LIVERMORE FALLS — Eighteen residents turned out Monday for a public hearing on local articles that will appear on the ballot on Nov. 5.

Voters will reconsider a $197,861 town administrative budget for the third time. It has failed twice before, first in June at the polls, then in July at an open town meeting.

It is not actually an increase, Selectman Louise Chabot said. It is just moving the treasurer’s position from the elected officials budget to the administrative budget.

Last year’s budget was $165,166 for the administrative account.

Residents previously voted to change the treasurer/town clerk position from an elected position to an appointed one.

The town has been running on last year’s budget to cover the administrative expenses until the budget passes.

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“We felt we could run pretty normal until December and then will have to look at making some cuts,” Flagg said of the budget if it does not pass in November. They are still paying wages, and there are items that are not due yet, she said.

Most of the items in the account are set costs, she said. The budget takes on the overflow from the other departments, including supplies, legal, postage and dues for organizations that save the town money, among other items.

Resident Ron Chadwick said the failed votes were sending a message to the board that people are not happy with spending.

Chabot said she believes that people don’t understand that the cost for the position is being moved from one category to the next.

“I really do feel they thought we were increasing the administrative budget,” she said.

Chabot noted that the board was able to keep the tax rate the same at $20.80 per $1,000 of value for the past four years.

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Chadwick said that the town has taken a lot of money from surplus this year to help pay for the budget and additional items such as a sidewalk, which voters approved.

Chabot said the selectmen scrutinize the budget to keep costs down. Selectmen are all taxpayers who don’t want to see their taxes increase, she said.

Flagg said the town is not the only expense considered in the tax bill. The town’s share of the school budget increased nearly $130,000, she said. Forty-nine percent of the tax bill is for schools and 46 percent is for municipal budgets. The tax bill also includes money for Androscoggin County.

Resident Merry Carver asked that selectmen try to make cuts to get the tax rate down.

Voters will also consider changing from Androscoggin County to Franklin County.

Currently, the town pays $33,941.55 to Androscoggin County for emergency dispatch and police services on top of the $160,074 in taxes Livermore Falls pays to the county.

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Town Manager Kristal Flagg said that Livermore Falls is the only town in the county to pay the additional money for dispatch services.

Voters approved changing counties in June, but it was before the state Legislature approved the measure for a town vote. Now the town is on a timeline and needs to vote in November. If approved, the measure will go to towns in Androscoggin County and Franklin County for a vote in June 2014, Flagg said.

If Livermore Falls residents reject it, the issue is dropped, she said.

The move is anticipated to save some money, especially cutting travel distance in half for police from Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn to Franklin County Jail in Farmington.

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