DIXFIELD — The town manager and all four selectmen volunteered Monday night to take pay cuts so nonunion employees could get raises.
"I think our priority is fairness to all town employees," Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky told selectmen at their meeting. "If our Public Works employees get a 5 percent raise, then I think all town employees should get the same 5 percent raise. Our staff is clicking and their morale is high. I think it is important to keep it that way by ensuring the same raise for everyone."
The unionized Public Works Department employees negotiated a 5 percent raise this year.
Skibitsky said he would reduce his work week from five days to four.
Selectmen, in solidarity with him, volunteered to sacrifice their pay for July, and have the money go toward raises for the town's nonunion workers.
Voters at the annual town meeting May 27 voted that cuts be made in the spending recommendations made by selectmen in certain areas.
"It is now up to the selectmen to reconcile the difference" between the selectmen's recommendations and those mandated by the voters, Skibitsky said. "Our town budget had already been cut to the bone. We need to cut an additional $41,705 from the town's budget."
He suggested cutting $1,705 from the Fire Station Building Reserve and $1,000 from the Library Building Repair Funds.
In other developments, David Phair of the Public Works Department announced the town has a new street sweeper acquired from the town of Paris and it would be ready to operate Tuesday.
He also said new energy efficient light bulbs are saving the town considerable money, and the used oil collection is more than 1,400 gallons with more expected from RSU 10 and Irving. He expressed gratitude for the number of private businesses that have donated many gallons of vegetable oil.
The department was given the go-ahead to trade the town's Toro mower for three mowers from Pennsylvania.
Jim White of the water department reported said the dramatic loss of water pressure was due to problems at a North Street residence.
Chief of Police Richard Pickett reported the department had received word that U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, would endorse the Dixfield COPS Grant application.
The town is also adopting the CityWatch program for mass notification in emergency situations, he said. The cost of implementing it is $120 and was approved by selectmen.
The Town Office will be closed at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 30, so the town books can be closed to end the 2010-11 fiscal year.
The annual town elections are set for Tuesday, June 14, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the American Legion Post.