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Bangor Budget Workshop 

A budget workshop is taking place Thursday at 5 pm in Bangor.As Meghan Hayward tells us, Bangor’s mayor is pushing for a budget that won’t increase property taxes, but not all city councilors are in favor of where the cuts fall.Some members of the Bangor City Council want a 10 percent cut across the board in Public Works and the Fire Department.The proposed cuts would help offset declining revenue and keep the tax rate stable.The nearly eight-hundred-thousand dollar reduction for the two departments was suggested by Council Chair Richard Stone.City Councilor Hal Wheeler is opposed to the cuts.”Well if we cut fire by the amount proposed by the council chair, then we’re going to have to shut down Station 5 on the Hogan Road. We’ll lose seven firefighter positions. I don’t think it makes sense to reduce your fire insurance just because you haven’t had a fire lately.”Wheeler says there’s a long list of smaller cuts they’re looking at. He’s hopeful they can find enough savings to meet the council chair halfway, preventing deeper cuts.”The tax rate has remained flat for the past two years. But government is costing more just as your orange juice and bread and other things are costing more. We just can’t turn a blind eye to the realities of this kind of economy.”Wheeler thinks Bangor taxpayers will want to keep their essential public services.”I’m hopeful that we can keep the tax rate increase between 50 and 60 cents. I think the citizens of Bangor are willing to pay an extra 75 to 90 dollars a year in order to maintain the important and essential services they’re accustomed to.”The Public Works Department also faces cuts to their over-time budget.”Obviously when you reduce overtime, that’s money out of the crews pocket and so they do plan on some of that money. So it obviously affects all the employers of Public Works when you make a cut in an area like over time.”The city is facing a projected loss of about two million dollars in revenue, mostly because of a reduction in state aid.