Tremont budget process begins



TREMONT — Selectmen wasted no time Monday in approving a motion to include $82,500 in funding requests from nonprofit organizations in the budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

The requests include $44,000 for the Southwest Harbor-Tremont Ambulance Service, $20,275 for Harbor House, $3,500 for the Tremont Historical Society and $14,700 in other requests.

Chris Eaton’s motion to include the requests carried 5-0 with no discussion among board members.

Fire Chief Keith Higgins asked if the ambulance service’s $5,000 increase was based on anything in particular. Town Manager Dana Reed replied that no specific reason had been cited.

In a letter to the town accompanying their request, Margy Vose, president of the ambulance service board of directors, noted that the request has been the same for the past few years. An increase is necessary, Vose wrote, “in order to continue providing prompt, professional, high-quality care to our community.” The cost of training, dispatching and insurance alone is $50,000 per year, she explained.

The $20,275 requested by Harbor House is the same as requested and approved for this year. The money supports the agency’s youth center and youth sports programs.

The $3,500 request from the historical society is an increase of $1,000. The society has requested $2,500 for the past 11 years at the same time the operating budget has grown from $4,300 to $10,400, according to society President John MacDuffie. In addition, the group has purchased new equipment and upgraded existing equipment for its work to digitize the collection.

The remaining $14,711 in requests includes $3,000 each for the Island Explorer bus service and the MDI Campfire Coalition, $2,211 for Downeast Community Partners, $2,000 for the Bar Harbor Food Pantry, $1,500 for Island Connections, $800 for Hospice of Hancock County and $600 for the WIC Nutrition Program.

Voters will weigh in on the budget at the annual town meeting in May.

 

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