Vassalboro department heads submit requests to budget committee

source: http://www.vassalboro.net/

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro Transfer Station George Hamar would like a new “can,” a 40-cubic-yard bin to hold rubbish.

Police Chief Mark Brown wants to replace his cruiser with almost 90,000 miles on it while it has trade-in value and before it starts “nickel and diming the town” for repairs.

Fire Chief Eric Rowe wants a metal roof on the Riverside Fire Station, and he’d like town voters to allocate $3,300 to hire annual hose and ladder testing done, instead of asking volunteer firefighters to spend six or seven week-nights on the tedious but vital jobs.

Rescue Director Dan Mayotte thinks his volunteers deserve a $5 reimbursement for each call to help cover fuel costs. In 2017, he said, rescue responded to 342 calls, 52 more than in 2016; there are six volunteers on the roster and two more people completing training who, he hopes, will join.

Public Works Director Eugene Field recommends replacing one of his trucks, using arguments similar to Chief Brown’s about trade-in value and future repair costs. He’d also like a new generator and a power washer at the town garage.

Town Manager Mary Sabins says if Vassalboro Community School is to become the town’s emergency shelter, a big generator will be needed there, too. Even if the town could get a federal emergency grant to cover some of the cost, a local match would be required.

These wish list items, how much road repaving should and can be done annually, and similar municipal expenditure issues took up the budget committee’s March 20 meeting. No recommendations were made, because the committee, the selectmen and Sabins still need to see the proposed 2018-19 school budget to get a complete view of future needs.

The March 13 decision to dissolve Alternative Organizational Structure (AOS) #92 and let Vassalboro hire its own part-time superintendent and contract for other central office services is expected to save money in the administration section of the school budget next year. However, administration is a small part of the whole budget.

The schedule distributed at the March 20 meeting calls for the budget committee to review the proposed school budget at a 7 p.m. meeting Thursday, March 29, at Vassalboro Community School (following a special school board meeting to discuss the budget, according to Sabins). Future budget committee meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, at the school for continued school budget discussion and Thursday, April 12, at 7 p.m. at the town office to make recommendations on the town meeting warrant (the list of items voters will be asked to accept, amend or reject).

Selectmen have scheduled a special meeting for 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, for their annual review of Sabins’ job performance. The meeting will be entirely in executive session (not open to the public), as state law allows.

The next regular selectmen’s meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, to review the warrant and Thursday, May 3, to sign it so it can go to the printer the next day.

Vassalboro voters will make final spending decisions at the annual town meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 4, at Vassalboro Community School. Local elections and any other written-ballot measured will be decided Tuesday, June 12, with polls open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the town office.

During discussion of paving work March 20, Selectman Lauchlin Titus said the state’s planned rebuilding of Route 32 through East and North Vassalboro has been postponed to the 2020 construction season, so that the Vassalboro Sanitary District can get its new lines laid along the road before the road is widened and repaved. The sewer work connecting Vassalboro to Winslow is scheduled for 2019, he said.

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