by 5 percent but that this will be offset by the use of $175,000 in surplus.
The town expects its RSU 13 cost to be $4.2 million.
The town manager points out several items in his budget message. They include the fact that the library is expected to break ground in 2012 for a new building and that the town had not decided what to do with the existing property. The town recreation committee is considering the idea of a town recreation center but there is no money in the budget for any such project.
Nomination papers for municipal offices will become available Tuesday, Feb. 21. The term of Selectboard member William Reinhardt, who serves as the board’s chair, is up for election this year. The seat is for three years.
The RSU 13 seat held by Don Choquette is also up for election. Choquette was appointed to the position in September by the Select Board when Josiah Wilson resigned. The term will be for three years.
Nomination papers must be turned in to the clerk’s office by March 20.
Municipal elections will be held May 14 with voting from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the town office. The town meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 15 at the town office.