LIVERMORE FALLS — Two dozen people attended a public hearing last night to review articles that will appear on the town meeting warrant.

Of the 41 proposed articles, only 10 of them drew questions. The purchase of town trucks and a proposed property maintenance ordinance raised the most.

An article dealing with reserve accounts suggesting $80,000 go into the highway equipment reserve was questioned after Board of Selectman Chairwoman Louise Chabot said voters have not been putting money into that account. Several pieces of equipment need to be replaced this year.

When asked, Town Manager Kristal Flagg said there is about $50,000 in the highway equipment reserve account and $90,000 in capital improvement reserves.

Resident Bob Jones asked why taxpayers aren’t being informed on the type of pickup truck being considered. Flagg said, “We’re not nearly ready for that yet.”

Article 41 asks if the town will vote to seek financing of up to $229,000 to replace a 1998 plow truck, a 2002 plow truck and a pickup truck with a plow.

Flagg said the town has been approved for FEMA funds to help with blizzard expenses and estimates receiving $18,000 to $20,000. Those funds, combined with the sale of the old trucks, plus $35,000 to 37,000 from the highway equipment reserve account should cover one purchase. Flagg said a loan would be taken out in July or August for the other two purchases planned this year. The first payment wouldn’t be due until next year.

Selectman Ronald Chadwick said he is opposed to purchasing three vehicles this year.

A special town meeting will need to be held later to address problems with the Fire Department building.

“We should really search our souls,” Chadwick said. He questioned having an $80,000 debt “to begin next year with.”

Chabot said, “This is what was proposed. We can’t change it now.” She also said the board and other committee members all pay taxes and don’t want taxes going up. “Not setting money aside brought this about. I think we can do this,” she said.

Road Foreman Bill Nichols explained that the 1998 GMC 6-yard body truck would be replaced with a Wheeler 12-yard body truck. The larger body would reduce trips when hauling snow or sand. The used 2002 truck will be replaced with a similar truck and the plow and dump body on the 2002 truck will be transferred to its replacement.

One person wanted to know who would enforce the property maintenance ordinance. Chadwick said the Code Enforcement Officer and the health officer were the two avenues of enforcement.

Some voters felt the ordinance as proposed doesn’t have enough teeth in it.

Planning board alternate member Darryl Brown said the board spent a lot of time developing the ordinance. They wanted to keep it simple and less than two pages in length. He said the first paragraph stresses “voluntary compliance”. “If this doesn’t get passed, nothing ever will,” Brown said.

Questions about salaries and wages and the number of town employees were also answered. The amendment to the shoreland zoning ordinance was explained.

Voters will vote on all warrant articles at the June 9 town meeting.

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