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Special town meeting set
MEXICO -- Selectmen Thursday set a special town meeting for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27 at the town hall.
Town Manager John Madigan said there will be two articles for the public to act on.
One will be $140,000 to contribute to the debt service. "This will be the third year, coming from that $700,000 we got from the Maine State Retirement."
The other $140,000 is from general funds/surplus. "The auditor, before he left, gave me the surplus figure for the end of 2012-13, $633,232. If we take from that, $140,000, which I propose, that would leave us with $493,232 for cash flow needs. Our goal for several years has been to keep within 10 and 15 percent of our budget; 10 percent of the total budget would be $432,000 and 15 percent would be $649,000. That $493,232 would leaves us a little over 11 percent," said Madigan.
Then, during the regular meeting that follows, it is expected that the board will approve a tax rate recommended by Madigan.
That recommended tax rate is expected to be 25 mils, the same rate as 2012-13.
"This is still subject to minor changes between now and when the actual (tax) bills are printed, which includes when the town gets a number from the state what their tree growth reimbursement is going to be. This budget will leave us with $18,513 in overlay. Last year's was $17,000," said Madigan.
"In spite of all the problems we saw several months ago with the Governor's proposed budget and what it might do to us, it looks like we'll be able to keep the same tax rate," he said.
Asked if that included the monies from the sale of old superintendent's building, Madigan said it did not. Instead, that will add to the surplus and "be another buffer for next year."
He said the town will get roughly $85,000 from that $100,000 sale. The payouts include the real estate commission to Riverside Realty. Selectmen also approved paying $1,200 to Main Land Development Consultants of Livermore for survey work, to be done by Tim Gallant, who grew up locally. The process will take about a week. Following that, the deed can be written up and transferred.
On July 23, selectmen agreed to the purchase and sale for the 99x60-foot two-story facility to contractor Daniel Pfaff of Massachusetts, who is originally from Rangeley.
Madigan said Pfaff wants to keep the lease with the Lutheran Church and continue to have the police department in there (the town has budgeted $8,000 for the rent). He said if he could eventually rent out all the other spaces, eventually he could lower what he charges for the police.
Roger Whitehouse of Riverside Realty said Pfaff wants to close by Aug. 30.
In other business, in a discussion on the town meeting vote, Madigan noted that voters approved 10 of 11 budget articles on July 30 to provide an operating budget for the town. The one article not approved, by 148-142, was $354,821 requested for municipal administration.
According to town ordinance, residents may only vote twice on articles that comprise the municipal budget. The $348,629 adopted for fiscal year 2012-13 will be used for administration. It is slightly lower than the defeated amount.
Because the defeated article did not reflect the 3 percent raise in pay for people in the town office (including Madigan) to match what the other town employees are getting, Madigan recommended the board honor that 3 percent by using $6,600 out of the $9,500 stipend the town received from the Sewer District (for use of town supplies and utilities). Selectmen voted in favor of doing that.
In a brief discussion about 157 Granite St., which was being offered to the town as a donation by owner Wells Fargo, Madigan said he would recommend a "no" vote by the board.
He said the home, which has mold, would have to be torn down by the town. Meanwhile, he said the business, as a result of the donation, would likely receiv a tax writeoff.
Selectmen agreed with Madigan and voted unanimously not to accept the offer.