DIXFIELD — The $3.15 million municipal budget for the coming fiscal year is up $447,586 from this year, mainly because of adding $300,00 to reserve accounts and $109,000 more for policing services, Town Manager Alicia Conn said.

“We are facing a patrol increase of $109,000 from the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, with no change in coverage. Around a 40% increase,” she said. The cost for services through June 2025 is $307,942.

Conn said that follows a 10% increase the previous year.

The money pays for 18-hour patrols daily with the other six hours on call.

“The county commissioners did not seem to have much of an explanation,” she said. “There’s a lot of frustration around the increase in the contract with the Oxford County sheriff, again, for no change in coverage.”

Regarding the $300,000 for reserve accounts, Conn said, “We’re trying to set ourselves up to be in a better position so that we’re trading in vehicles and upgrading and making road repairs timely, saving ourselves costs in the long run.”

Advertisement

Conn said the town has been underfunding reserve accounts, “which is why we developed our roads committee and came up with a proposed road maintenance schedule that we intend to stick to and update as we go.”

The schedule is for the next eight or nine years.

“And we’re trying to address every road in town with this schedule and hopefully it will prevent us from having such large repairs and rebuilds,” she said.

Conn said one of the most expensive upgrades is the Common Road. “Last time it was priced out, around 2010, it was over $1 million a mile.

She said the public works equipment reserve account also has an increase to prepare for replacing vehicles in a timely manner. “We’re looking to get on a schedule. Our current 2009 International plow truck will not survive another winter. It broke down most storms this year.”

One article in the annual meeting warrant asks voters to appropriate up to $100,000 from the undesignated general fund balance to buy a one-ton truck for public works.

Advertisement

“I do not believe we’ll have it in time for this winter, but we will manage,” she said.

As for the rest of the budget, Conn said, “We tried to keep it as realistic as possible.”

It includes a 3.5% cost-of-living increase for noncontracted, nonunion employees.

“We also need to look into expanding the fire station to accommodate the new federal mandates,” she said. “Whether there’s room to do the expansion is one of the questions they are looking into.”

A public meeting on the warrant is set for 5:30 p.m. Monday downstairs in Ludden Memorial Library at 42 Main St. Voting on it will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 11 at the Dirigo High School gym at 145 Weld St.

Voters then will also choose officers. Select Board members Richard Pickett and Peter Holman are running unopposed for three-year terms. Former Regional School Unit 56 Directors Bruce Ross and Bruce Weld are unopposed for two seats, each for three years.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. 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: