Cape Elizabeth Finance Committee begins review of proposed municipal budget

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CAPE ELIZABETH — The Finance Committee completed its initial review of the 2011 municipal budget on Monday, March 15, and canceled workshops for March 16 and 23.

Councilor Sara Lennon, the committee chairwoman, said the panel – a committee of the whole council – reviewed the proposed 2011 Capitol Improvement Plan and made minor adjustments to the overall budget.

The $8.5 million municipal budget would maintain current services and employment, and the same level of spending as 2010. It also proposes a tax rate of $4 per $1,000 of assessed value, a 3-cent decrease from the current rate of $4.03 for municipal services.

The $466,000 CIP includes road and drainage projects for $146,000, and $100,000 in paving. Other projects include library, Town Hall and Police Department computer replacements; police cruiser replacement and police lighting upgrades; a Town Hall heating design study; Public Works roof inspection and repairs; Community Center siding and gutter repair, and pick-up truck and mower upgrades.

Town Manager Mike McGovern said the Finance Committee added $6,400 to the proposed municipal budget, which does not change the proposed tax rate.

Changes include a $1,250 reduction in funding requests from the Arts Commission and a $4,000 reduction in sand use. In addition, air-quality unit repairs were reduced by $12,000 because the estimate was revised. The committee added nearly $20,000 to the Maine State Retirement fund in pensions and about $4,000 to maintain current salaries at the Community Pool.

Lennon said the committee did not officially vote on the minor changes, and can continue to review or make changes at its next meeting May 6. At the same meeting, the councilors are expected to hear a School Board budget presentation at 7:30 p.m.

The proposed municipal budget is available on the town’s Web site.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or