Franklin Countys First News

Carrabassett Valley town meeting is Wednesday

CARRABASSETT VALLEY - Residents will gather to set the municipal budget and review election results at Wednesday evening's town meeting.

A moderator will be elected at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, with polls to open at the Town Office at that time. Polls will run until 6 p.m., with the remainder of the warrant addressed by Carrabassett Valley residents at 7:30 p.m. at the Outdoor Center.

Two, three-year terms on the Board of Selectmen are up for reelection this year, with incumbent selectmen Lloyd Cuttler and Robert Luce running unopposed. On the School Committee, incumbent members Jennifer McCormack and Stephen Arner are running unopposed for three-year terms. Deirdre Frey is running for a one-year seat on that committee. There are two Sanitary District Trustee seats up for reelection as well, with incumbents Carl Demshar and Neal Trask running for those positions.

According to Town Manager Dave Cota's report in the town report, the 2019 town budget is proposed at $2.65 million, representing a $77,000 or 3 percent increase as compared to the previous fiscal year. Increased revenue is expected to cover that increase, however, resulting in a Net Municipal Budget of $2.11 million; down $6,482 from the previous fiscal year. Those figures include the school budget for the town's tuitioned students, as well as a projected increase in the town's portion of Franklin County's taxes due to reductions in Jay's state valuation and increases in Carrabasett Valley's own numbers. Cota noted in his report that an increase in the property tax rate is not anticipated, which would mark the third year in a row that it's held steady at .0065 per thousand dollars of valuation.

Included in the warrant is $80,000 out of the town's Unappropriated Surplus to construct a storage building to house recreational equipment at the Town Park Pavilion; and $35,000 out of the surplus for improvements to the Information Center, including the installation of a well, septic system, additional parking and other minor improvements. The Unappropriated Surplus contained $1.52 million at the end of fiscal year 2018.

Increases include $16,000 for salary increases and more hours for the Treasurer, and a $33,000 increase in the Transfer Station budget to complete siding work and rebuild retaining wall fencing at that site's main building. Funds have also been budgeted to look into the construction of amenities for demo disposal and to eventually purchase a used backhoe. One reduction is a roughly $10,000 decrease in the Road Accounts article, due to lower-than-anticipated plowing bids.

The final article of the town meeting warrant is a resolution, asking the County Commissioners to reconsider recent cuts to social service and economic development agencies. The article indicates that those programs have been funded at the county level for 35 years and recent cuts have completely defunded six of those nonprofits, with three others reduced.

"Now Therefore, the Town of Carrabassett Valley requests that Franklin County reverse its policy of not funding these programs, restore funding to these organizations and continue the regional approach for these services," the resolution concludes.

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