ORONO – As with almost all other town meetings currently, members of the Orono Town Council met Monday night virtually for their weekly meeting.
During Monday’s town council meeting, Orono Fire Chief Geoff Low informed the town officials of the new no outdoor burning policy the fire department had put in place for the area.
“We’ve seen over 700 wildfires in the state of Maine so far this year which really is a significant number and numbers we that we haven’t seen for quite sometime. Their concern obviously is something the counselors already talked about tonight with the dryness that we’ve had regionally, actually statewide,” Low said.
He added that because of the large amount of foliage present in addition to the current weather conditions, there’s a higher risk of a fire happening.
“The problem with Orono is that Orono really likes its trees and as positive is that is and as good as that feels to live among the trees, it really is a double-edge sword because it creates a problem when we get into conditions like this,” he said.
For the fiscal year 2021, town officials projected the total municipal expenses to be about $9.5 million and the total municipal revenue to be $4.5 million.
According to the Town Manager Sophie Wilson, the total amount that needs to raised by taxes for the municipal budget is $4.9 million.
“We don’t have one huge cost center, but public works, fire department, police department, general public safety really accounts for more than half of our total budget,” Wilson said.
She said to avoid plain raising taxes to bridge that gap, the town will look to adjust the budget expenses or look into borrowing money in the following weeks.