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Mexico rec department budget defeated
MEXICO -- With its proposed budget defeated, the town's recreation board has two options it can recommend to the Board of Selectmen for their meeting Tuesday.
At the polls on June 12, residents voted 209-158 to reject $144,100 for operating the recreation program, park and building. That figure represented a 54 percent increase over the $93,600 approved during fiscal year 2012. The more than $50,000 added to the Recreation Department account was earmarked for building and park repairs, a Recreation Department reserve fund, and for increasing Recreation Director Wayne Sevigny's job to full time.
Town Manager John Madigan said the rec board can go back to last year's budget amount or come back to the town with a second budget figure, which can be the same or another total. In the later case, a public hearing would take place before a special town meeting, when the vote would be done by secret ballot.
He said the town ordinance allows one more vote on articles that do not pass at referendum, whether at the polls or at a town meeting. A public hearing must be held.
The same procedure holds true for the unclassified/miscellaneous account that was rejected by 187-160. The amount was $64,751, or about $2,000 more than this year.
The unclassified account provides funding for such things as economic development, code enforcement, legal expenses, municipal dues and contingency funds.
Madigan noted "This will be a good test of the ordinance because this is the first time in the six years the municipal budget has been voted on at the polls that an article has been rejected."
With those two articles defeated, voters approved a $2.8 million municipal budget. Selectmen recommended more than $3 million.
The budget must be in place by the end of August so the tax rate can be set and bills sent.
The overall increase for the town is 7.03 percent, or $291,025. The current tax rate is $23.50 per $1,000 valuation.
With a municipal budget proposed to rise about 5.67 percent, and a Oxford County tax up by 2.46 percent, Madigan said the 2012-13 tax rate could rise by $2 per $1,000 valuation.
Madigan said the potential tax hike is partially the result of lower revenue sharing funds from the state, a multi-million-dollar reduction in the value of the town, and fewer Mexico students attending RSU 10.