FORT KENT, Maine — With revenues down from last year, voters in Fort Kent are looking at a $400,000 tax commitment increase over the coming fiscal year, representing a 1.5 mill increase.

The 2010 municipal budget and the proposed $4,912,000 in appropriations will be presented to residents at the annual town meeting 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 22, at the Fort Kent Community High School.

“These are the current projections,” Town Manager Don Guimond said of the anticipated tax commitment. “They do not include final [property] valuations for the year or the school budget, which operates on a different fiscal year.”

A big factor in this year’s Fort Kent budget, Guimond said, is the loss of $1.7 million in revenue, including cuts in state revenue sharing dollars and excise tax collection.

Two items reduced from this year’s budget by the municipal budget committee appear on the warrant thanks to citizens petitions, Guimond said.

A request for $26,370 by the Northern Aroostook Regional Airport Authority was reduced by the municipal budget committee to a recommended $14,000. In 2009 voters approved $26,370 for the airport authority.

The budget committee also recommended against any funding for the Lonesome Pine Ski Trails which had requested $5,000, equal to what it received in 2009.

“The long and the short of it is the municipal budget committee went through its process and removed $600,000 from the proposed budgets,” Guimond said. “We can continue to operate and do what needs to be done, but there won’t be a lot of road work or capital projects this year.”

The town was helped out a bit by Mother Nature this year as lower snowfalls and higher than average temperatures took some pressure off the winter road maintenance and heating budgets, Guimond said.

“But we can’t assume next winter we will see the same savings,” he said.

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Julia Bayly

Julia Bayly is a reporter at the Bangor Daily News with a regular bi-weekly column. Julia has been a freelance travel writer/photographer since 2000.