Livermore Falls budget review ongoing

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LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen began to examine the proposed budget recently with three department heads going over four budgets.

Selectmen have taken no action on any of the budgets presented.

The process will continue at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Town Office.

Public Works foreman Billy Nichols told selectmen on Feb. 6 that the municipal solid waste budget is expected to decrease by $17,885 to make it $133,800 for 2012-13.

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Tipping fees continue to drop for trash from a $75,000 budget for the current year and $60,000 in the budget for next year.

Recyclable tipping fees also appear to be dropping from $4,125 this year to a proposed $3,750 for 2012-13.

Overall, Nichols said the budget for municipal waste has decreased 53.35 percent in three years.

The public works budget is up slightly with it being proposed at $341,300 compared to $336,775 now.

One line that showed an increase is uniforms which is proposed at $1,550 compared to $1,050 in the current budget The town’s mechanic uses the uniforms, he said.

Nichols said he also included $500 more in the budget to replace street signs since he noticed several are fading.

The proposed police budget is $402,614, up $18,518 from the current budget.

The police and public works budgets include a 2 percent wage increase for impending negotiation purposes.

New labor contracts have not been negotiated.

The police budget increase includes $8,984.78 for in-serve training for full- and part-time employees. The Department had dropped hands-on training at the station previously due to budget constraints.

Another increase in the police budget is the telephone. The phone and fax service line bills for the two were averaged to get a true figure, police Chief Ernest Steward Jr. said. The line for the telephone, which also includes cell phones and laptop air cards is proposed to be increased to $7,131 for next year.

In Fire Chief Gerry Pineau’s budget, he is proposing to increase it by $14,739 to $105,844 for 2012-13.

He has budgeted to replace four sets of firefighter turnout gear at $7,800. If the Department needed to replace all 38 sets of gear at once, the cost would be $74,100, Pineau said.

By budgeting for four sets a year, it will allow firefighter turnout gear to be rotated out in a 10-year life span, he said.

Another increase proposed in the budget is $5,100 in officer salaries and part-time wages.

Pineau is asking to increase the assistant chief’s salary from $3,000 to $6,000.

Pineau said he is not asking for an increase for himself or safety officer in next year’s budget.

They remain the same as they currently are, Pineau said. The chief salary was increased in 2011-12 to $8,000 from $3,900 the previous year. Pineau is requesting $8,000 again for his position this year.

He also proposes to increase the captain’s salary from $1,800 to $2,500 a year and lieutenants salaries from $700 to $1,000.

The safety office salary is $600.

The Department is also recommending the elimination of three stipend positions in the payroll and redirecting those funds to the part-time hourly wages to help offset increases in this budget line.

“This is due to increase call volume, trainings and work sessions,” Pineau said.

The three positions to be eliminated are company clerk, maintenance assistant and janitorial.

The maintenance assistant and janitorial positions were developed to remove two people from the Fire Department Chain of Command, Pineau said

The total funds this would allow the Department to redirect are $2,500.

“The jobs these positions were responsible for will be covered by other stipend positions and hourly positions,” he said.

The part-time hourly wages are proposed to increase $2,000 to $29,000 next year.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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