Special town meeting scheduled in Deer Isle



DEER ISLE — The town of Deer Isle will hold a special town meeting on Thursday, Jan. 5, at 5 p.m. at the town office to consider taking out a $2.5-million tax anticipation bond.

“Every year we borrow ‘X’ dollars to carry us through,” said Selectman Lew Ellis. “It basically covers the school payment. That will get us through to tax season. As soon as the tax dollars start coming through we’ll pay it back.”

Deer Isle’s share of the education bill for Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School and Deer Isle-Stonington High School totals about $300,000 a month, according to Ellis.

Property tax payments start arriving at the town office in mid to late July. Once enough taxes are collected, the town will pay back the bond.

The Board of Selectmen proposes borrowing the money from Bar Harbor Bank & Trust at an interest rate of 1.34 percent.

Deer Isle received a “slightly lower bid” from a bank outside the area, but the board thought it should give the business to a local bank and one the town uses for most of its transactions.

Ellis said $2.5 million is probably more than Deer Isle will need.

“I would anticipate we’d be in the $1.8 million to $2.1 million range,” he said.

The selectman said bond money also is useful in cases when it takes longer than usual for voters to approve a school budget. That happened in 2015 when voters didn’t approve a school budget until August.

Without an approved school budget, town officials can’t commit taxes and thus cannot send out property tax bills and collect said taxes.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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