BUCKFIELD – Town Manger Glen Holmes told selectmen Tuesday night that a conference on the Buckfield Water Corp. with the Maine Public Utilities Commission will be held Aug. 15 in Augusta, and a committee will be meeting with the corporation Wednesday night to address questions raised by residents.

Holmes said there are issues with apartment-building owners. A six-apartment building would have a water bill of $3,690, if the new rate is approved by the PUC.

Owners argue that unlike single-family homes, they don’t have renters watering grass or gardens and should not have to pay as family homes.

In other business, the summer roads contract was awarded to Maynard and Sons trucking of Sumner.

Holmes informed the board that he had locked in a price for heating fuel at $2.29 a gallon. He noted the town budgeted $2.50.

Norman Richardson was appointed to the Recreation Committee. Selectman Skip Stanley questioned recent conflict on the board. Stanley said, “We need our committees to work together.”

Richardson said the parties with conflicts had left the board.

Former Selectman Oscar Gammon and Tom Holland were appointed to the Road Committee.

Holmes gave the board information on insurance for town employees. He will meet with employees to see if there is interest in the plan and will choose a day to close the office and have a representative discuss the plan with the employees.

He added that the town will not pay dental, but the employees may opt to go with a plan.

Holmes said he would also plan computer training and sexual harassment annual training as well as the benefit analysis for the same day when the office will be closed.

The board discussed what to do with the old town garage, which is currently used for storage. Stanley wanted Holmes to explore possibilities for rental, which Holmes said he would pursue.

A resident on Gammon Road had requested a Dead End sign at the corner of Gammon and Gessner roads. Holmes told the board that if they put up the signs on all the dead-end roads, it would cost between $500 and $600, which he hated to spend. The board voted to have him order the one sign and do others as requested.

Holmes read a letter from the Maine Department of Transportation that stated there should be no parking on Main Street in front of the bank.

The town financial statement was accepted as written.

The board voted to have five members be on the Social Service Appropriation Committee as voted at the annual town meeting. This committee will appropriate the funds for social services, according to the amount voted at town meeting.

Oscar Gammon submitted a report to the board showing how the town was actually saving money by contracting work instead of using town employees. One example was the cost of running a dump truck, which would cost the town $47 an hour as opposed to a contractor’s charge of $32 an hour. Gammon said, “It’s just good business to put work out to bid.”

Holmes said he had tried everywhere to find a qualified person to run the town’s grader without success.

“Pulling shoulders in requires experience,” he said. Holmes approached selectman Philip McAlister who had experience and said he would do the work. The board voted to put a 90-day waiver on a policy that states a selectman cannot do town work.


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