LIVERMORE FALLS — The town’s Budget Committee would propose a different budget than selectmen if its recommendations were included on the warrant for the annual town meeting referendum on Tuesday, June 11.

There was a dispute in April between selectmen and the Budget Committee over whether the budget panel overstepped its bounds by asking in at least one case that town employees wages be cut by 10 percent.

The committee would have proposed a budget for 2013-14 that was $160,574 less than the selectmen’s proposed $2.25 million budget. The latter is $45,774 less than the current budget.

The budget panel’s recommendation did not include any money for recreation, which includes a six-week summer program and funds for liability insurances for a local youth sports and a ski slope.

Selectmen recommend $27,733 for the recreation budget. The budget panel’s proposal didn’t include money for capital improvements. Selectmen recommend $66,960 for a police cruiser, highway dump body, V-plow for side track to clear sidewalks and money for a reserve account for self-contained breathing apparatus equipment.

The budget panel supports the breathing equipment but no money was allotted.


The two groups differ on budgets for administration, police, firefighters, code enforcement, public works, solid waste, recreation and capital improvements. The Budget Committee’s proposal includes no money for donations to the Livermore Falls Downtown Betterment Group or the Maine Paper & Heritage Museum.

It is the Budget Committee’s opinion that everything in capital improvements is an equipment budget purchase, committee member Ron Chadwick said Tuesday.

“There is a fine line between equipment purchases and capital improvements,” he said.

The panel needed more information on recreation programs and wanted the town to use carryover monies to lower the appropriation for the fiscal year that begins on July 1.

There are five carryover amounts that were projected in January. Some of it will help to continue projects at the transfer station and pay for a half percent salary increase for employees in the coming budget, Town Manager Kristal Flagg said. Selectmen recently finalized a union contract that gives employees no raise in the current budget but 1.5 percent in each of the next two years of the contract. Employees have been working under a contract that expired June 30, 2012.

Sometimes, invoices for work done in June do not come in until after July 1, she said. The bills must be paid out of this year’s budget, she said.


Flagg also said that one of the reasons the Budget Committee’s yes or no recommendations are not included on this year’s ballot is because the committee didn’t have a quorum during meetings, except for the last meeting.

Ronnalean Sanborn, chairwoman of the committee, said that was true but there was a quorum of five out of the nine-member panel when the budget plan was voted on in April.

Chadwick said that every salary proposed in departments is a form of deception. The town warrants and budgets presented to townspeople and endorsed by selectmen were calculated on a 1 percent wage increase. The union contract finalized in May gives them a 1.5 percent increase, he said.

Negotiations were not completed when the budget was prepared.

There was $15,000 in the current year’s contingency fund and some of that was to be used if a 1 percent increase was approved for the current year, Flagg said. It was unknown what increase the contracts would settle on so $12,000 in contingency is being carried over to make up the half percent.

Any money left in accounts other than what is carried over goes back into the general fund, she said.


“This town warrant that we are going to vote on June 11 was not prepared by the Board of Selectmen,” Chadwick said. “It is nothing but a rubber stamp of department heads’ budgets. The Board of Selectmen had 12 months to restructure town services and reduce the cost to taxpayers and they did not address the issue.”

Flagg said the budgets are so tight that the only item left to reduce is people. The departments are working at bare minimum without jeopardizing safety, she said. Otherwise, departments would have to be eliminated.

Residents voted in past years to keep services, she said, and that is what selectmen are trying to do.

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