LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen sharpened their pencils Tuesday as they looked for places to cut the 2017 town budget.

After several warrant articles failed to pass during June’s town meeting, selectmen met in July, and after prolonged discussion, came to a consensus on new amounts.

Selectman George Cummings said he wasn’t satisfied with the warrant for the Aug. 16 special town meeting.

“I don’t feel I can sign this because I don’t feel I’d be doing my constituents justice,” he said. “We’ve hardly cut anything.”

Cummings said it seemed like the town was spending too much on salt and sand, and he thought too much snow was being left on the roads after plowing was done. Plowing to the tar could conserve salt and sand, saving a lot of money, he said.

Selectman Ron Chadwick said that recently, the town has been buying 2,000 yards of sand each year. It has about 1,000 left over from last year, he said, and it could buy just 1,000 yards this year, saving money.

Town Manager Kristal Flagg noted that the town has already put in a joint bid with other Androscoggin County towns for salt and sand.

“We’re kind of locked in,” she said.

Selectmen also discussed cutting money from the Police Department budget.

Chadwick said one of his concerns was that the Maine Public Utilities Commission was raising electricity rates, which would affect all town departments.

In other business, architect George Parker gave an update on the fire station. He discussed the design plans for the new building with selectmen, and how recent developments have affected the design work.

Several weeks ago, test borings were done around the fire station. In one of the borings, fuel oil was discovered in the soil.

Lab results are pending from the soil samples.

“The contaminated stuff seems to be about 10 feet below grade,” Parker said. “That’s just about where the bottom of the rubble is.”

He asked selectmen if they wanted him to proceed with the design or to stop work until the soil sample results come back.

Selectmen approved a motion to have Parker delay his work for two weeks until more information is available about contaminants found under the building.

The board approved seeking U.S. Department of Agriculture financing for the fire station.

Flagg said that the interest rate is currently 2.75 percent. Once the loan application is filed, it could take up to 60 days to be processed, she said.

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