Budget work: Bridgton holds core services intact

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

Bridgton Town Manager Mitch Berkowitz was able to hold core services intact in his fiscal year 2014–15 budget, now under review by the Budget Committee. The proposed budget is $6,715,682, or $456,000 greater than last year. It comes with a projected tax rate of $14.02.

Revenue projections are up by $110,000, and that’s not including extra savings from lower-than-budgeted costs for solid waste disposal through ecomaine. Still, the budget committee is scrutinizing every line, as a hedge against possible significant reductions in state revenue sharing and increases in support of the SAD 61 School District.

The budget includes a 2.1 percent salary increase for town employees and an anticipated increase in general assistance expenses. Another $50,000 is budgeted along with the $100,000 already approved for a townwide revaluation, scheduled to begin this fall and continue into the summer and fall of 2015.

Berkowitz noted in his budget letter that the current proposal exceeds the LD-1 cap by about $165,000. If that amount stays intact, Town Meeting voters will need to be asked for permission to raise it to the new level of about $4,750,000.

The budget is projected to be offset by $1,723,625 in revenues, leaving a net amount to be raised by taxes of $4,729,704.

Budget Committee members began their review on Jan. 8, and have so far met with department heads and are expected to soon be reviewing their recommendations with Berkowitz. Members of the committee are Steve Stevens, Greg Jones, Venessa Jones and Bill Vincent.

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