LIVERMORE FALLS – Responding to demands from the Budget Committee for figures they could work with, Town Manager Alan Gove presented some Wednesday night and said he expects the tax rate to stay at 24 mills.

Gove did not release an overall total budget, but his summary showed a $144,000 decrease in revenues and a $156,000 decrease in expenditures.

Taking into account a $7,000 increase in fuel and diesel not included in department accounts, the total decrease would be $149,000, he said.

This level of funding was achieved through many cuts including having one man less in the highway department, no sergeant in the police department and having one shift of dispatch covered by Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department.

Officials suggested other cuts, such as eliminating all agency requests except the Tri-Town Ministerium, which operates the Food Bank. Since no one was on hand to represent the agencies, it was agreed to deal with their requests later.

The committee suggested one additional expenditure, reinstating the tax discount to those who pay the entire bill at an early date. This improves the cash flow, said Treasurer Kristal Flagg.

Selectmen did away with the 2 percent discount this year and are reluctant to reinstate it, but a compromise of 1 percent was suggested, noting that was better than most savings account rates.

“Some people wouldn’t pay early this year because of no discount,” said Faith Nichols, deputy clerk.

The manager’s expense account was also questioned. Apparently it is designated only for auto expenses, not for meals at conferences, etc., so Flagg has been taking those out of the contingency account.

Chairman Bernal Lake’s opinion was that someone making $45,000 a year should bear some of the cost of his job, just like he has to replace tools in his carpentry business.

He also said the town should not be paying for his travel from his home in Mercer. “The town manager should be a member of the community,” he stated.

Concern was raised on the ambulance subsidy and the unwillingness of the Tri-Town Medical Foundation to release any of the proceeds of the sale to help provide a building for another service.

Also questioned were the need for the assessor’s agent, the $181,000 the town pays for hydrants, and the amount given to the Spruce Mt. Ski team since the town doesn’t support any other sports team.

Selectmen will review the figures at 6 p.m. Monday and the Budget Committee will do its work at 6 p.m. Tuesday, both at the Municipal Building.


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