Auburn readies for vote
The fate of Auburn’s 17-year-old Police Commission rests in the hands of the voters, with a petitioned warrant article asking to abolish the commission by rescinding the town vote which created it.
Other warrants include a $34,675 mosquito control program, and a lease/purchase agreement on a replacement fire truck for the department with questions of the cost and the merits of the lease method.
The fire warrant will approve a seven- to eight-year lease as a part of a department program to keep their trucks on a 20-year life cycle, setting up a regular replacement cycle using such lease arrangements to keep up their fleet without having to force big onetime expenditures on the voters or run a truck past its lifecycle. The payments will come from surpluses, and will not raise the tax rate.
If all warrants pass, the town portion of the tax rate will be set at $4.39 per $1,000 of property value, a 20-cent increase from last year’s rate. That translates to a $50 increase in the tax bill of a $250,000 home.
On the school side, Auburn voters will be presented with a relatively straightforward ballot. An operating budget of $11,609,192 (with a default budget of $11,437,610), and a collective bargaining agreement are the only two warrants with a tax impact. The remaining article would place $25,000 into the School Construction Expendable Trust Fund, but the money will come from from a surplus and will have no tax impact as a result.
Auburn will only see three contested races this election: the first for selectman between incumbent James Headd and Audrey Trickett, and the second for library trustee between incumbent Feria “Fay” Hanscomb and David Smiley.