Back to Fort Fairfield Journal      WFFJ-TV      Contact Us






Fort Fairfield Reveals Budget for FY 21-22


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, May 5, 2021


FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine - The Town of Fort Fairfield held its first public comment meeting on the proposed 2021-22 town budget on April 28 at 6pm with around two dozen townspeople in attendance along with the town council.

   This year’s proposed budget comes in at $7,132,273, which is $246,639 more than last year’s budget.  However, even with the recent town-wide revaluation that cause many property owners’ taxes to increase substantially, the overall revenues the town projects to raise to pay for their budget are estimated to fall short by over one million dollars.

   The budget shortfall is based on preliminary numbers which are not yet finalized.  According to town manager, Andrea powers, some items on the revenue side have been estimated on the low side until further information can be obtained.  One of those items was the Fire/Ambulance service which has a projected income, on the low side, of $257,700.   “The income from the ambulance service, that is a conservative number because this will be our first year receiving the income for the department and we didn’t want to budget for a number that we were not positive would be coming in, “said Ms. Powers.  “This is a very well thought-out, calculated revenue.”

   Last year’s revenue for the fire/ambulance service was $972,520  but it was derived in large part from the loan proceeds to start the service up.  In reality, the ambulance service only budgeted an income revenue for last year of $169,556.  “The revenue from the year before was from the loan proceeds to start the department so, that’s why it looks like a significant drop.  But, in fact, it’s actually an increase from the $169,556 before.”

   The entire expense budget for the Fort Fairfield Fire/Rescue for this fiscal year is estimated at $1,389,929.

   Another line item that is too soon to pin down is local road assistance money which currently is projected to be $93,150.  “That number came straight from the state and at this time is lower than last year’s for income but things are changing at the state house right now, so we may see a change there,” said Ms. Powers.

   Income is up by more than $6,000, at this time, for the Maine Potato Blossom Festival.  “The increase in income comes from the amount of vendors that we have currently signed up for festival.  It looks like it’s going to be a very exciting year for the festival.” 

   Municipal revenue sharing is up by around $350,00 over last year’s amount.  But, Ms. Powers says that number is still fluid at this point.  “I believe the increase has to do with the amount of money they currently received, as far as LD 328 moving forward through the House and we’re waiting for the Senate to give their answer on moving from the 3.75 percent funded municipal revenue sharing and then ‘sudden and severe’ being given to the town.”

   The preliminary number from MSAD #20 for the local school’s cost to the town was $2,243,484.  “That lowered it by $108,419.  They are getting $1.8 million from the state government.  Their final numbers probably won’t be available to us until the end of May, first of June.  But, Superintendent Doak has assured me that he will keep in contact with me.”

   Meanwhile, property tax revenues slightly increased from $3.66 million to $3.77 million.

   The second budget hearing will be on May 5, 2021 at 6pm at the Fort Fairfield Community Center gym.

   Comments on the budget will be received at the town office up until May 19, 2021.