LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen set the 2018 budget at $2.49 million Tuesday, with many expenditures approved by 3-2 votes.

The budget is more than $130,000 over last year.

Selectman George Cummings said he did not support the budget.

“We haven’t done one damn thing to save any money in this town,” he said. “I don’t think that’s right, and I don’t think that’s a service to the taxpayers.”

Cummings demanded that the June referendum warrant articles reflect the split votes.

Chairwoman Heather Bronish said that has not been done in past warrants.

Selectman Tom Barker made a motion to have an article asking voters if they want to explore having a fire substation in East Livermore near the junction of Routes 133 and 106.

Selectmen approved the motion 4-1.

Barker said despite not having hydrants near where they lived, East Livermore residents were still paying for hydrants in other parts of town. He said a substation in that area would help the town’s insurance rating.

Resident Sheila Scanlan said she and others living beyond the hydrant district were at a complete disadvantage when it came to fire coverage.

“I think our houses and property and lives are just as valuable,” she said. “We’re paying for hydrants that aren’t doing us any good.”

Fire Chief Edward Hastings IV said he is trying to operate the Fire Department on as little money as possible. With the fire station renovation project and maintenance issues with older apparatus, it has been even more challenging, he said.

“Certainly, if you’re more than five miles away (from the fire station), it’s going to affect your ISO rating,” he stated.

Hastings said if residents wished to have a substation in East Livermore, he would do his best to support it.

Budget amounts for town departments compared to last year are as follows:

• Elected officials: $39,153, $29,153 (2017)

• Administration: $283,291, $279,008 (2017)

• Police department: $565,472, $537,623 (2017)

• Fire department: $113,467, $95,470 (2017)

• Contractual: $298,237, $289,252 (2017)

• Public works: $477,949, $463,713 (2017)

• Municipal solid waste: $122,559, $121,059 (2017)

• Library: $75,506, $67,682 (2017)

• Insurances: $66,712, $65,788 (2017)

• Capital improvements: $42,960, $34,690 (2017)

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