Voters to consider recall, firetrucks and trash

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LIVERMORE FALLS – Voters will consider spending an additional $30,000 Tuesday to bid on Farmington’s ladder truck. They agreed to spend $100,000 for it in June.

They’ll also decide if they want to establish an ordinance to recall elected town officials, spend $9,900 to match a $198,000 grant to buy a pumper-tanker truck and spend $10,000 more to keep the transfer station operating at the current service level through June 30.

The special town meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the cafeteria of the Livermore Falls High School on Cedar Street.

The nearly $50,000 needed, if all money items are approved at the maximum, would come from the town’s undesignated general fund account.

The warrant article question on the ladder truck will appear with a recommendation from selectmen to appropriate $30,000 and the Budget Committee’s recommendation not to bid on the truck.

The budget panel instead would like to have the Fire Department concentrate on developing a capital improvement plan, fix the town’s existing ladder truck and get it certified, and follow recommendations of the Insurance Services Office public protection classification program and a joint fire study of five area towns including Livermore Falls. The latter study suggests that if Livermore Falls could reach an agreement with Jay on use of its aerial truck, then after Livermore Fall’s ladder truck is retired, it would not need to be replaced.

Fire Department Chief Ken Jones maintains that they need a ladder truck for the safety of townspeople and firefighters and that Farmington’s 1988 truck with about 11,000 miles on it is an excellent deal. Farmington has the truck up for bid with a minimum bid required of $100,000. Bids close at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5.

The town received $198,000 assistance to firefighters’ grant to buy a pumper/tanker. The grant would give $188,100 if voters approve a 5 percent match of $9,900. In addition, the Fire Department’s budget cannot be reduced for three years, which is only a one-year extension because of a grant received last year for firefighting equipment.

The additional $10,000 needed to keep the transfer station operating as it is is based on a $2 increase in solid waste tipping fees to $80.50 and an increased amount of trash being disposed by residents.

Last year’s budget was $183,072 compared to this year’s $184,372, a $1,300 increase. Voters cut the proposed solid waste budget of nearly $216,000 by more than $31,000 at a special town meeting in July.

A State Planning Office representative told town officials last year that based on trends, the amount of municipal trash will increase by 80 tons this year. Last year’s budget for tipping fees was $117,000 (actual was 1,522 tons of trash at $78.50 a ton), and this year is $128,800 (1,600 tons of trash at $80.50 a ton.)

Town Manager Martin Puckett said earlier that if additional funds are not raised, a reduction in services is possible and could result in decreased operational hours and days.

Townspeople will also consider a citizen-initiated petition seeking a recall of elected officials ordinance. It wouldn’t affect elected school officials but would affect selectmen and other elected town officials.

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