KENNEBUNK – The proposed municipal budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 will, if approved, add about 19 cents to the current $13.75 mil rate, town officials have calculated.

Altogether, gross operating expenses for the coming year are projected at $14.15 million, budget documents show, and capital improvements and debt service at $1.13 million, for a total of $15.29 million. With revenues up 5.2 percent and projected at $5.32 million and with $100,000 applied to debt service from surplus, that leaves the a $9.8 million net budget – which is $484,744, or 5.17 percent more than the current year.

“I think the (proposal) meets our needs and allows us to continue the quality and level of service residents expect and desire,” said Town Manager Mike Pardue in an interview last week.

The budget will go to the voters in a referendum Town Meeting June 9, with the  first public hearing set for March 24. The Select Board and the advisory Budget Board completed their review of the document in early February, though there was agenda item regarding the proposed budget for the Feb. 25 Select Board meeting, after the Post’s deadline.

Here are some of the highlights:

The budget calls for two part-time positions – a human resources generalist and a public works administrative assistant – to become full-time jobs. It includes funds for one new 11-week entry level lifeguard, and for four new firefighters – the latter described as an “insurance policy” should the town not receive federal grant funding for eight firefighters. In either scenario, the new full-time firefighting positions are a conversion from per diem workers already in place.


Raises for union and non-union workers are pegged at 3 percent.

Health insurance rate increases are at 8.2 percent.

Revenues are up as well –  auto excise tax in projected to increase by 5.3 percent in the coming year

The town proposes to purchase a new replacement ambulance at $330,000; replace a 2001 pavement roller and trailer for $45,000; do road and sidewalk work on Factory Pasture Lane and Cat Mousam Road totaling $200,000, It proposes $60,000 for converting town hall lighting to LED; and $400,000 to for a town wide street light conversion to LED. It proposes $426,000 for sidewalks on Sea Road from Summer Street to Sea Road School and from the school to Riverbend.

Kennebunk would issue new debt for a sidewalk on Water Street, and improvements to the Garden and Storer street intersection; $155,000 is earmarked for the projects. It would purchase a new fire truck at $600,000 to replace the 1992 Engine 2, and proposes $200,000 to replace a 2001 front end loader. Kennebunk would put $500,000 into a project at Lower Village near Coopers Corner for drainage, paving and sidewalks. Pardue said the town hopes to partner with the Maine Department of Transportation on the project, through a program where both entities make financial contributions.

This year, for the first time, the town is proposing funding a $57,400 capital request for Kennebunk Free Library, which would pay for repairs to the parking lot, exterior door replacement and carpeting replacement.


In budget documents, Library Director Michelle Connors said capital funds are requested for two reasons: the library relies on its investment account for major repairs, and has had major work done recently including new LED lighting, new roof and repairs to the historic plaster ceiling. As well, she noted, the library has put off raising wages for far too long, and so it is drawing down more from investments than the current year, to keep assistant positions competitive.

If the budget is approved, Select Board salaries would increase more than periodic cost of living increases for the first time in several years. Select Board members currently earn $2,032 annually; if the $6,409 proposed increase is approved, they’d earn $2,939 annually, said Finance Director Joel Downs. It would be the most significant increase in the past 15 years, Downs said.

A proposal to purchase a Zamboni and chillers for Waterhouse Center, has been removed from the budget. Pardue and Downs explained that there is a plan for a capital fundraising campaign for the equipment and for long-term sustainability of the center. An application for a nonprofit entity to direct that effort is in progress.

The municipal budget is separate from the RSU 21 school budget.

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