LIVERMORE FALLS — More than 30 people turned out Wednesday for a public forum to discuss what’s positive about Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls, as well as the challenges they face and possible solutions to them.

Dominic LaPointe, front, of Livermore Falls said Wednesday at a forum that he would like to see the lines between parking spaces in town restriped, and have speed bumps in certain parking lots to slow vehicles down. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

Those gathered in the cafeteria of the Area Youth Sports building, the former Livermore Falls High School, mentioned positives such as the geography of the area, Spruce Mountain Ski Slope, all terrain vehicle trails, Jay, Livermore, Livermore Falls Chamber of the Commerce, Area Youth Sports, summer concerts, SeniorPlus resources and the snowmobile club.

William Kenniston, a Livermore Falls selectman and an organizer of the meeting, said the idea was to talk about issues the community is facing, possible improvements and solutions.

State Rep. Sheila Lyman, R-Livermore Falls and Sens. Lisa Keim, R-Dixfield, Russell Black, R-Wilton, and Jeff Timberlake, R-Turner, to listen and get feedback.

Lyman helped facilitate the meeting while Keim wrote people’s suggestions on poster board.

“I love that the Androscoggin (River) goes through my town. I love having it go by my house,” Lyman said.

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Among the challenges mentioned was getting young adults engaged in the community, Brett Deyling, a Livermore selectperson, said.

“We could use more firefighters,” Kenniston said.

Joel Gilbert, an owner of Berry Fruit Farm store Livermore Falls, center at the table with his mask down, speaks at a forum Wednesday night at the Area Youth Sports building in Livermore Falls. He said Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls need unify their missions and goals to build a stronger community. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

An unidentified woman said there are four or five people running things in organizations and people are getting burned out. They could use more volunteers, she said.

Lyman said she received a call from someone who had a concern about the condition of state Route 133.

Timberlake checked the Maine Department of Transportation work plan. About 6.97 miles is scheduled to be paved beginning at the Wayne line going north in Livermore Falls.

Another challenge is staffing/manpower/employment. There is a lack of manpower for road crews, police, firefighters, truck drivers and other jobs. Black said towns are struggling to fill law enforcement positions and keep them filled.

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Other issues include having more child care services, older adults on fixed incomes, rising inflation, small businesses struggling, solar farms taking up farmland, town budgets, school budgets, mandates such as COVID-19 vaccinatons, and substance abuse.

Deyling said it is challenging for towns to meet needs because of the cost to operate schools.

About 64.19% of Livermore’s 2021-22 property tax revenue goes toward the Regional School Unit 73 budget, 28.64% toward municipal government and 7.17% toward Androscoggin County’s budget, according Aaron Miller, the town of Livermore administrative assistant, who provided the information on Thursday.

Timberlake said the state funded nearly 59% of general purpose aid for education. Some districts ended up with 55% and others 62%.

The state share of the essential programs and services allocation for RSU 73 last year was 60.23%,  Superintendent Scott Albert of Regional School Unit 73, said Thursday.

Among the ideas to offset the challenges are updating business pages, marketing online, improving communications, holding a job fair, state funding special education and increasing tourism opportunities.

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One way to help build a stronger community is working together, some said.

“The tri-town area needs to focus on its missions and values,” Joel Gilbert, an owner of Berry Fruit Farm store in Livermore Falls, said. The towns need to unify its missions and goals, he said.

There is a lot of grant money available in the state in various sectors, Timberlake said, including for agriculture, forestry and small businesses. People can contact state agencies for the specific field they are interested in. Among those are the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Black said legislators were there to get information to get insight into the needs in the area. If people have a legislative bill they would like to see, they should contact their representatives. It would be for the next session that starts Jan. 1, 2023.

Ideas on what the area needs can be sent to [email protected]


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