BOWDOINHAM — Bowdoinham voters approved selectmen’s proposed $2.18 million municipal budget Tuesday.

The budget was incorporated in a 37-question municipal ballot. According to unofficial election results, the budget articles passed by a wide margin. That included the $164,839 capital reserve budget. Though Selectman chair Tony Lewis recommended voters reject that article if they want to lower the overall budget, voters approved the capital reserve budget 540-294.

The capital reserve budget includes $111,339 the town saved in debt payments by refinancing nine of its bonds. The money was put in a capital reserve account to help the town pay for capital improvements without borrowing and raising taxes.

One of the largest proposed increases in the budget is a $44,709 — or 23% spike — in the solid waste and recycling budget due to a large increase in disposal fees. Voters approved the $235,587 solid waste and recycling budget 653-142.

There is an overall $30,026 increase in wages in 2020-21 compared to the current year. Heath benefit costs are dropping $5,000 or 2.9% due to staff enrollment changes.

Town Manager Tom Woodin said earlier this month that as of April the state anticipated giving Bowdoinham $273,000 in municipal revenue sharing in the current fiscal year that started July 1. Municipal revenue sharing is the portion of income tax and sales tax the state gives municipalities.


Due to expected cuts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Woodin only budgeted for $220,000 in municipal revenue sharing, the same amount it received in 2019-20. That could increase the tax rate by 3.8%, or $126 for a home valued at $200,000, according to budget projections Woodin provided last week.

If the town gets only $200,000 in municipal revenue sharing, the tax rate could increase by 4.3% or $140 for a home valued at $200,000. If the town gets only $174,000 in municipal revenue sharing, the town could see a 4.7% tax rate increase or another $156 on the tax bill of a home valued at $200,000.

Attempts to reach Woodin for an update on the $2.18 million budget’s tax rate impact on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Residents voted overwhelmingly (707-123) in favor of a rule change allowing the town’s only restaurant, Three Robbers Pub, to serve liquor Monday through Saturday. The same rule change for Sundays was already adopted last year. Once a “dry” town, Bowdoinham had an old rule that prohibited the sale and consumption of liquor at any establishments in town.


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