Calais Holds Budget Workshop

By Gwen Clark

 A budget workshop was held in the Assembly Room at Washington County Community College prior to the Calais City Council meeting on April 10th. City Councilors in attendance were: Tommy Parks, Billy Howard, Marcia Rogers, Artie Mingo, Alan Dwelley, and Anne Nixon.  Mayor Marianne Moore and City Manager Diane Barnes. This budget meeting was a continuation of the budget workshops that had been held in Calais.

  City Manager Diane Barnes: 

“As of today I am still making changes to this budget and that’s why I haven’t given you a full complete set but I should within the next couple of weeks. As it stands right now, our Municipal Budget is up $90,886, the County Budget is down $749, as it’s posted on the school’s website.  The minimal local share stays the way it is. That’s up $27,599 but in talking to Keith yesterday he said there may be some more changes to the funding where the state share may go down and the local share may go up; so what I’m planning to do is whatever the minimal local share is I’m plugging that in for right now to do the budget so as it seems by doing it that way we’re up $117,636.  They posted the revenue sharing a couple of days ago and our revenue sharing is down $23,000 from this current year so we’re going to have to add that to the $117 thousand.  What can offset some of that is valuation, depending on what Lorna gets as of April 1. They are still working on that, obviously we’ll get some of the Walmart valuation.  Just remember that a million dollars in additional value will give us $25,500 on our current mil rate. That’s how much we’ll get for tax revenue.”

Recreation Director, Toby Cole, presented his budget to the Council.  He proposed a $200 decrease in personnel from last years budget, an increase in the telephone account by $500 due to a new plan in place; $125 increase in sewer fees,  $800 increase in maintenance of vehicles, lawn mowers, etc.; ADA Compliant Lift for the pool will be in the planning for installation for this year.  Last year the CIP funds for that lift were used to assist the schools, and this year time is running out for the addition to the lift in order for it to be in handicap compliance within the mandatory date.

The cost of the recreation departments programs are offset each year by the collected revenues charged during the year.  The cheering competition held at the Cross Center this year that was sponsored by the Calais Recreation Department brought in a cleared amount of approximately $8,000.  Councilor Rogers inquired about the gym floor maintenance at the recreation center itself and Director Cole answered that the floor hasn’t been done since he has been there.  Rogers expressed her concern for the need in order to keep it functioning.  Cole suggested that Randy Morrison has considered having the summer work done on that floor by the school janitors when they do the school floors and it is provided for in the Recreation Departments budget.

 Plans to have the pool opened approximately one full week following the last week of school in June are tentatively set up.  Further research and inquiries into the legal aspects of the ADA Compliance lift in place before the open date for the pool are planned.

City council and city manager budget:   Stipends for the council members are $1,200 and the city mayor receives $2,400.  An increase of $16,087 for the combined wages under the city managers salary and assistant city manager salary, an increase in benefits, increase in the health insurance of $1,051. The current combined net budget salaries are $164,963. There is a proposed $350 increase to the assessor’s position.  The assessor is in the process of digitizing the mapping for the City of Calais. The city clerk and finance department will receive a 1 1/2 % cost of living increase and benefits will increase.

Last year, one of the glass doors was broken, and funds were committed out of the school maintenance account, so an increase to that account has been done, to bring it to a more realistic amount in case any other incidental things need to be covered.