Votes set on town, school budgets

MOUNT DESERT — Voters at town meeting on Tuesday, May 3, will be asked to approve a municipal budget of $16.43 million and a $3.96 million budget for Mount Desert Elementary School for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The town budget represents a 3.4 percent increase over the current year’s budget; the school budget is up 4.32 percent.

Together, the budgets will increase the property tax rate by 3.27 percent to $7.35 per $100,000 of valuation.

The budgets call for no large increases in any major spending category.

In voting on the municipal budget, residents will decide whether the town will give $40,000 to the Mount Desert Chamber of Commerce to hire someone for a marketing and publicity position. The part-time, year-round position is intended to support the community’s economic development efforts.

Municipal funding for the chamber job would be in addition to the $52,000 in the town budget for economic development, which includes up to $30,000 for consultant Jackie Hewitt, $20,000 for broadband internet planning services and $2,000 for travel.

Residents at town meeting also will be asked to authorize the town to borrow up to $1.25 million for replacement of the old sewage pump station in Seal Harbor and related improvements. Voters also will decide whether the town should borrow up to $150,000 to replace existing street lights with more energy efficient and dark-sky-compliant LED lights.

Another article on the town meeting warrant asks voters to authorize the town to accept gifts of $10,000 each from the Garden Club of Mount Desert and the Summer Residents Association and an underground irrigation system for the Northeast Harbor Marina landscape improvement project. The total estimated cost of the project is $45,000.

Several town meeting warrant articles deal with mostly minor amendments to the Land Use Zoning Ordinance.

The town meeting is set for 6 p.m. on May 3 in the gymnasium at Mount Desert Elementary School.

Prior to the meeting, from 5-6 p.m., a free, light meal will be available, courtesy of Neighborhood House. Eighth grade students at the school will hold a bake sale as a fundraiser for their class trip to Quebec City.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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