Committee being formed to look at options to pay down Sewer Department debt

LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen decided Monday to set up an ad-hoc committee to explore options to get the Sewer Department out of debt. They are looking for people both using the system and not using the system to serve on committee.

Selectmen raised sewer rates 20 percent on Nov. 26. That amount is still not enough to get the Department out of debt. A 35-percent increase was needed but selectmen decided that was too much at once.

Those using the system pay for it including the town’s sewage treatment plant. Jay pays 54 percent of operation and maintenance of the plant. The percentage is based on the amount of sewage that comes from that town’s residents that is treated at the plant.

Sewer users in Livermore Falls foot the bill for sewage treatment and the plant.

Residents and landlords who have property on public sewer asked the town during the hearing for help to get the system out of debt.

Options put forth that night included asking those who are not users and who don’t have access to the sewer system to help pay for it through taxation.

Town Manager Kristal Flagg said she and Department Superintendent Greg Given went to training on applying for a Community Development Block Grant for public infrastructure.

The process has changed with the letter of intent being submitted first and state authorities making a decision on whether the town has a need and it meets the criteria prior to application being submitted, Flagg said.

Amy Landry of the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments is going to help with the town’s letter of intent, she said.

Flagg said the grant can go up to a $1 million.

At this stage there is no cost.

Flagg asked selectmen if they wanted to have a special meeting on trying to find a solution to get the system out of debt.

Selectman Louise Chabot asked if they wanted to have a work team to study the issue to look at options.

“I know we have big opposition from people who are nonusers,” Flagg said in regards to people not using the system to help pay for it.

The ad-hoc committee could work on the issue and bring an idea back to the board, Chairman Bill Demaray said.

“It is a big issue. I think it needs to be looked at further,” Chabot said.

Selectman Jeff Bryant said there should be users and nonusers on the committee.

Demaray asked for a list of loans the Sewer Department has and what the payments are each year.

Anyone interested on serving on the committee should call the Town Office at 897-3321 or stop by, Flagg said.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Ken Perry's picture

Typical

So first they only raise the rates 20% for livermore falls users only, when they new 35% more was needed, then why not raise the rates in Jay 20% for those users and they would have a small surplus?
But they now want ALL Livermore falls residents to pay because the town does not have the "Management Skills" to oversee the Sewer Dept.
Livermore falls has dropped the ball on the school system, they had dropped the ball on the Taxes on the Bio Mass plant a few years ago with a "mistake" on their taxes to the tune of a Million dollars again on the backs of the tax payers, and they had over 100K stolen from the sewer dept.
What we need is accountability from our elected officials who we has trusted to do the right thing and pay attention.
The people of Livermore Falls can not afford higher taxes. The town goes all in to assist private property owners receive Free money for business ventures and personal gain, its time they look out for all the people in this town not just a select few.
Please just do your job.

Ellen Levesque's picture

So even though Jay taxpayers

So even though Jay taxpayers already pay 52% of your sewer cost and more than 70% of the school costs for Livermore Falls, you would have us pay even more??? Why owuld that be fair? Just wondering!

Ken Perry's picture

Well, first I do not even

Well, first I do not even have town sewer I have my own $8000. septic system, and if Jay is paying 52% its not of the what the actual total is needed. The sewer dept has been running about 100K a year short of what it needed. So it should be adjusted to "float" itself. This has been an ongoing shortfall. I understand what you are saying but, that is the deal that was made between the two towns. LF users are getting an increase so why shouldn't Jay? If it is to be split like you say 52 to 48% then thats what should have been done. They should take the total actual operating cost and split it 48 /52 and set the rate to what is needed.
The School well that's figured on evaluation correct? If you voted for consolidating then that's you wanted, personally I did not and do not support the consolidation.
I believe that LF town govt. has the attitude that they will "tell" us what to do and that we/us will just pay and do it. I am not happy either but I really do not think any of mine or your tax dollars should be wasted to make up shortfalls that they new where there. But i do not feel I should have to pay to make up a shortfall for residents of a neighboring town. LF tax rates are the highest in the area.

Ellen Levesque's picture

We also have a private septic

We also have a private septic system at our home and actually the cost of some of Jay's sewer system come out of our general taxation. While I don't think that is fair, we still have to pay it. However, if you research the cost, you will find that Jay pays 52% of the total cost of Liv Falls as it is. What is having to be made up is your cost of the 48% which Liv Falls has not billed the users for. As I understand it, there is no monies due from Jay. Believe me you are not making up any monies for Jay taxpayers. Jay is subsidizing Livermore Falls taxpayers.

FYI I did NOT vote for consolidation and think it is another drain on our taxes. However, it is done and we have to deal with it. When they get all the kids under one roof it will be better for all involved.

Ken Perry's picture

Not to beat a dead horse, but

Not to beat a dead horse, but the money they are short is for upgrades or loans that they took in the past and "forgot " to factor in. Not that LF has not paid this was a managerial mistake.

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