Combined Falmouth budget would top $48 million

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FALMOUTH — The Town Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed fiscal year 2018 combined school and municipal budgets at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, at the elementary school.

The total budget, as proposed, is nearly $48.4 million and could mean a 90-cent increase in the tax rate per $1,000 of valuation. However, several recommendations have already been made to reduce the combined spending package.

The new school budget as proposed by Superintendent Geoff Bruno is just over $36 million and represents an increase in spending of 3.27 percent, even without adding any new programs or positions.

The municipal budget as proposed by Town Manager Nathan Poore is just over $12.5 million for a spending increase of 5.4 percent.

Eighty cents of the tax rate increase is attributed to the schools, with 10 cents attributed to the town.

Poore said there are some significant increases in the municipal budget for health insurance, worker’s compensation contributions and for open space acquisition.

In addition, Poore is requesting several new positions, including a public safety dispatcher, a police officer, a public works project manager, a truck driver for public works, and an additional weekend crew for the town’s ambulance service.

The draft budgets are posted at falmouthme.org and falmouthschools.org, respectively.

Because the budget hearing will be held at the elementary school, this week’s meeting will not be broadcast live. However, it will be shown at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. every day the following week on Channel 2 and Channel 121. It will also be available for viewing on the town’s website.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KirishCollins.

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