KENNEBUNK – The Kennebunk municipal budget is proposed at $15.4 million, up 23 percent (about $2.9 million) from the current year. If approved, the municipal impact to the current $14.60 mil rate. The rate per $1,000 of assessed property value, would be $1.03.

A second public on the proposed Kennebunk municipal budget is set for 6:30 p.m. May 30. Dan King photo

The mil rate is also impacted by Kennebunk’s portion of the Regional School Unit budget, estimated to add about 51 cents, for a total increase of $1.54.

A public hearing on the proposed municipal budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 drew no comment from the public and none from the select board at its March 28 meeting. A second public hearing, as required by the town charter, is set for 6:30 p.m. May 30.

Longtime Finance Director Joel Downs, who worked extensively on the budget and presented details at the public hearing but has since retired, said a large portion of the municipal increase is $954,612 for 10 new positions.

The proposed new positions include a new lister/appraiser in the assessing office; a code enforcement/land use officer along with an administrative assistant in the community development office; a detective and a traffic officer at Kennebunk Police Department; a deputy chief of operations at Kennebunk Fire Rescue, with the remaining four positions being fire/rescue personnel.

He also referenced Kennebunk’s bond debt, total bonds outstanding together with bonds authorized but not yet issued total about $29.49 million. “A rather significant number,” said Downs.


Other increases, as outlined in the presentation, include a $505,000 hike in health insurance, FICA, retirement and workers compensation insurances; a 5 percent cost of living wage increase that totals $437,000; a $216,000 wage and salary adjustment resulting from a compensation study; a $120,000 increase in gas, diesel and heating fuel; $100,000 increase in select board contingency and a host of other increases ranging from a high of $75,000 to a low of $3,000.

Separate from the municipal budget is Kennebunk’s portion of the Regional School Unit 21 budget. Kennebunk’s portion had originally been expected to impact the mil rate by 84 cents, but a state calculation in January of the amount of subsidy school districts would receive for the next budget was incorrect. The Department of Education recently notified districts of a recalculation. That put an additional $1.1 million into RSU 21’s state subsidy coffers. Downs said in an email the corrected state calculation is expected to result in an estimated 51-cent increase in Kennebunk’s mil rate, rather than the original higher figure.

Kennebunk’s portion of the York County government budget, which in the current year represents about 3.75 percent of the municipal budget, is expected to increase by about $60,000, Downs calculated.

If the mil rate estimate of $1.03 for the municipality and 51 cents for the school district remains constant, the mil rate would be $16.14 per $1,000 of assessed value, up from $14.60 this year. If assessments do not change, that would mean the owner of a home valued at $400,000 would pay $6,456 in municipal property taxes, an increase of about $616 over the current year.

The RSU 21 annual district budget meeting is 7 p.m. May 16 at Kennebunk Elementary School. Kennebunk voters act on the municipal budget on June 13.

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