LIVERMORE — Selectpersons on Tuesday night were asked to consider forming committees on economic development and capital improvement.

An economic development committee could influence private investments and drive responsible growth, Aaron Miller, administrative assistant to the selectpersons, said.

“It would create a vision for Livermore, ultimately attracting and retaining jobs, as well as leading to increased tax revenue,” he said. “Economic development helps protect our local economy from economic downturns and improve the town’s quality of life.”

Livermore is seeing a number of developments, Miller said. Such a committee could help prepare the town and work with the Planning Board to strengthen ordinances or propose new ones, he said.

“Route 4 is a tremendous resource for your community,” Miller said. “It allows you to have business out there. Some towns don’t have that sort of thing.

“It removes the politics,” he said. “It’s not the Select Board, not me saying we need these things. It’s your neighbors and others acting as a sounding board making recommendations to propose changes at town meeting.”

Miller also suggested a facilities or capital improvement committee to look at buildings, trucks and other big-ticket purchases. Types of improvements needed to buildings in years to come and funding sources were examples he gave for the committee to consider.

“Where do you see the town of Livermore in 30 years?” Miller asked. Will it be status quo at the Town Office and pulling firetrucks from the fire bay or something different? Do you see the highway garage expanding or growing, improving?”

Miller said he wasn’t looking at loans, although there are very competitive loans available through the United States Department of Agriculture.

A $1 million loan over 30 years with $30,000 to $50,000 annual payments might not have much impact on the overall tax rate, he said.

The USDA is accepting applications through March 29 for the Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training grant program, Miller said. The funds could be used for identifying and planning for facility needs, he noted.

A committee could receive assistance, guidance on identifying resources to finance community facility needs, and prepare reports, surveys and applications, Miller said.

The grant is for $150,000 maximum with matching funds preferred but not required, he said. The committee and grant funding could tie everything together, examine what the needs are, he said.

Selectperson Brett Deyling asked where applicants would be drawn from, noting it is hard filling the current boards.

“We can’t get anybody to do the stuff we do now,” Selectperson Scott Richmond said.

Deyling also had concerns about spending.

“We took money out of our General Fund to keep taxes from going up,” he said. “I don’t want to keep doing that, want to make sure we’re being fiscally responsible down the road. We just need to temper what we’re able to do with what’s reasonable for the town’s resources.”

Miller said this is an exploratory phase to see if there is assistance that could be provided at no cost to taxpayers, not looking to spend money.

“It would behoove the community to explore these options,” he said.

Deyling supported that.

Richmond suggested starting with the economic development committee, get it established and look at the other one.

Deyling asked that a mission statement, goals of the committee, number of members and other information be provided at a future board meeting.

Having a well thought out mission statement is important, he said.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: