By Susan M. Cover firstname.lastname@example.org
VASSALBORO — Selectmen trimmed $10,000 from the proposed town budget Friday by opting for a less expensive new roof for the Town Office.
During a review of the proposed $1.8 million town budget, selectmen discussed what type of roof would be appropriate to replace the 13-year-old shingles that are “curling up and cracking in the valleys,” Town Manager Mary Sabins said. She presented selectmen with three estimates: $15,000 for asphalt/fiberglass shingles; $25,000 for a metal roof and $35,000 for metal shingles. While Sabins’ proposal had called for the metal shingles, selectmen balked at the price and recommended a metal roof. “Metal roofs last 60 years,” Selectman Philip Haines said. Haines said he still thought $25,000 for a fairly simple roof seemed expensive, but Sabins said the price includes the installation of a ridge vent. The selectmen spent about three hours reviewing the budget, which does not include any school costs or an updated town assessment. Sabins said she’s also waiting for a budget figure from the county so she can calculate the county tax, but estimated it would increase by $5,000. That would bring the county tax to $301,100. Sabins said because they are still missing so many numbers, it’s too early to estimate the new tax rate. The current rate is $11 per $1,000 of property valuation. Selectmen are scheduled to vote on the town budget Thursday. It then will go on to the Budget Committee for consideration. Residents will vote on the budget at the June 10 Town Meeting. Other budget items discussed Friday: • The Fire Department is requesting $20,000 to replace windows and siding at the North Vassalboro fire station. Lt. Mike Vashon said the siding has holes and is cracking and the windows are rotting and moldy. Vashon has recommended that the town buy vinyl Anderson windows for the upgrade. • Road Commissioner Eugene Field said he plans to resurface Gray Road and Legion Park Road this summer at an estimated cost of $232,735. • The budget includes raises for many town employees to try to boost their salaries to the Maine Municipal Association average for each position. Last year, Sabins said, selectmen and employees agreed to a three-year plan to increase salaries gradually to try to bring them more in line with what other municipal workers are paid. • Sabins said the town is waiting to see what happens at the state level with municipal revenue sharing. Gov. Paul LePage has proposed the suspension of the payments for two years, which would mean the loss of $181,000 to Vassalboro. Sabins said she has a backup budget that includes “massive cuts.” Haines said they’ll need to be ready to make changes if necessary. “It seems likely to me we’re going to lose something,” he said. Susan Cover — 621-5643
State House Bureau