BUCKFIELD – Budget Committee members Warren Wright, Perley Lovejoy and Terry Hayes presented the 2008 town spending plan to selectmen Tuesday night, and it showed a $35,528.71 decrease from this year.

Selectmen backed a $1.5 million budget last May.

On Tuesday, they did not agree with all the committee’s recommendations.

On economic development the committee cut out the $5,000 because they said they had not seen a plan.

“If they get their ducks in a row next year we can put it back in,” Wright said.

Selectman Skip Stanley disagreed.

“We have to get development going in this town. We have lost businesses,” he said.

Hayes suggested alternatives to address the need, such as using the town’s Web site.

Selectmen voted to recommend the $5,000.

Another area where the committee asked for a cut was with the assessors.

Wright said the Planning Board had given up its stipend, and other committees were doing the same.

“Everyone else is taking a cut,” Stanley said.

The board agreed to the $525 cut.

Law enforcement was another area where the committee and board disagreed.

The committee recommended no money; the board recommended $10,000.

After some discussion selectmen wanted the SeniorsPlus meals manager to continue being paid about $1,400. The committee said other towns had a volunteer to serve the meals and had recommended this cut.

Discussion arose over the increase in administrative spending due to Town Manager Glen Holmes getting 100 percent paid insurance, which had been negotiated in lieu of a raise. He had previously been eligible for 50 percent of his insurance.

Other areas where the committee recommended cutting and the selectmen agreed were: Fire Department $34,000; Recreational Committee $1,705; general assistance $1,000; Memorial Day preparations $175; social services nothing; municipal building $10,570; and library $7,030.

Also: Highway garage $925; highway equipment $23,000; solid waste and recycling $741.

Areas that increased in the budget were: rescue $7,000; cemetery $200; street lights $550; and summer roads $57,201.

Assistant fire Chief Steve Campbell was appointed fire chief to replace retiring Chief Steve Bly.

A request from Seth Carey to present casino information was granted.


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