VASSALBORO: Fuel costs to affect several budget areas

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro Budget Committee members started their second meeting on March 10 with a wrap-up of the previously discussed 2022-23 public works budget proposal. They moved on to solid waste, and then stopped until they have updated estimated fuel costs, which will affect several budget areas.

The price of paving material fluctuates with petroleum prices. The earlier discussion considered an estimate of $75 a ton for the 2022 season. Road Foreman Eugene Field told committee members he thinks the figure will be higher, and the draft paving budget was reworked at $85 a ton.

Town Manager Mary Sabins has locked in heating oil and diesel fuel at prices lower than current market prices. Committee members realized they need to reconsider petroleum prices in all relevant accounts.

Other topics included updates on planned work at the transfer station and on the proposed park on a tax-acquired lot on the west shore of Outlet Stream, between East and North Vassalboro.

Select board member Chris French asked whether the 2022-23 budget should include money to demolish the former church on Priest Hill Road, in North Vassalboro, condemned as a dangerous building.

The budget committee’s schedule called for its March 15 meeting to be with the school board at Vassalboro Community School. However, Committee Chairman Rick Denico, Jr., said Superintendent Alan Pfeiffer said the school budget will not be ready, partly because state figures are not yet available.

Budget committee members therefore scheduled their March 15 meeting at the town office, beginning at 7 p.m. They will invite Vassalboro Public Library representatives to talk about plans for expanded activities and a resulting request for more town funds than in past years.

Pfeiffer said later the school board will not meet March 15; its next meeting will be March 22.


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