WEST PARIS — Selectmen on Thursday heard from financial planning consultant John Lemieux of Anton-Lemieux Financial Group of Falmouth about the history and status of the town’s accounts.

Lemieux has been the town’s financial planning consultant since former Town Manager John White was at the helm. When White passed away, selectmen were left with a learning curve on town business relationships. 

Lemieux gave selectmen and interim Town Manager Wade Rainey a status report on the four town accounts and two library accounts his firm manages on behalf of the town. The statuses, according to Lemieux, are:

• Undesignated Account, $122,615.61, 100 percent cash;

• Repair Main Street Account, $94,219.05, 100 percent cash;

• Landfill Account, $54,043.47, of which $28,784 is in cash; and

• Cemetery Account, $3,538.49, which has a small cash balance.

The statuses of the two library accounts are:

• Heikkinen Account, $92,002.04; and

• West Paris Library Reserve Fund, $28,174.56.

“The way that we had been working on the town accounts was that John and I would work to match maturities of anything we would buy, with expected needs,” Lemieux said. “So if you pick the Repair Main Street Account, if he saw six months out there was going to be a need for $30,000, we might buy a six-month CD, or a bond that was going to mature before the money would be due, and try to get what yield we could and make sure the funds were available when the town needed them.

“For most of these accounts, though, this money seemed to just function as kind of a deep reserve, where there wasn’t much money in or out of them,” he said.

Rainey explained to selectmen what he knew about the accounts’ origins.

The Repair Main Street Account contained leftover money from the Main Street Project and the Landfill Account contained the leftover money after the landfill was closed and the town bought compactors, he said.

He did not know the history of the Cemetery Account. 

Lemieux later speculated the Cemetery Account may have been created as a gift to the town, and that its present value is about $3,538.

The Undesignated Account is the largest one, at over $122,600, Lemieux said.

Selectman Pete Collette asked, “You said no money comes in or out of it?”

“Very rarely,” Lemieux said. “We funded them years ago and there may have been the odd time over the years where we had a bond mature. I’d call John and say, ‘We just had a $50,000 bond mature; what do you want me to do?’ Usually it was just, ‘Let’s go on another year,’ or, ‘Just try to get a safe return, and still keep the funds available.’ There hasn’t been much turnover in the funds.”

The selectmen asked Lemieux to return for another visit, and tabled any decision to ask him how to continue to manage the accounts until they could study options.

In other business, Selectman Pete Collette briefed his fellow board members about progress on the town’s baseball field reconstruction. Collette said he will determine how much fill material will have to be placed on the field and provide that number to the various contract bidders.

Rainey said the fill material can be moved from a sand lot the town owns.

Selectman Dennis Henderson remarked that the cost should be reduced dramatically by the town being able to provide its own fill material for the project.

Selectmen also discussed possible plans to pave outside the fire station and buy a sand screen. Selectmen will research pricing options and revisit the matter at the next meeting. 


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