Proposed $1.13M budget to be reviewed by panel

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LIVERMORE — The Board of Selectpersons agreed Monday to send a preliminary budget of $1.13 million for 2010-11 to the Budget Committee for review, Town Administrative Assistant, Kurt Schaub said Tuesday.

The proposal represents a $23,389 decrease from the current $1.16 million budget.

After anticipated revenues are factored in, the proposed net budget would be $983,459, which is down from the net budget approved by taxpayers last year of $989,138, he said.

The Budget Committee is set to review the proposal at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21, at the town office.

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The spending package reflects $40,000 more being added to the highway capital improvement fund to bring that budget to $240,000 for next year, Schaub said. That money is used to rebuild roads or do major improvements on them but not maintain them.

Selectpersons also proposed 3 percent wage increases for employees, except for Schaub, who would receive a 5.5 percent increase, Selectperson John Wakefield said. Wages are set using guiding principles of the Maine Municipal Association salary comparison and the consumer price index to help calculate comparable wages, he said.

The board has been trying over the years to bring town employees’ wages up to the average of what other employees in a town the size of 2,000 residents make, he said.

The employees are not the highest paid or the lowest paid, they are in the middle, he said.

With the exception of two people, the town was right on the money on wages last year, Wakefield said.

One of the two people drastically underpaid is Schaub, Wakefield said.

He did not ask for a raise, Wakefield said, and had expected to get a 2 percent increase as Schaub had recommended for all employees.

Schaub has worked for the town for 10 years come August and is also the treasurer. He also is on the Planning Board and does a lot of work for the town in that capacity, Wakefield said.

He is paid $907 a week and the raise would boost that by $50 a week, Wakefield said. His annual salary would go from $47,164 to $49,764, a difference of $2,600. The average pay for the job is $1,031 a week or $53,612 annually, he said.

“If we can reduce a town budget, which we will with no increase, I don’t feel guilty for rewarding the people that brought us there,” he said.

All employees have been working hard to reduce this year’s spending that will carry through to next year, both Wakefield and Schaub said.

The town is being affected by a decrease in the state’s municipal revenue sharing program, Schaub said. Livermore is projected to receive $126,000 in anticipated revenue sharing for 2010-11, which is down from the $186,000 received in 2008.

The town anticipated receiving $143,000 in revenue sharing to offset the current budget, he said, but will actually only get $122,000.

Once the budget process is completed, it will go to voters at town meeting at 7 p.m., Thursday, June 10, at the Livermore Elementary School.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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