Media Archive

Municipal budget in Brownville shows decrease

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 165, No. 5, January 29, 2003

By Jessica Lee
Staff Writer

BROWNVILLE The selectmen and budget committee settled on a fiscal 2003 municipal budget last week which shows a slight decrease.

Town Manager Sophie Wilson said the total that will be recommended at the March town meeting is $592,085 - amounting to a decrease of $22,382 (roughly 4 percent) as compared to the 2002 budget.

According to Wilson, the recommended budget includes $557,710 for operations, $20,575 for debt obligation and $13,800 for capital reserve account. There is an anticipated $15,500 decrease in revenues, primarily from the Maine Revenue Sharing and tree growth programs.

"The selectmen and budget committee worked very hard to reduce municipal expenditures without having to cut services and programs," said Wilson.

The budget does reflect the cut of two part-time positions the director of public safety, allowing a savings of $5,400, and a half-time position on the sanitation department, saving $9,000. The public safety position had been vacant eight months, Wilson said, and the employee on the sanitation department moved full time to highway department.

The police department budget, which reflects a collaboration on coverage with the town of Milo, shows a $540 net increase, but a substantial savings in health insurance benefits for the police chief position. The sharing of a police chief with Milo, Wilson said, is allowing the town to save about $25,000, without reducing patrol coverage.

The selectmen and budget committee also are recommending the town take $75,000 from the surplus to offset any tax increase.

While any final tax rate depends on the SAD 41 budget, Wilson said preliminary figures show the mill rate increasing slightly, from last year's $23.28 per $1,000 valuation to $23.85. This figure also depends on the state assessment of the town's value, she said.

Employees of the town did not receive any wage increase, the town manager said, although in the past, the town did grant a cost of living wage increase to staff, falling between 3 and 5 percent.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.