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LEWISTON — The town board held a budget hearing on Thursday to give residents an opportunity to weigh in on the town’s preliminary 2020 spending plan, but only one person took the opportunity to ask questions. 

The $18.463,371 million budget is up $336,238 over last year’s budget and resident Paulette Glasgow wanted to know what the extra money would be spent on. Jacqueline Agnello, the town’s director of finance, explained that the additional money would be used to cover expenditure increases across the budget.

“That is spread out pretty much through every fund,” Agnello said. “We had 2 percent salary increases for every union, property insurance went up 5 percent, our fire protection contractual, and other worker’s comp, went up, and even though that ($336,238) was an increase over last year, it’s only a 1.85 percent increase.”

She said town tries to stay ahead of equipment needs for its departments. In the 2020 budget, that includes two new patrol vehicles for the police department, a new truck for the highway department and the water department will get a new mini excavator.

But Agnello said the town was able to save money in other areas, such as medical insurance, offsetting some of the larger expenses. 

Next, Glasgow asked for clarification on any proposed changes to property taxes. Agnello said there would actually be a 0.47 percent tax decrease this year. 

Finally, Glasgow wanted to know about whether the town had finished crafting a fund balance policy, which she said has been recommended repeatedly by the town’s auditors. Agnello said it was still in the works.

No action was taken on the budget. 

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