MINOT — Selectmen on Monday peeled about $40,000 from the $1.78 million 2017 municipal budget Town Administrator Arlan Saunders presented two weeks ago.

Gone is around $1,500 from the legal account and nearly $39,000 that the Fire Department had requested for the replacement of the town’s forestry truck.

Selectmen took note of the fact that as a 2001 model, the forestry truck was old enough for retirement, but should last longer given its frequency of use.

The budget, along with recommendations made by selectmen, now goes to the town Budget Committee for consideration at its Jan. 4 meeting.

Selectman Lisa Cesare reported that the Planning Board will be calling for a public hearing on a proposed new mass gathering ordinance, as well as a series of lesser amendments to various parts of the town’s land use ordinance. The meeting will be held Jan. 17.

The Planning Board wanted the mass gathering ordinance and other ordinance amendments taken up on town meeting floor, Cesare said.

Selectmen believe they will hear from a greater cross-section of the town if the new ordinance and other amendments were placed on the referendum ballot and dealt with in conjunction with the election of town officials on the day before town meeting.

A final decision on whether residents will vote by referendum ballot or from the town meeting floor will made at the Jan. 17 public hearing.

Selectmen also received word from Recreation Committee Chairwoman Candace Gilpatric suggesting that the committee and the impact fee associated with recreation could be terminated, now that the committee has completed development of the town’s new recreation fields.

Selectmen asked Saunders to research what needs to be done to make appropriate changes in the town’s development impact fee program.

Fire Chief Dean Campbell told selectmen that Engine 8 was still having problems passing the pump test, noting that the problem might not stem from problems with the pump itself but may be due to the fact that the engine appears to be having difficulty getting its RPMs up to a functional level. 

Engine 8 will be taken to Whited Peterbilt of Maine for diagnostics.

Saunders told selectmen that he had filed a claim for the break-in and theft at the town’s Snack Shack, which was discovered Dec. 4, and learned that the theft wasn’t covered because the stolen items belonged to Minot-Hebron Athletic Association.

Thieves stole five-dozen softballs, five-dozen baseballs, three propane tanks used for grills, an outside public address system, a chest freezer, a new heavy-duty electric cord and a blowtorch, among other items. Stolen items were given an estimated value of about $1,400.

Selectmen expressed disappointment about the loss.

In other business, selectmen announced that the Town Office will be closed on Monday, Dec. 26, and Monday, Jan. 2, due to the holidays. 

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