North Yarmouth budget panel favors 2.3% tax cut

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NORTH YARMOUTH — The Budget Committee last week recommended a fiscal 2012 budget of $3.4 million.

Nearly $824,000 would come from taxes, a 2.27 reduction from the current year.

The budget continues to be a work in progress, Administrative Assistant Marnie Diffin said last week. The Budget Committee still had to discuss a part-time public safety coordinator position in the Fire/Rescue Department.

Diffin said the Board of Selectmen is expected to discuss much of the budget, including revenues, next Tuesday. Residents will ultimately vote on the spending plan at Town Meeting on June 18.

While the town listed $565,000 as the amount expected in excise tax collections for fiscal 2011, the Budget Committee recommended increasing the revenue amount for next year by $55,000, to $620,000. In preparing this year’s budget, the Budget Committee proposed $30,000 more than the Board of Selectmen recommended, but the town approved the selectmen’s target.

The Budget Committee favors issuing $100,000 in bonds to help pay for a new fire truck that will cost about $350,000, Diffin said. As of last week, the Board of Selectmen did not want to borrow that amount; the board wants to raise the money from taxes, she explained.

While the Budget Committee has recommended nearly $159,000 be put into capital reserves, Diffin said the selectmen might reduce that amount by about $100,000, using the balance for the fire truck.

The town has already set aside the remainder of the $350,000.

The Budget Committee recommends bonding nearly $900,000 for work on Mill Road, about a third of which would be reconstructed. The entire road would be repaved and reditched.

The committee’s recommendations also include closing Town Hall on Fridays as a cost-savings measure.

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.