BRUNSWICK, Maine — With adoption of 2014 town and school budgets looming, Town Manager Gary Brown and School Superintendent Paul Perzanoski have prepared $1.2 million in new cuts for the council’s approval Thursday.
Town councilors two weeks ago requested cuts to keep the property tax increase required to fund next year’s budgets — currently projected at 10.3 percent — to no more than 7 percent.
Perzanoski and Brown said they have identified cuts sufficient to meet the council’s demand.
School board members agreed to $772,742 in budget cuts; councilors last week approved a $412,500 cut from the municipal side.
Brown updated councilors Monday on the extent of cuts approved and recent adjustments made — including the effect of that night’s decision to sell a municipal building and pass the pending $200,000 proceeds directly to the school department’s budget.
— “Elimination” of $87,000 owed to the town by the school department, for renovations to the former Hawthorne School on Federal Street.
— Town Assessor Cathleen Donovan modified valuations estimates of more than 100 properties to net an additional $250,000 in tax revenue.
— Excise tax estimates also were revised to reap an additional $25,000.
— A 1-acre parcel of land on 59 Thomas Point Road, which the town acquired years ago as a possible location for the Cook’s Corner fire station, was sold to Kelly and Kelly Commercial Development LLC of Topsham. The sale will net the town approximately $100,000.
— The town’s Parks and Recreation department budget will flex because of the agreement to sell 30 Federal St., and relocate to Building 211, at 220 Neptune Drive, Brunswick Landing.
Use of the existing facility will taper off while more money is spent to implement activities and programs at Brunswick Landing, resulting in a net budget increase of $82,542, Brown said.
Combined with School Department cuts, the recent reductions trim nearly $1.2 million from next year’s proposed budgets, dropping the required property tax increase to 6.6 percent.
School board members have scheduled a special meeting for tonight at 6 p.m.to discuss what, if anything, will change due to the influx of real estate proceeds.
“With $200,000 in additional money, we’ll look at what we might change,” Perzanoski said.
Perzanoski and the board earlier identified several “steps” to cut the budget. Step One, which eliminates $543,813 in programs, staff positions and technological upgrades will stay the same.
But Step Two, which reduced staff wages and positions by $229,000 will be reconsidered.