New positions, bonds to be considered at Bar Harbor town meeting

BAR HARBOR — Residents will gather this Tuesday, June 3, for the annual open town meeting to weigh in on a proposed $12.7-million municipal budget and a $5.6-million education budget. Bond issues to finance construction at the municipal building and for production and placement of new wayfinding signs downtown also are on the ballot, along with appropriations for two new positions in town government.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Conners Emerson School gymnasium. One week later, on June 10, elections for new town councilors and school committee members will be held at the municipal building. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on that day. Six candidates, including one incumbent, are running for three open seats on the council.

The proposed budget, once county and Mount Desert Island High School assessments are factored in, totals $21.67 million. That sum represents a 14 percent rise over the current year, largely due to the bond issues. If the budget passes as proposed, the owner of a median-priced home, valued at $277,000, would be on the hook for an additional $39 in property taxes next year. The tax rate increase would total 1.4 percent.

Under budget discussion held previously with former town manager Dana Reed, town councilors and warrant committee members, this year’s municipal budget includes plans to hire a full-time town planner and a full-time deputy town manager.

Councilors, however, in the wake of Reed’s departure, decided earlier this month that while they would still keep the money for the assistant town manager in the budget, it would be placed in a contingency account so a new town manager taking over in the fall would have some leeway as to what to do with it. The new town manager might desire to hire an assistant, but also might feel that the money could be better used for a human resources director or something similar, councilors said.

The biggest of two bonds proposed in this year’s budget would cover major repairs and renovations at the municipal building. The $2.2-million bond would include approximately $1 million in repairs to the building’s roof and brick and masonry exterior, with the remainder of the money covering interior renovations.

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Robert Levin

Robert Levin

Former reporter Robert Levin covered the people, businesses, governmental and nonprofit agencies of Bar Harbor. [email protected]
Robert Levin

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