BANGOR – City officials met virtually on Wednesday to look over their respective budgets.
Even with Gov. Janet Mills’ Phase 2 plan allowing many businesses and locations in Maine to reopen including various town and city halls, city councils have been consistently meeting virtually.
On Wednesday the topic of the Bangor City Council’s meeting was real estate and property values.
In the meeting, Assessor Phil Drew said nationwide, there will be a 2 to 3 percent drop market values that could reach Bangor.
But he also said to limit that blow, Bangor’s market ratio, which is the percentage of market value that the area homes get sold for, needs to be in the mid to high 90s.
“Getting our ratio at least above 91 percent is that we’re really able to certify 100 percent with the state of Maine on a municipal evaluation return. This means Bangor can keep the homestead exemptions, the blind exemption and the veterans exemption, at full values,” Drew said.
The Orono Town council also gathered virtually to review their budget.
One focus was the town’s public works budget for their half a million dollar Main Street sidewalk project.
“I sense it might go up a little bit by the time we’re done. We have that split in the budget with 20 percent or $100,000 in this year’s budget coming of out the downtown and transit oriented tiff district and the $400,000 for next year coming out of the general fund’s taxes,” Town Manager Sophie Wilson said.
They also reviewed Coastal Resources of Maine’s reported loan of $1.5 million for their Hampden-based waste plant.
Orono has a contract with the municipal review committee, which Wilson said has issued a notice of default to CRM because of the loan.
Wilson said if that default isn’t cured in 30 days Orono’s waste may be getting sent somewhere else.
“If MRC is not living up to it’s obligation, which is to provide a place for us to dispose of the waste, then we absolutely can start looking at whether or not we stay with the contract,” Wilson said.