Cumberland and Falmouth Town Councils voted unanimously to adopt their respective fiscal year 2023 budgets April 25, and North Yarmouth residents approved their new town budget at their annual town meeting April 30.


Cumberland’s total municipal and school spending plan is about $34.4 million, with the school budget accounting for about $21.8 million of that. The property tax rate will increase by 3%, from $20.55 to $21.20 per $1,000 of assessed value. The owner of a $500,000 median-priced home will receive a tax bill for $10,600 property tax bill, an increase of $325 over this year.

The largest increase is in staff wages; the town will add four full-time positions, including two paramedics/EMTs. The town’s fire chief will also transition from part time to full time.

Having more full-time staff will put Cumberland in line with surrounding communities and enable it to delegate responsibilities evenly, Chief Daniel Small said.

“The departments in the Greater Portland area are almost competing to hire full-time employees,” Small said. “Per diem staff worked for a while, but that’s not as successful and we’re regularly forcing our full-time people to work extra shifts because we can’t fill in with part-time people.”



Falmouth’s new budget totals about $62.7 million, for an increase in the tax rate of $1.55 to $18.98 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The school budget of about $43 million is an increase of just under $2 million; the $17.6 million municipal budget increased $2.7 million. As a result, the owner of a $500,000 home will see a $9,490 property tax bill, an increase of $775.

The municipal budget prioritizes a fully staffed fire department, including 12 new positions. A full staff will allow at least three crew members to working at Winn Road station at all times, according to Fire Chief Howard Rice. All personnel will also be cross-trained as firefighters and EMTs. This staffing plan has been a goal in Falmouth since 2020.

“We used to have a response of 40-plus call members to calls in 2011, and now often get only two or three,” Rice told The Forecaster. “We must hire full-time staffing to put our trucks on the road and respond to the 2,000-plus emergencies that we are called to each year.”


Around 130 North Yarmouth residents representing about 3.6% of all registered voters turned out to pass a $12.5 million budget at town meeting. The 78-cent increase to the tax rate to $17.88 per $1,000 of real estate valuation will mean the owner of home valued at a half-million dollars will see an $8,940 property tax bill that includes a $390 increase.


The municipal budget is decreasing by about $126,000, while town’s share of the SAD 51 school budget increased by about $588,000 and drove the tax rate increase. according to Select Board Chair Brian Sites.

During the meeting, a motion was made to remove $69,858 from the budget for a new, full-time facility programmer for Wescustogo Hall and Community Center. The motion was ultimately withdrawn.

A proposed land use ordinance amendment that would add a table of land uses by zoning district was not voted upon because a minor change was made just before town meeting. A mandated public hearing must be held before the addition can be considered, according to Sites. The required hearing has not been scheduled.

Otherwise, the other 26 articles passed without debate, according to Sites.

“Overall, it was a nice community event and it felt like the old town meetings where we all got together in person and got to catch up with each other afterwards,” Sites said. “It wasn’t contentious at all.”

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