MECHANIC FALLS — Recreation Committee Chair Justin Starbird addressed the Town Council on Monday to discuss the committee’s reduced budget and the town’s addition of a paid committee manager. 

An $18,000 stipend for a recreation committee manager position will be voted on June 12 as part of the local elections, a decision made after the Town Council decided during a workshop that the committee needed help running the day-to-day things. 

If approved, the town will hire someone in July to work 20 hours a week. 

Councilor Nicholas Konstantoulakis said the council was disappointed that no one from the recreation committee attended the budget meeting and, with no financial records from the committee, the council decided to reduce the committee’s funding. 

Starbird said the committee has always been allocated $5,000 from the town, and he has never considered there would be an issue with that. 

He has only been the committee chair since August and said he was not aware anyone would be expected to attend the budget meetings. 

He said the $5,000 “augments some of the field expenses,” but does not cover any events or further expenses. 

Starbird also said he was disappointed to hear that council wants to allocate $18,000 for a salaried committee manager instead of allocating that funding to the committee to be used for other things. 

Town Manager Korienne Low said part of the issues is that there are not enough members on the recreation committee, which is all volunteer, so a salaried employee would be able to spend more time focusing on the business side. 

That way, she said, the volunteers can focus on coaching and other aspects of the committee. 

The funding will be voted on in June by the town. If it does not pass, the $18,000 would go back into the general fund, Low said. 

To ensure better communication between the recreation committee and the council, Konstantoulakis said he will be attending all of the committee’s meetings and reporting back to the rest of the council. 

In other matters, the council approved the Town Office to be used as an emergency shelter location for Poland Spring Academy. 

The council also announced that the new Hannaford on Pigeon Hill Road is scheduled to open July 28. 

Councilors also approved renewed liquor licenses for Dad’s Place and The American Legion.


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