Cape Elizabeth’s proposed $18.4 million town budget is up about $1.5 million, or 9%, over this year’s budget, causing just a small increase in the property tax rate.

Under the town’s proposal, which includes a county tax rate increase of 4 cents but does not reflect any potential increases from the school budget, the property tax rate goes up 3 cents to $20.29 per $1,000 of assessed value. The owner of a $500,000 home would receive a $10,145 tax bill, $15 more than last year.

“We’re trying to come in with a responsible and conservative budget for the town,” said Town Manager Matt Sturgis in an interview with The Forecaster.

The budget contains a 5% pay increase for town employees, around $300,000 for an ambulance and $198,000 for a dump/plow truck. Both vehicles will be leased.

“The 2004 truck is currently 18 years old and at the end of its useful life,” Public Works Director Jay Reynolds said in an email to The Forecaster. “The replacement will allow our crews to continue our operational services we provide to the town, lower maintenance costs.”

There is also $135,000 set aside for a rotary mower, used to maintain the town’s open spaces, such as Fort Williams Park. The current mower is from 2007, and the replacement will lower maintenance costs and improve safety, according to Reynolds.


Those items will be leased as well, according to Sturgis, in order to avoid a large spike in this year’s budget.

“Those large ticket items, we will be financing through a lease,” he said. “It lets us maximize the amount of assets we have coming in, while broadcasting (those costs) across five years of stable payments.”

Also accounted for in the proposed budget is a slew of infrastructure projects, including the replacement of the Willow Brook culvert, Kettle Cove drainage improvements, and improvements to Shore Road.

“We’re leveraging some American Rescue Plan funds that are going to help offset infrastructure improvements,” Sturgis said.

The town will also apply for grants for these projects when possible, he said.

Residents will have the opportunity to comment on the budget proposal at the April 11 Town Council meeting and at a May 9 public hearing. The council is scheduled to take a final vote on the budget May 16.

The council’s Finance Committee will turn its attention to the school budget on April 25, when they will receive a presentation from the School Board. The school budget will be decided by a citizen vote on June 14.

All Finance Committee budget meetings begin at 6 p.m. and are televised by CETV on Spectrum Cable channels 3 and 1302. For directions on how to view past meetings and stream future ones over the web, visit

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