SANGERVILLE, Maine — Selectmen on Tuesday reduced by $15,000 the proposed municipal budget recommended by the budget committee. The spending plan proposed by the board amounts to $923,930. Residents will act on the budget at the 9 a.m. Saturday, March 28, annual town meeting in the fire station.
The board voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend $100,000 be raised and $35,000 be borrowed for road improvements. The budget committee had recommended a budget total of $170,000, with $100,000 to be raised and $70,000 borrowed, according to Town Manager Joe Clark.
In a 2-1 vote, the board recommended that $20,000 be raised and appropriated for the Public Works equipment reserve account rather than the $10,000 urged by the budget committee. In a similar vote, selectmen also recommended that the Fire Department truck reserve be increased from $15,000 to $20,000.
Other recommendations made by selectmen included an increase in the Fire Department account of $4,000 more than recommended by the budget committee. Selectmen are recommending $58,000 for the department.
Selectmen also have recommended reducing the amount for recreation from $10,050 to $9,750.
At the town meeting, residents will be asked to raise and appropriate funds to replace or repair the flat section of the town hall roof. Town officials are in the process of soliciting bids for the project. The amount requested will be known by town meeting.
In other business, Selectmen Lance Burgess noted that the Maine Municipal Association advised the town that the former Abbie Fowler School should not be sold below fair market value. The value of the property should be known first before any action is taken, the MMA said.
Town officials have been in discussions with Friends of Community Fitness officials, who now lease the majority of space in the building. The nonprofit organization would like to own the building and some local residents would like to see the town deed the property over to it as a gift.
That option now appears in question.
“A gift made to a private business without any idea of whether someone else would be willing to pay for the property violates the public purpose doctrine,” the MMA advised town officials in a letter read Tuesday by Burgess.
Residents are expected to act on the future of the building at the March 2010 annual town meeting.
Gary Sudsbury was appointed the animal control officer and Joe Guyotte as substitute.