Livermore Falls selectmen continue review of $2.75 million budget

Donna M. Perry, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine
·2 min read

Apr. 2—LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen continued review Thursday of a $2.75 million municipal spending plan for 2021-22.

The proposal is an increase of $95,781 from last year, without factoring in revenues to offset it. The amount of anticipated revenue has not been presented.

The 2020-21 budget, which covers the fiscal year ending June 30, is $2.65 million.

Part of the increase is $20,000 in debt service related to the fire substation in East Livermore area. Residents voted 992-399 in November to authorize selectmen to spend up to $400,000 over 20 years to build a one-bay fire substation. The article also authorized selectmen to enter into a lease purchase or finance agreement for up to 20 years, with payments from taxes not to exceed $20,000 per year.

A committee is reviewing land option proposals. The panel will bring a recommendation to the Select Board once it is ready.

Fire Chief Edward Hastings IV requested interim Town Manager Amanda Allen to include $3,000 to pay for heat, power and phone service at the station for the second half of the next fiscal year, Jan. 1 to June 30, 2022. That amount was added to the buildings budget.

Allen said she also added in a $15,000 increase in contingency because it is a contract year and negotiations have not been completed. It brings the proposed contingency budget to $25,000.

The administration proposal is a decrease of $14,378. The budget is proposed at $328,493. Most of the reduction is in wages, which are proposed at $86,300 down from $101,653 in the current budget.

The proposed Police Department budget is $633,576, up $17,921. It includes money for possible raises and would bring the base hourly wage for full-time certified reserves officers up about $1 an hour to $19.45 an hour. It is an attempt to try to stay competitive with other departments and to attract more reserve officers. Base pay for part-time certified officers would be $18.45 an hour. Police Chief Ernest Steward Jr. said previously that Rangeley is paying reserves $25 an hour. The combined increase is $11,860.21.

Steward is also asking to include $21,000 in the capital improvement budget toward a new cruiser. The other half is proposed to be raised in 2022-23 budget.

The proposed Public Works budget is $485,255, which is up about $20,830. It includes $16,550 for a single health insurance plan to go to a family plan. It also includes money for possible raises.

The Budget Committee has approved the police, public works, library and recycling budget, Chairman Tom Barker said. The committee is expected to meet on April 8 to continue review of budgets.