by Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979
The following is notes on the annual Solon Budget Committee meeting held last Saturday: The committee nominated and elected Michael Golden as chairperson. Elaine Aloes gave a selectmen update. Ann Padham has moved out of town. Heather Padham has taken her place on the budget committee.
The committee discussed article 5. The article sets funds for general government and allows flexibility to move money around if needed. This was recommended yes by the committee. A discussion about the duties of the Health Officer took place. This is extra work for the Codes Enforcement Officer being done by Terri LaMontaine for which $200 was recommended by committee.
Discussion points at the committee included several issues. The committee recommended yes to all. Pay raises which is two percent plus minimum wage increase. The Codes Enforcement officer position has a recommended raise. Terri is doing the job well, is responsive to complaints and follows through. She is helpful to the planning committee and dealt with a rat infestation well. This amounts to $400 a month and includes all travel.
The TRIO system currently in use is no longer supported by Microsoft and a new system using SOL is proposed. It is user friendly, web-based and secure. The cost is $7,055. The paving project is at a total of $792,000. This includes the Brighten Road, Drury Road, Falls Road, French Hill Road, Grant Road, Hole in the Wall Road, Pleasant Street, and York Street. The money will be pulled from reserve funds and LRAP funds. The chip seal technique like what was done on the South Solon Road will be used.
The fire department proposed the building of an addition to the fire station. It will be about 55 feet by 30 feet. It will store extra gear and the workbench. There will be a garage door, a rear exit and a window. The siding will match the building. The budget is $25,000.
The lights will be changed to LEDs and one light will be added. It is estimated to save $2,000 a year with the use of LEDs.
The amount $5,000 was raised and appropriated for heat pumps for the town office. The fire department is considering taking over the parade. The person who runs it in the past doesn’t plan to continue. Special event money budgeted is $1,000. First Park debt is now paid off and Solon will receive revenues. Last year there was $4,000 in revenue. The amount of $7,000 was raised to help pay off the approximate $20,000 fire department truck loan quicker.
The Capital Reserve account included $9,000 more with most of that for the transfer station truck and tub. The library will be improved with some of this money.
The reserve surplus was increased to $100,000. Even with this increase from $80,000, the overall net raised by taxes is decreased by 12.9 percent. The committee recomends yes.
The Budget Committee Ordinance changes the name of the group to the Advisory Committee. This reflects the work of the committee and all current members will continue in that role. The committee recommends yes.
And now for some sad news; My dear friend and walking partner, Alice Heald died recently, She was the one that had been presented with the Gold Cane several years ago. I received the following names of NEXT IN LINE for BOSTON POST GOLD CANE from the Solon Selectmen, I will put in the next in line for the cane is Patricia Munroe (2/17/1925; after her is Gladys Rogers (12/23/1925) Lois Starbird) (9/23/1927) next is Richard Viekman (1/13//1929, Marilyn Rogers (429/1929), Carlene Viekman (9/25/1930) Leon Hilton (9/30/1930) Loen Burbank (12/19/1930).
I’m running late again this morning so I will end with Percy’s memoir with these words: Can You Say? Can you say in parting with the day that’s slipping fast, That you helped a single person of the many you have passed? Is a single life rejoicing over what you did or said? Does some one whose hopes were fading, now with courage look ahead? Did you waste the day or lose it, Was it well or poorly spent? Did you leave a trend of kindness, or a scar of discontent? As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think that God would say—-You have made the world much better for the life you’ve lived today? ( I can only hope!)