Bath city officials Wednesday proposed a $17.9 million city budget for the upcoming fiscal year, an increase of 4.25% over the current budget. The figure, which officials said will likely change over the next six weeks, is driven by increases in spending on personnel, the replacement of city vehicles and building maintenance.

The budget increase would bring a modest tax hike, due in part to increased state revenue sharing and a state subsidy received by Regional School Unit 1 in October, according to City Manager Marc Meyers.

When combined with proposed school and county budgets, the proposed 2023 city budget would increase the taxes in Bath by .31%, according to a report by Finance Director Juli Millett. That equates to about a $12 annual tax increase on a $200,000 home.

“This is huge for Bath and other municipalities within the state,” Meyers said of the projected $557,000 increase in state tax revenue that will flow to Bath in 2023. “This will help keep municipal operations functioning and help keep property tax rates low.”

Salary increases and three new hires are the biggest drivers of a 2.3% proposed increase to the city’s spending, according to Millett’s report. The proposal includes funds to hire a new firefighter, an assistant codes enforcement officer and a director of sustainability and the environment.

Capital fund expenditures, which include the cost of street paving projects and the purchase of several city vehicles, are projected to increase by over $237,000, or 28%, from the current budget.


According to Meyers, this increased spending, made possible by recent amendments to the city’s Expenditure Limitation, will save Bath an estimated $65,000 in interest payments over the next five years, as the city will be able to fund purchases upfront without needing to finance them.

“It’s just improving the financial management of the city and helping us be more responsible with our spending,” he said.

Bath is currently developing plans to improve to the city’s stormwater and sewer systems and to construct a new $14 million fire station at the old Morse High School building. Those projects, which could reach the City Council and referendum voters later this year, would not affect the 2023 budget, Meyers said.

After developing the budget over the past three months, Millett and Meyers introduced the proposal at a special meeting of the City Council on Wednesday evening. The pair stressed that items and totals could change over the next several weeks.

“Our budget is very preliminary,” Millett said.

The council will review the budget at three sessions next week before holding a public hearing at 6 p.m. on May 18. It will vote on a final version on June 1.

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