NORWAY — The Budget Committee unanimously recommended a $4.4 million municipal budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year at its meeting Monday night but refused to recommend money to buy land for a new fire station in the north end of town.

“Show me some numbers,” said Budget Committee member Mike Mann Jr. when he and other committee members were asked to make a recommendation on a request by fire Chief Dennis Yates to set up a $20,000 Reserve Fund for the future purchase of land that would eventually site a fire substation in the north end of town.

The proposal was requested by Yates as part of the capital budget, but committee members agreed instead to recommend that a study committee be appointed first.

Mann and other committee members said they were concerned about future costs such as construction of a new building, heating the building and other associated costs. Additionally, they wanted to see how much money people in that end of town would save on their property insurance with a closer fire station compared to what the costs would be overall to all taxpayers.

The Budget Committee was also asked to make a recommendation on a $1.162 million bond for roadway work, including $426,500 for reconstruction of lower Main Street. The Budget Committee is recommending passage.

The total capital project budget is about $515,700.

The committee also went with the Town Manger David Holt’s recommendations for municipal budgets, including $680,662 for the Police Department, $247,792 for the Fire Department and $144,358 for the Highway Department.

The committee also recommended passage of $263,231 for the library budget and $121,285 for the Recreation Department.

The Board of Selectmen are expected to wrap up their budget recommendations in a special meeting Thursday evening.

Holt kicked off the budget recommendations in early April with his proposed $4.4 million municipal budget that set the foundation for the work by both the Budget Committee and selectmen.

In his budget presentation, Holt said the Oxford County and SAD 17 assessments came in less than expected, and some new taxable growth is expected, so the impact to taxpayers will be about a five percent increase from this fiscal year.

Holt said he did not recommend everything requested by department heads in order to keep the increase below six percent.

In addition to the department requests, capital requests include buying a new, fully-equipped highway truck and a new trackless sidewalk plow, as well as performing repairs to the fire station floor.

“Balancing the need for a stable tax rate against the needs of the town to provide good and sustainable service is an ongoing challenge,” he said in his April 1 report to residents, taxpayers, selectmen and Budget Committee members.

The Board of Selectmen are expected to wrap up their budget recommendations in a special meeting Thursday evening.

Voters will then decide on the budget recommendations at the annual town meeting in June.

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Long-time firefighter  remembered

NORWAY — Members of the Norway Budget Committee held a moment of silence for their fellow board member and long-time Norway firefighter, Captain David Millett, who passed away unexpectedly Sunday.

Millett, who most recently served as the safety officer for the Norway Fire Department, was a long-time member of the Budget Committee. He was an active and well-known figure in the area.

“The area is going to suffer because of his loss,” said Vern Maxfield, chairman of the Budget Committee. “He was an iconic figure in the area.”

Maxfield said he walked out of the last meeting two weeks ago with Millett, who told him he may not make Monday night’s meeting because of some hospital tests.

“He will be missed,” Maxfield said.

The Fire Department announced on its Facebook page Monday night that the visiting hours for Captain Millett will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 14, at Oxford Hills Funeral Home. The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, at the Norway Fire Station.


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