Cape Elizabeth’s proposed $18.5 million municipal budget, now in the hands of the town’s finance committee, comes with a property tax increase of 7%.

The budget for the new fiscal year adds two new positions, replaces some town vehicles and includes upgrades at Fort Williams Park, including improvements to its pickleball courts and the addition of new ones.

Roughly $7.9 million of the $18,465,267 town budget would be raised via taxes, increasing the tax rate by 30 cents to $4.56 per $1,000 of assessed value. The owner of a home assessed at $350,000, the median assessed value of a home in Cape Elizabeth, according to Town Manager Matt Sturgis, would see an annual property increase of $105. That property tax rate does not account for any increase resulting from the school budget, which will be proposed separately by the school board.

“Part of it is providing excellent, reliable public and emergency services,” Sturgis told The Forecaster, highlighting the addition of a new Fire and EMS position. A municipal project manager position also has been included in the budget proposal.

The plan also covers a number of capital purchases, such as $350,000 for the replacement of a Public Works Department front-end loader, utility vehicle and pickup truck and $124,000 for two police cruisers.

Fort Williams Park improvements in the proposal include $152,000 to relocate the playground closer to the Children’s Garden and $140,000 to maintain and dredge the pond at the park.


“We want to promote our public spaces and connections for folks for physical activities, of all ages,” Sturgis said.

“Pickleball’s been taking off like wildfire,” Sturgis said. “The council has received a lot of emails on that, advocating for that work to be done.”

Over half of this year’s municipal budget goes toward town personnel, including a 6% average wage increase for all employees. The raises reflect cost of living increases and help the town retain its current staff and attract new applicants, Sturgis said.

The town manager’s budget has been sent to the finance committee for review.

The finance committee will meet Monday, March 20, and Thursday, March 23, at 6 p.m. The public can attend both of the meetings, or view them on CETV. Residents can provide the council with their input at a meeting on Monday, April 10.

Once the school budget is presented to the finance committee in late April, another public hearing will be held May 8. The council will take a final vote on the town budget on May 15. Passing the school budget will be up to voters at the June election.

This story was updated March 22 to add that pickleball courts would be added at Fort Williams Park as part of the proposed budget. 

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