Old Town Budget Gap Could Mean Drastic Cuts 

It was standing room only at Old Town City Hall on Monday. Taxpayers came out in droves for the city council meeting. Two weeks ago, a proposed budget was put forth that would cut services and raise property taxes. The city manager says Old Town faces a shortfall of more than $1,000,000 because of cuts in state revenue sharing, and lost revenue from the Juniper Ridge Landfill. They also face sharp increases to city, school and county budgets.A 5% increase in the tax rate would recover $440,000, leaving a gap more than $614,000. To make up for that, municipal leaders are considering a $100,000 dollar cut to the library, cutting ambulance services to outside towns, eliminating two police positions, an economic development position, and closing the parks and rec. department altogether. Well more than 60 people were at the meeting. Town Manager William Mayo says there is no deadline for passing a budget. He declined to be interviewed. Two public hearings will be scheduled before the council votes on a budget proposal.