RUMFORD — The Finance Committee unanimously voted Wednesday to approve the $226,389 budget request for the Rumford Public Library.

Library director Luke Sorenson said the amount is slightly more than the $225,000 approved in 2013. The only major increase is a 2.5 percent wage increase.

“Many of the line items on the budget are actually lower than the previous year,” he said.

Committee members Christopher Carver and Josanne Dolloff lauded Sorenson for finding ways to present a “responsible budget.”

“I have to applaud you, because you find ways to lower your budget, even when other parts of it were increasing,” Dolloff said. “You’re trying to save money for the town, and that’s a good thing.”

Sorenson also pointed out that he was asking for an additional $1,500 in the library’s capital account that would go toward installing a fire alarm system in the future.


“Eventually, we won’t be able to purchase the items we’d need to repair our current system,” he said. “The $1,500 would go toward helping us eventually replace the old system.”

There was no vote on the library’s capital account, but the committee members said they approved of the proposal.

The committee also approved a $93,406 general assistance budget proposal by a 5-1 vote, with Dolloff dissenting.

Dolloff asked General Assistance Director Thelma Giberson about the process she uses to verify applicants are qualified to receive aid.

Giberson said there is a toll-free number she calls that provides information on applicants.

Dolloff suggested that Giberson and others working on General Assistance look on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter to get information.


“I’ve heard in other towns that they’ll look at the Facebook pages of people applying for General Assistance and will see that these people are going to the casino or going places and blowing their money,” Dolloff said. “It’s just a suggestion, but maybe we could add a different component to our investigative process. It could help to lower our costs.”

Town Manager John Madigan said the $93,406 is more indicative of what the General Assistance budget should be, and that the $60,000 that residents approved in 2013-14 was “not a realistic number.”

“If you look at 2011-2012, we budgeted around $93,000,” Madigan said. “In 2012-2013, we budgeted over $99,000. Last year was $60,000. I think that last year was unique, and that the $93,406 being proposed this year is a more realistic number.”

The Finance Committee also approved $111,743 for the assessor’s budget, and $83,512 for the tax collector budget.

Both of those budgets passed by a 4-2 vote, with Chairman Dieter Kreckel and Dolloff dissenting.

The Finance Committee will meet again 6 p.m. Thursday, April 10, at Rumford Falls Auditorium.

[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.