LIVERMORE — At the annual town meeting by referendum vote Tuesday, April 23, voters will elect officials, consider a backhoe purchase and vote on budget figures for the coming year.

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Livermore Community Center on Church Street. Two selectperson seats and a Regional School Unit 73 director will be decided. There is no one running against three incumbents looking to retain the seats they hold.

Selectperson Brett Deyling is seeking another three-year term. Selectperson Jeremy Emerson looks to fill a two-year term.

Andrew Sylvester is seeking to represent the town on the Regional School Unit 73 board of directors for three more years. His current term is ending early as Livermore moved its town meeting from June to April after he was elected.

Approval is being sought to purchase a used backhoe for the Highway Department for a sum not to exceed $75,000.

The town owns a backhoe but $26,000 or $27,000 has been put into it in the last two years, Selectperson Scott Richmond said at a March 12 hearing about the warrant articles. “It needs a bunch of work right now,” he stated. “I don’t want to put any more money into it. We need a backhoe but we do not need a brand new one.


“We looked around for something that had 3,000-5,000 hours on it – which isn’t a lot for a backhoe – for $75,000 or less that will serve the town for quite a while.”

The current backhoe has more than 11,ooo hours on it, the altimeter is gone, Chair Mark Chretien said.

“A lot of the issues here, that backhoe was being used to load salt for a number of years, a bad situation for it,” Selectperson Brett Deyling noted. “It was too small, salt was falling on the chassis. Now we are using the loader for salt. Hopefully the next backhoe will serve us for a longer time.”

Voters will be asked to approve an order of discontinuance for Wyman Road dated Feb. 23 and filed with the town clerk.

Since Sept. 2022, town officials have been considering closing the road – on which Christopher and Addie McHugh are the only residents – to winter maintenance. After the process was started in Oct. 2022, a year had to pass before further action could be taken. That November Selectpersons voted to snowblow the road. In February 2023, commissioners determined the road must be plowed.

In July 2023 Selectpersons reviewed a recently completed survey that showed the deeded roadway for Wyman Road is located in a different alignment than was originally planned. Wyman Road as originally laid out for Cottage Terrace subdivision [dating back to the 1920s] is different than the area used now to access the McHughs’ home, according to the survey.


“Once we had the survey done, we were in the right,” Richmond said. “In 1940 the town voted to fix a section of road. That very vaguely written article holds us to this little section of road which is actually his driveway and we have spent a lot of money pulling trucks out of it. Where the road is supposed to be is not where it is.”

“The town has effectively been plowing a section of road that serves one person,” Selectperson Brett Deyling stated. “As equipment and technology has improved it has not made it easier to plow an individual road. The equipment is too big, it is too expensive. We are not plowing anybody else’s road.”

Is there a penalty or buy out, Manter asked.

“We have to assess the value of that land,” Deyling replied. “I think there is a payment of some sort but it is a minimal payment at best.”

Also to be considered is a proposed budget of almost $1.85 million, Administrative Assistant Carrie Judd said Friday, April 5. The plan approved at the last town meeting – which started July 1, 2023, and ends June 30 – is a little more than $1.79 million, an increase of $55,821.10 or 3.11%, she noted.

Much of the increase is due to a three percent cost of living adjustment for employees, Judd stated.


At the March 12 meeting, resident Jim Manter suggested in future it would be helpful to state that the town doesn’t use a calendar year. Some people might question information included with the warrant articles in the town report that show many departments haven’t used all funds approved last year, he noted.

An additional $30,000 is being asked to go towards highway capital road improvement this year.

Manter asked if there was a wish list for what roads would be worked on this year and if so, was it prioritized.

There is a list, it depends on funding approval, Richmond replied.

River Road needs the one-inch coat on it from Strickland Ferry Road to Route 108, Chretien said. That is the number one priority, number two is Shackley Hill Road, then number three is Butter Hill Road, he noted.

The first part of Butter Hill Road, then Botka Hill Road, that’s the straight wish list, Richmond stated.


When asked if Federal Emergency Management Agency funds would be available, Richmond noted extreme erosion resulted when the current from flood waters took all the rip rap away in 2022.

Chretien said FEMA funds would reimburse funds used on River and Spruce Mountain roads damaged in 2022. Livermore did not receive FEMA funds for the May 2023 storm, should get some money for the December 2023 storm, he noted. Funding is based on population, Androscoggin County has a higher threshold than Franklin, he stated. “We were way over the threshold for the December storm,” he added.

When asked about the recommendation to charge six percent interest on unpaid taxes, Chretien replied, “The state has recommended [towns] can go up to eight percent, we kept it at six percent.”

Resident Cindy Young asked why employee retirement had increased so much.

“We have gone to Maine PERS [Maine Public Employees Retirement System] for our retirement versus 401K,” Richmond answered. “It is more money.”

Voters approved joining Maine PERS at a special town meeting in January 2023.


The change in retirement programs was requested to be able to attract staff with experience in municipal government, Deyling explained. “Candidates that have that experience are generally part of Maine PERS,” he noted. “It is a different structure of how you save for retirement. If in a 401K program you don’t have the ability to offer Maine PERS. We exclude a huge field of people being able to work for the town. We have struggled mightily, are trying to attract better candidates.”

Town Clerk Amanda Tyler applied for the position originally, turned it down and didn’t accept it until Maine PERS was available, Richmond added.

For the first time voters will be asked to contribute $5,000 towards a summer recreation program. The program is held in Livermore Falls with children from Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls typically attending.

Manter asked if $5,000 was the amount requested.

No money was appropriated for it, last year Livermore Falls paid a great proportion of the cost, Richmond said. Livermore kids paid more to go, it wasn’t enough to cover the expense, he noted.

In January, Selectpersons were asked to fund the program at $8,637, by consensus chose $5,000.


“Livermore Falls has a new town manager, she looked into it and felt that wasn’t fair,” Richmond stated. “They were asking for $8,600. We decided collectively that we would start at $5,000 this year. Kids will still have to pay to go this summer.”

The price last year was $75 per child, Selectperson Joshua Perkins said.

The price this year will be between $180 and $200, Manter noted. “It is a great program for our kids,” he stated. “There are kids out there that may not get to go because the economics are such. I would hope next year you will do better, look at that.”

Perkins said 33 children attended last year, the program also provides job opportunities for Livermore youth.

“It would be nice to know what the impact is, how many kids would like to go and can’t because of the expense,” Manter said. “From the Budget Committee standpoint, you could say this is a real need in the community.”

When he and Judd met with officials from Jay and Livermore Falls, the complete budget for the program wasn’t known, Richmond stated.

“It was hard to go right to that number because we have never given any money,” he added.

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