Bowdoinham residents will vote tonight on a concept plan for the redevelopment of the public works property along Route 24 and the Cathance River. (Courtesy of Town of Bowdoinham)

BOWDOINHAM — Bowdoinham residents meet tonight to weight a $1.9 million municipal budget that would increase taxes an estimated 2.4%.

The spending plan increases the current municipal budget by $125,530 and is part of a 40-article warrant voters will consider at tonight’s town meeting.

The municipal budget, combined with the town’s portion of the Sagadahoc County and Maine School Administrative District 75 budgets, could raise the tax rate $1.36, which would mean an estimated $272 increase for a home assessed at $200,000.

Factors driving the budget for 2019-20 includes additional proposed staffing. Town Manager William Post is proposing an additional full-time public works employee to help shorten plow routes and more effectively clear roads. He is also proposing to increase the 20-hour a week administrative assistant position to 30 hours.

Post said he expects the town could receive an additional $50,000 in municipal revenue sharing if approved as proposed in the state budget. The state is required to give municipalities 5% of the sales and income tax it receives to help provide property tax relief. Municipalities only got 2% this year, but Post said the Legislature has approved giving 3% of that revenue pool to towns. The overall state budget is still hasn’t been approved, however.

That would bump the current $135,000 in revenue sharing Bowdoinham gets to as much as $224,000. The $90,000 bump would be substantial for the town’s $1.9 million budget, “so it could have a big impact on the tax rate,” he said.

Voters will also consider a conceptual plan for the redevelopment of the waterfront where the public works property is now located. The public works department is moving to a new facility on Pond Road. The plan seeks to improve waterfront access in town and increase recreation opportunities while protecting natural resources along the river.

Residents will also consider amendments to the town’s land use ordinance allowing it to regulate medical marijuana establishments.

Town Planner Nicole Briand said the town has adopted recreational retail marijuana requirements. The state now also requires the town to opt-in to allow medical marijuana operations. Briand said the town has provided proposed rules to regulate medical marijuana, which it handles the same as recreational marijuana.

Small medical marijuana establishments that don’t need to register with the state are authorized in all areas of town without a permit. Those that must register with the state, and any commercial uses, require a site plan review permit from the town.

The town meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Bowdoinham Community School.

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