NORWAY — Police Chief Rob Federico told the Budget Committee on Monday night that the town should continue funding the drug investigator’s position but finding money is the problem.

Under Federico’s proposed budget for 2013-14, the drug investigator’s position is slated to be cut Dec. 31, and one employee will have to be laid off, unless other funding is found.

The chief presented two budgets to the committee: one for $437,225 that assumes Gov. Paul LePage will cut $250,000 from Norway’s revenue sharing; and one for $482,062 without the losing the revenue sharing.

Town Manager David Holt requested department heads present two budgets this year: one with the proposed LePage cuts and one without. He was unable to attend Monday night’s meeting to present his Police Department budget recommendations.

Federico said the town needs the drug investigator.

“Having someone dedicated to this position is clearly well worth it,” he said. More than 70 percent of the drug problems in town are caused by the illegal resale of prescription drugs, he said.

Advertisement

The position was funded for three years by a grant, which required the town to pay for the fourth year. Although the grant is still available, Federico said he would need approval of selectmen to reapply.

“It’s been very successful,” he said of the position.

Many of the  Budget Committee members also agreed they would like to see the drug investigator position retained.

Federico’s LePage-scenario budget calls for other cuts, including money for special police coverage for town events and less outside training.

Under his $482,062 proposal, he included a 5 percent increase in the department’s wage scale and a $4.09 per hour wage increase for himself. The numbers are based two surveys that found Norway to be below average on the wage scale, he said.

Federico asked for $17,200 for payments on two 2013 Dodge Chargers. He has also recommended that town keep the two, 2010 Chargers and a 2005 Explorer but sell a Magnum to cover the cost to transfer any equipment and repair some minor rust on the Explorer.

The Budget Committee and the Board of Selectmen are meeting weekly to formulate recommendations for voters at the annual town meeting in June. Each department will present their budgets over the next several weeks and the committee and selectmen will vote on a recommendation for each.

On Thursday, Holt unveiled a proposed $3.9 million municipal budget, saying the town will see a nearly 12 percent decrease in spending if LePage’s proposed cuts are approved.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: