BUCKFIELD — Continuing to wade through its financial difficulties, interim Town Manager Brad Plante told the Select Board that a certified public accountant will be at the Town Office for three days next week to review the town’s accounts.

A financial professional from RHR Smith of Buxton will review the accounts, make corrections where necessary and verify the numbers. The unnamed individual, who will also provide the staff with some financial training, is scheduled to be at the Town Office from June 15-17.

Plante and his staff have gone through a stack of invoices and the Select Board agreed to pay thousands of dollars in bills in approving several payroll and accounts payable warrants. Plante said that it appeared the previous administration had spent funds from incorrect accounts in several instances.

In conducting his review, Plante said he “could not figure out what happened.”

Selectwoman Martha Catevenis said the town sits at roughly 113 percent of its budget and will require a special warrant at the town meeting to address the overage. Catevenis added she was uncomfortable paying so many bills without more information, but selectwoman Cheryl Coffman countered that the town needed to move forward.

“Doing something is better than doing nothing,” Coffman said. “If it’s wrong, we can correct it.”

Plante said some vendors have threatened to or have already closed the town’s accounts. Plante added that he worried about the town’s bond rating if bills don’t get paid.

In other business, then board approved rescinding the appointment of previous Town Manager John Andrews as town treasurer. The move was necessary because Andrews never resigned as treasurer when he resigned as town manager in April.

The board also appointed Weldon Lucas as Buckfield’s representative to the Mid-Maine Waste Action Corporation in Auburn. The MMWAC takes waste from surrounding towns, including Buckfield, and turns it into energy.

Masks and face coverings will no longer be required to be worn in the Town Office after the board voted to follow the latest executive order from Gov. Janet Mills that repealed her mask mandate in all public settings.

Plante said the Town Office is in serious need of computer upgrades. All but one of the office’s PCs are still running on the Windows 7 operating system, which officially became obsolete by Microsoft in January 2020, and is no longer supported.

The town audit for 2019-20 is still not complete, Plante said. The audit should have been finished by late last year, but there are numerous documents that were never forwarded to the auditor. Plante promised that the town would complete the process after the June 8 election.

The board nominated the employees at Tilton’s Market as the town’s 2021 Spirit of America tribute. The award honors individuals, projects or groups for outstanding community service.

The meeting was the final one for Chairwoman Tina Brooks and Catevenis. Tuesday’s election will name replacements for both members.

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