Tremont budget up 10 percent

TREMONT — Voters here will elect two selectmen Monday at the annual town elections and consider a $5.49 million budget on Tuesday at the open town meeting.

Polls are open from 1-8 p.m. Monday at the town office. The open town meeting begins Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., also at the town office.

The total budget includes $1.9 million for municipal expenses, $3.37 million in educational costs and $209,416 for the Hancock County budget. If approved as proposed, property taxes would increase by 52 cents for every $1,000 in valuation.

The municipal budget reflects a 10.6 percent increase from that approved for this year. Most of the increase comes from two items, the budgets for administration and public works.

Administration, which includes salaries and benefits for employees working in the town office and other costs associated with the office, has been budgeted at $561,000, an increase of almost $56,700. Almost all of the increase is in the salary and benefit lines and has much to do with the hiring of Dana Reed as town manager.

After becoming interim manager following the resignation of Carl Young in June 2014, Reed was hired for a full-time position at the end of March. Reed is being paid about $85,000 annually. Additionally, the town is to contribute $425 per week to Reed’s health saving account. Young was paid $60,000 per year and did not use the town’s health insurance coverage.

The proposed $532,317 budget for public works is about $115,000 greater than for this year. The jump comes in the line for equipment, which shows an $83,500 increase.

The majority of property taxes go to pay for education. The budgets for the Tremont Consolidated School and assessment for Mount Desert Island High School account for 71 percent of each tax dollar spent.

The proposed budget for the town’s K-8 school, the Tremont Consolidated School, is almost $2.49 million, an increase of $93,500. Contributing to the increase are a 5 percent increase in health insurance costs, an average salary increase of 2.7 percent and the need to hire an additional ed tech for special education.

Voters at the town meeting have no say-so on the $1.04 million assessment for the town sending students to Mount Desert Island High School. That budget was approved in a school system-wide vote in April. The assessment is about $82,000 more than for this year.

They also have no say-so on the county assessment, which at $209,416 reflects a $1,500 decrease.

Voters also will weigh in on proposed amendments to the town’s wharf and facilities ordinance. The changes would increase fees and better regulate parking near the Bernard Wharf.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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