LIVERMORE FALLS — Voters will be asked to consider two amended warrant articles on Monday night during a special town meeting.

Selectmen reduced the funds for both articles pertaining to administration and elected officials by a combined $11,620 after voters rejected them last month.

The vote will be held at 6:30 p.m. on July 12 at Murray Hall at 69 Main St.

Selectmen chose to go with an open town meeting in July to allow voters to discuss the articles and then vote by secret ballot, if they want to.

The articles are written in a format that allows voters to raise the amount or lower it.

The changes in the articles take away a $200 raise each selectmen received the previous year to bring the annual amount for each to $1,900. It also eliminates a proposed 2 percent raise for Town Clerk/Treasurer Kristal Flagg leaving her salary at $38,413, the same as last year.

The administration budget was reduced from $178,992 to $169,140. Cuts were made in legal fees and operating expenses including postage and payroll services.

Selectman Louise Chabot, who can not be at the town meeting, spoke in support of Flagg to get her raise during a selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday. She also supported Town Manager Jim Chaousis keeping his 18 percent raise in the first year of a three-year contract to bring his salary to $53,000. He is scheduled to get a 2 percent increase in the second year. The board did not alter Chaousis’ salary when the article was reduced.

The town clerk and treasurer is only obligated to do the duties she was elected to do, Chabot said. However, she fills in for people taking vacations, sick days, and helps out when needed and goes beyond her job-description duties, she said.

“She should have a 2 percent raise like everyone else,” Chabot said. “To deny it is petty and small.”

The biggest bone of contention in the administration budget is the town manager’s salary, Chabot said. Chaousis was hired at a lesser pay than other town managers of similar size towns because he was still in college and didn’t have experience, she said. He accepted it because he felt he could prove himself and he did, Chabot said.

“He met and exceeded all goals in the first year,” she said, and has saved the town money.

According to Chaousis’ end-of-year report, the town did save a lot of money under his leadership and is looking at a lower tax rate than initially anticipated. He expects the rate to be committed at about $20.90 per $1,000 of valuation compared to $21 in 2009-10. Though the rate is better than anticipated, there are financial challenges ahead in future years, he said.

The town, through the loss of the Wausau Paper mill, will lose $33.1 million in valuation this year, which equals $662,689 in lost tax dollars, Chaousis told selectmen Tuesday. The budget was made using estimated figures that were close to what it really was.

Although the municipal appropriation is not final, Chaousis said, the town will have cut the 2010-11 appropriation by about $540,986. Overall, the town is responsible for reducing the appropriation by $733,094 this year, he said.

“The town has run finances through strict, and sometimes unpleasant, conservative measures,” he said. “I realized that this would create a surplus available to the town.”

Although the town suffered a midyear $103,000 revenue shortfall, the town can benefit from the $192,108 in surplus that will be available to reduce the tax commitment this year, he said.

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