BREWER, Maine — City councilors on Tuesday ratified contract extensions for police, fire and public works personnel that go through 2012 and do not give any raises.
Firefighters and public works employees have been working without a contract since June of last year, and police contracts for patrol and command officers expired in December, Police Chief Perry Antone said after the meeting.
The one-year extension “allows the union to reopen negotiations should the economic climate change,” he said.
“This is the third year without a change” in salary, added David Cote, public works director.
The contract extensions passed without comment.
The bulk of Tuesday’s meeting dealt with the fiscal year 2011-12 budget. No specific numbers were given, but Finance Director Karen Fussell ran through five known revenue decreases or expense increases that will affect the city this budget year, including reduced state revenue sharing and an increase in the Penobscot County tax.
Councilor Larry Doughty presented the council with a resolve pledging “to oppose and vote against any effort to raise tax rates,” but the measure was defeated 3-2 with Mayor Joseph Ferris and Councilors Jerry Goss and Kevin O’Connell voting in opposition.
During the meeting, the board also:
- Accepted $122,970 in forfeited drug funds from three successfully prosecuted federal criminal cases that involved Brewer officers. The city is getting a percentage of the seized or forfeited items.
- Decided to bring back a one-week spring cleanup in May so residents can dispose of bulky waste items. Details about the cleanup, which is expected to cost the city around $6,500, are being worked out.
- Approved a liquor license for Jay Collier, the new manager of Pine Hill Golf Club.
- Heard that an April 30 deadline to install back-flow devices to help protect drinking water from contamination through cross-connections has been extended until the end of August, with additional latitude for those who meet the criteria for financial hardship.
- Heard that seven letters, two from developers, two for alternative school uses and three other type of uses, were submitted to the city as ideas for redeveloping the three soon-to-be-empty elementary schools and Brewer Middle School, which will become city property at the end of the school year when students and staff head over to the new Brewer Community School on Parkway South. The committee reviewing the reuse options is expected to make a presentation to the council in May.