LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen voted Monday to increase the rate for septic tank waste that haulers bring to the treatment plant from $85 to $100 for 1,000 gallons.

The board also voted to reduce the charge for emptying a holding tank on a camper from $25 to $10.

Town Manager Kristal Flagg said Sewer Department Superintendent Greg Given made the recommendations.

In another matter, Flagg asked the board how they felt about using $80,000 from the town’s undesignated fund so the Sewer Department can pay what it owes to the wastewater treatment plant.

The town’s undesignated fund has $1.12 million in it, she said. If voters approve the measure, it would leave about $1.04 million, Flagg said.

The $80,000 would help pay the Sewer Department’s share of a repair needed at the treatment plant.

The cost is estimated to be about $150,000 to $160,000 for a bar rack/bar screen, Flagg said. Initially it was estimated to cost up to $200,000.

Jay and Livermore Falls would use up to $60,000 from the plant’s reserve fund toward the repair and each town is responsible for a share based on a formula of flow treated at the plant. If the towns had to pay $100,000 for the remainder of the repair, Jay would be responsible for $54,000 and Livermore Falls, $46,000.

The $80,000 and a 20 percent increase in sewer rates is expected to get the Sewer Department going in the right direction.

Flagg asked whether selectmen favored and a town meeting or a referendum at the polls. The latter would take at least 45 days to set up. The meeting, where people could ask questions before the vote, could take place within a seven- to 10-day period, Flagg said.

“I’d rather go for an open one,” Selectman James Collins said. It’s quicker and would get the repair done sooner, he said.

Chairman Bill Demaray said that with that method there would be no absentee ballots where people could vote if they couldn’t make the meeting.

Flagg will check to see if a public hearing and a special town meeting could be held at the same time.

The question to voters would be if they want to take $80,000 out of the fund balance account, also known as the undesignated fund or surplus.

Hopefully, if voters approve the use of the money, the Sewer Department will be able to pull its own after that, Selectman Kenneth Pelletier said.

When selectmen in their capacity as sewer trustees voted in late November 2012 to increase sewer rates, Flagg told them they would need to raise the rates by 35 percent to cover expenses.

Some selectmen said at the time that a 35 percent increase would be too much for sewer users to bear. Sewer users pay for the Sewer Department and treatment plant in Livermore Falls.

Selectmen are expected to set a date for a special town meeting at their meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the Town Office.

Flagg said the vote could possibly be held at the first selectmen’s meeting in March.

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