April 20, 2018
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Veazie manager, council look at ways to cut $100,000 from budget

By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

VEAZIE, Maine — Town Manager Joseph Hayes has identified a list of potential budget cuts after residents voted to chop more than $100,000 from the town budget during the June 12 annual town meeting.

Hayes presented the list of suggestions to councilors during the July 2 council meeting.

The largest cut is $38,000 from the council-adopted road paving budget of $189,000. That likely means Main Street will be repaved until the money runs out. The rest of the road work will have to wait.

“Fact of the matter is you’re going to end up paying more in the long run when you do that,” Hayes said Friday.

Hayes proposed establishing a 2.5 percent processing fee, or convenience fee, for residents who use credit cards to pay their tax bills. Today the town gets charged every time a taxpayer uses this method. By shifting this cost to residents who choose credit cards as a payment method, Hayes said the town could save about $10,000 per year.

Another proposal would shift the community center, which is slated for a $25,000 roof replacement, into the tax increment financing district. That would mean TIF funds would cover the work at the community center.

Those recommendations, along with about 10 other smaller cuts, would amount to roughly $101,000 in savings.

During the July 2 meeting, councilors and Hayes said they would continue throwing around ideas to see what would have the most effect on the bottom line without hurting town services.

A few other suggestions that were made included adjusting hours of operation at the town office and changing the accounting software program the town uses.

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