BANGOR - The Bangor City Council Chambers were busy Wednesday night as officials held the first meeting of many for the 2015 fiscal year budget.
The first draft projects a seven-percent tax increase for Bangor residents, a number councilors hope to lower.
It's a result from a lack of state and federal revenue received in the past.
However 70%-80% of budget is personnel, bringing up the question of what to trim - employees or other budget issues?
"When you cut people, you're also cutting services," Ben Sprague, Bangor's Mayor, says. "Unfortunately for the past few years we've lost a lot of positions through attrition and retirement, so we're cutting pretty close to the bone right now. That's the challenge for this year, to cut services and personnel, whether to raise taxes, or a combination of both. Most likely it will be a combination of both."
One item discussed is the possibility of cutting community connector routes in the area, numbers showing the line use of Odlin and Capehart decreasing.
Sprague says every item on the budget will be examined closely to protect the city's future.
"How do we preserve the things that make Bangor special, without raising property taxes too much," Sprague says. "It's going to be a challenge."
The draft will likely see numerous revisions before the final council adopts the budget in late June.