Damariscotta voters will consider the 2020-2021 education and municipal budgets during annual town meeting, which will take place July 14 and 15.
The polls will be open for the municipal election, as well as the state primary and referendum, at the town hall from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, July 14 – although absentee voting is encouraged because of the coronavirus.
The open portion of annual town meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 15 in the Great Salt Bay Community School gymnasium, after the selectmen’s regular meeting.
Town Manager Matt Lutkus said he does not expect the meeting to eclipse the 50-person limit for public gatherings because there is nothing controversial on the warrant.
Two selectmen are running unopposed for reelection – Louis “Lou” Abbotoni and Daryl Fraser. There are no candidates on the ballot for the positions of school committee member or Great Salt Bay Sanitary District trustee. School committee member Angela Russ’ term expires this year, and she has said she will step down. John Gallagher is the incumbent sanitary district trustee.
The municipal budget totals $2,867,868.03, an increase of $36,652.03 or 1.29% from the previous fiscal year. Lutkus expects the town’s property tax rate to stay the same, at $16.10 per $1,000 of valuation.
At this tax rate, for example, a resident whose property is assessed at $200,000 would owe $3,220.
Article 32 asks voters to give the selectmen authority to transfer up to $25,000 from the town’s unassigned fund balance in the case of unanticipated expenses and emergencies that may occur.
Voters will also consider authorizing the selectmen to enter into an interlocal agreement with the five other founding towns of Central Lincoln County Ambulance Service Inc.
CLC Ambulance does not have a formal agreement creating the organization between its six founding member towns: Bremen, Bristol, Damariscotta, Newcastle, Nobleboro, and South Bristol.
Voters will consider whether to adopt an approximately 1,000-foot portion of Heater Road as a town way. The gravel road has a 50-foot-wide right of way and its transfer to the town will be contingent on approval from adjacent property owners.
Voters will also be asked to approve the selectmen’s nominations for cemetery trustee and for budget committee members.
Validation votes, on separate ballots, will also take place on the secondary education and Great Salt Bay Consolidated School District budgets.
Damariscotta voters approved the $1,793,077.46 secondary education budget, which is up $177,465.27 or 10.98%, as well as the town’s contribution to the local adult education program, during a special town meeting Wednesday, June 17.
Despite the increase, the local share remained essentially flat at $959,472.82, up $382.72.
The 2020-2021 budget for the Great Salt Bay Consolidated School District is down $392,032.07 or 6.43% from the previous year. Expenses total $5,707,935.01.
Damariscotta’s share of the GSB budget is $2,137,123.90, down $231,496.43 or 9.77%.