An expansion of Falmouth’s central fire station would be one of the projects benefiting from a new capital improvement fund included in the town’s proposed budget. Sydney Richelieu / The Forecaster

The town’s portion of the Falmouth property tax rate would go up 8 cents, or 2.9%, under its proposed budget of nearly $19 million for fiscal year 2023-2024.

The proposed budget of $18.9 million is up $1.3 million, or 7.1%, over the current $17.6 million budget, an increase driven largely by the creation of a Future Building Capital Improvement Plan along with inflation, town officials said.

The spending plan would increase the portion of the property tax rate funding town services from $2.67 per $1,000 of assessed value to $2.75. The owner of a $500,000 home would pay $40 more in taxes, not including additional taxes that may result from the new school budget, according to town officials. Falmouth’s current property tax rate, based on combined town and school budgets, is $11.92 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The Future Building fund will go toward large building projects over the next 10 years, according to Falmouth Finance Director Peter McHugh. There will be a $300,000 contribution to the fund each year for a minimum of four years, and those funds will be used to reduce bond amounts.

“The town will be expanding both Central and West Falmouth fire stations and there will be a Public Works Building renovation,” McHugh said.

The town initially proposed a new budget with no increase in taxes, but deemed the Future Building fund was necessary, according to Town Manager Nathan Poore.


“This new fund will essentially help flatten future year increases to meet this demand,” Poore said.

Funds to renovate the Falmouth fire stations are essential, Fire Chief Howard Rice said. Both stations were built before Falmouth had full-time fire staff members and are not equipped to house them. Temporary renovations have been made, including cutting training rooms in half to accommodate bunk rooms and offices, but the buildings still cannot house all of the equipment used by the fire departments.

“We’ve outgrown the buildings we have,” Rice said. “We’re looking to replace them.”

The 12 new fire department positions included in this year’s town budget have made a difference, Rice said. Response times have been cut in half in the past year.

“We’re trying to plan something that meets the needs and have some forward thinking. It is a large project to replace these two stations.”

The department has seen “an incredible investment from the town the past few years,” he said, and he hopes that investment will continue.


The proposed budget also includes $700,000 to replace the fire department’s Tank 4 with an engine/tank.

Another major driving factor in the budget this year is inflation, McHugh said.

“Inflation has caused increased costs in labor and materials across the board,” McHugh said. “Fuel and energy costs are also up significantly, as are replacement vehicle costs.”

A joint town and school budget presentation is scheduled for March 29, and a public hearing on the town budget is planned for April 5.

“We believe that taxpayers will understand a reasonable increase to ensure our capital needs are met in the future,” Poore said.

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