Greenwood voters to decide Saturday on new Town Office
Choose one of three options for a new town office.
Decide on a request for money to support Mollyockett Days.
Consider a proposed overall municipal budget of $2,149,555.
Those are some of the tasks Greenwood voters will face at Saturday’s annual town meeting.
The three options crafted by the Building Committee for a new town office include building a new structure adjacent to the American Legion Hall on the Gore Road, on land donated by the Legion ($142,000); replace the existing town office on the same site ($157,000); and remodel the old Town Hall on Route 26 ($210,000; not recommended by selectmen and the Budget Committee).
The selectmen and Budget Committee had recommended $130,000 from Undesignated Surplus to pay for the project. To cover the extra cost for the first two options, voters could approve up to $30,000 from the Town Buildings Reserve Account (the total amount in the account). Remodeling the Town Hall would require raising more in taxes, Town Manager Kim Sparks said. Another article likely to generate discussion is a request from the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce for $1,038 ($1.25 per resident) to support the annual Mollyockett Days in Bethel. The event has expanded in recent years and the BACC is seeking support from other area towns.
A similar article was rejected in March by Woodstock voters, some of whom said they didn’t think the town should pay for such celebrations with tax money. Greenwood selectmen expressed mixed feelings about the request in a discussion at a recent board meeting.
The overall municipal budget is proposed at nearly the same figure as last year, but selectmen and the Budget Committee juggled a combination of revenue and expenses to make that happen.
With Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to suspend municipal revenue sharing for two years, Greenwood officials decided to assume they will not receive the $43,000 they did last year. Total non-tax revenue is projected to decline from $290,196 to $237,907.
In addition, with state aid to education down, selectmen had estimated an additional $74,000 would be needed to go toward the SAD 44 budget, for a total of $988,559. (Update: the SAD 44 budget that will go to voters includes a share for Greenwood of $971,709.)
To help make up for the funding gaps created, selectmen have reduced the amount they will set aside for Overlay Account (used for unexpected expenses and tax abatements) from $74,000 to $20,000. Sparks said last week if the school share is less than they originally projected, the board would likely add more to Overlay.
The board and committee also reduced the Highway Department budget by $46,000. Andre Bernier has retired from the department and the position will not be filled until September, which will save wages, Sparks said.
Other proposed account reductions include about $5,500 to the transfer station and $15,000 in debt service (salt shed loan).
If the budget is approved, the current mil rate of 11.65 is expected to remain the same, Sparks said.
Candidates for office include incumbents Selectman Fred Henderson and School Director Dick Melville. Sparks said she knew of no one else running.
The meeting starts at 9 a.m.