N. Yarmouth town budget could shrink 0.7%

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NORTH YARMOUTH — While the current draft of next year’s municipal budget shows a decrease 0.72 percent, funds toward development of the village center could result in a significant increase.

The preliminary $2.8 million town budget – which includes a Cumberland County tax, and which will be voted on at Town Meeting April 11 – reflects a decrease of about $18,000 from current spending.

With a potential $6.4 million School Administrative District 51 tax included (an increase of about $474,000), North Yarmouth’s total budget could reach $9.1 million, an increase of about $455,000.

With non-tax revenues subtracted, town taxes could total $7.4 million, a nearly $291,000 increase, raising the tax rate from the current $17.15 per $1,000 of property valuation, to $17.41, according to Town Manager Rosemary Roy.

Numbers on both the town and school sides continue to change. One factor that could significantly impact the town budget is whether residents wish to proceed with a proposal for development of the village center.

Residents may vote April 11 on the Board of Selectmen’s proposal to redevelop North Yarmouth Memorial School – which SAD 51 closed last year and transferred to the town – as a municipal and community campus. Money for the first phase of that project could add $300,000 to $400,000 to next year’s municipal budget, Roy said.

But for now, municipal spending shows a 0.72 percent decrease. Significant reductions include nearly $76,000 in community services, due in part to economic development planning being funded at $30,000, instead of the $100,000 budgeted in current spending.

Funds for usage of the school building are budgeted at about $111,000, about double the current year, due to more activities occurring there.

Public works could be up about $42,000, to reach $696,000. That number includes merging two part-time positions with a full-time one, with benefits and more hours, which would bring the department’s full-time staff number to four.

A major part of the increase is funding for paving of four roads: Lawrence, Deer Run and West Pownal roads, and Sligo Road Extension, as well as fog sealing on Milliken and Long Hill roads, which all together total about $353,000.

Fixed expenses show a decrease of about $49,000, down to about $761,000, due largely to a reduction in debt service.

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

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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.