Greenville officials fine-tuning proposed 2011-2012 budget

Posted April 28, 2011, at 7:56 p.m.

GREENVILLE, Maine — The cost of closing the Greenville landfill and constructing a transfer station is expected to have a large impact on the proposed 2011-2012 municipal budget.

Selectmen are working their way through a draft budget that currently reflects an increase of $125,000 over the current year, but Town Manager Gary Lamb cautioned Thursday that those two projects could have a tremendous effect on the budget.

“The transfer station costs and landfill closure will greatly affect the budget and could cause a potential tax increase,” Lamb said.

Selectmen on May 4 are expected to vote on whether to go out to bid for a transfer station.

If that occurs, bids will be back by May 24 and the warrant for the annual June 6 town meeting must be posted by May 27. That will provide some realistic budget figures rather than the “very high” estimates town officials have been working with from engineers, he said.

“We need some real numbers from people that build things, not just design them,” Lamb said.

Also on May 4, the selectmen are expected to take a stance on Lamb’s proposal for a 3 percent cost of living increase for town employees. Lamb said he is trying to bridge some of the gap between what secretaries at the school are paid and what the town secretarial staff is paid. The school employees could also receive step increases, he said.

Selectmen have informally agreed to the philosophy of contracting out the sidewalk snowblowing, which would cost an additional $8,000, according to Lamb.

Residents will once again be asked to raise $28,700 for snowmobile trail grooming, the same as last year. Jim and Lauri Waitkus have agreed to continue the trail grooming as long as the Maine Department of Conservation’s contribution and the town’s contribution cover their approximately $70,000 contract.

Lamb said some accounts were underfunded last year. For example, winter operations, essentially snowplowing, which was budgeted at $38,000, has been about $10,000 too little for the last two winters. That creates a deficit situation, he said.

“If I see a line that’s been underbudgeted just to make the budget document look good and not raise taxes, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to fund that line for what we need to spend,” he said.

The town’s audit shows that Greenville is now out of deficit territory and has a surplus of about $156,000. “We went from a deficit situation the fiscal year before that,” Lamb noted.

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