Mariaville voters to consider fire station funding, budget increases



MARIAVILLE — It’s that time of year again — muddy driveways, fluctuating temperatures, lengthening days — and town meetings.

On March 25, Mariaville voters will head to the Beech Hill School in Otis to vote on issues ranging from whether to appropriate funds for a new joint fire station, funding for local nonprofits and what to spend on road maintenance, administration and ambulances.

Not including school costs, which won’t be available until later in the summer, the proposed 2019-2020 town budget is up 5 percent over last year, to $465,455.

If approved, the amount to be raised via taxes would be $291,238 (again, without school costs). It’s still too soon to tell what next year’s tax rate will be, as the town awaits word on the Regional School Unit 24 (RSU 24) budget. This year’s tax rate stands at $16.20 per $1,000 of property valuation.

There are 54 warrant articles on the docket this year as well as several open officer positions. The biggest ticket item this year is Article 30, which asks voters if they are willing to spend $25,000 of surplus funds on the new fire station building that was approved in the fall.

Construction is slated to begin on the building this spring, according to previous reporting in The American, and the building is estimated to cost around $750,000.

The project is a joint one between Mariaville and Otis. The cost of running the Mariaville Fire Department is expected to be around $15,000 for the coming year, up from $14,000 this year. (The department is volunteer-run and serves both Mariaville and Otis.)

Another new item this year is the appropriation of $1,000 to update property tax maps, which were last revamped in 2014.

There are proposed increases in several line items as well. Administrative costs are slated to go up 6.5 percent, to $111,072. The cost of operating the transfer station is expected to increase, from $77,000 last year to $79,000 in 2019-2020. Snow removal is also up $2,000, to $119,000 for the year.

But there are also a few anticipated decreases. Mariaville’s share of the county tax is down 1.1 percent, to $31,734. There is also no appropriation slated for the Town Improvements Fund, which was $5,500 last year. And the appropriation for ambulance services is expected to go down slightly, from $5,000 to $4,617.

The meeting will be held at the Beech Hill School in Otis on Monday, March 25, at 7 p.m.

Kate Cough

Kate Cough

Kate covers the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. She lives in Southwest Harbor and welcomes story tips and ideas. She can be reached at [email protected]

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