Cumberland council OKs $9.4M municipal budget

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CUMBERLAND — The Town Council on Monday unanimously approved a $9.4 million municipal budget for fiscal 2015, an increase of 4.09 percent over current spending.

The spending plan includes $6.5 million for operations (a 0.87 percent increase), an approximately $696,000 Cumberland County tax (up 4.57 percent), $1.3 million for capital improvements (up 16.77 percent) and about $919,000 in debt service (up 11.45 percent).

Cumberland’s ongoing road improvement program is responsible for much of the capital improvements spending. About $587,000 will be spent on paving, part of a multi-year comprehensive pavement management plan. Another $75,000 will go toward Middle Road engineering, $175,000 toward engineering and construction of Blackstrap Road, and $50,000 toward Schooner Ridge Road drainage.

Next year’s debt service includes funds set aside for a new town and school garage. The town may go out to bid in fiscal 2015 to build that structure, although a location for the garage has not been determined.

Phase 2 of the Village Green Revitalization Master Plan would see the current Public Works and school bus facilities moved and replaced by single-family, townhouse-like homes, along with a mixed-use building that would contain residential rentals and commercial space.

The budget does not take into account Cumberland’s appropriation to School Administrative District 51, which the town shares with North Yarmouth. If the school assessment increases 5 percent, Town Manager Bill Shane said he expects an overall tax rate hike for Cumberland of 3.24 percent, to $17.55 per $1,000 of property valuation.

In his budget presentation Monday, Shane said $11.66 of the rate would go toward the school district, $5.32 to the town and 57 cents to the county.

More budget information can be found at by clicking on “Budget Information for Fiscal Year 2015.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.