Wiscasset residents approved all but two items on the town’s new $6.1 million spending plan Tuesday.

The new budget is up $249,575, or 4.25%, from last year, but it isn’t yet clear how that increase will impact taxpayers.

The town’s new property tax rate will be determined in the fall when administrators perform the tax commitment, which is when a tax assessor calculates the tax rate for residents based on the municipal, county and school budgets.

Wiscasset currently holds a tax rate of $20.12 per $1,000 of value. This means a home valued at $200,000 receives a $4,024 tax bill.

Residents narrowly rejected a $55,000 police cruiser in a 197-205 vote as well as a $51,402 budget item for a school resource officer position, up about $5,100 from last year, in a slim 198-202 vote.

The police cruiser was marked in budget documents as a capital improvement, meaning the funding would have come out of the town’s capital reserve accounts and would not impact taxpayers. Town Clerk Linda Perry didn’t return requests for comment Wednesday on how the rejected school resource officer increase would impact the overall budget and subsequent tax rate.

The major drivers of the budget include a $117,360 increase for the police department, much of which will be used to fund a new full-time police officer position, according to Police Chief Lawrence Heseltine.

The town’s public utilities budget also increased $42,416, due to a 20% water district increase for fire hydrant services, said Town Administrator Kathy Onorato. The Emergency Medical Services allocation increased about $31,000 to follow a new law that took effect on Jan. 1, 2021 requiring a cost increase of up to 40 hours of paid leave per employee.

The larger increases are somewhat balanced by a $51,219 reduction in municipal insurance spending due to a reduction in workers compensation rates for the upcoming year, said Onorato.

The town’s parks and recreation budget also fell about $21,000 from a combination of various decreases in the department’s personnel, debt services, supplies and equipment expenses.

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