Committee starts its work

By Stuart Hedstrom 
Staff Writer

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — With the first draft of the 2013-14 municipal budget, which was presented to the Board of Selectmen late last month, remaining flat at the town level the Budget Advisory Committee has begun its work in preparing the spending plan for the annual town meeting on the last Saturday of April.

    “The budget committee first met last Wednesday and they will meet Wednesdays the rest of the month,” Town Manager Jack Clukey said during a March 11 meeting. The Budget Advisory Committee will meet on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 at the town office for the next three weeks, with a public hearing set for April 3 and then the annual town meeting, to affirm the articles for June’s referendum, on Saturday, April 27 at 9 a.m. in the Morton Avenue gym.
    A flat budget would keep the mil rate at $17.15 per every $1,000 in assessed property, but town officials are still waiting on both the RSU 68 budget and if the community will see a reduction in revenue sharing from the state under the proposed Maine budget.
    School board member Chris Maas said the RSU 68 budget committee was scheduled to meet on Tuesday, March 12 as committee members are working on a spending plan — up by approximately $369,000 to a figure of slightly more than $10 million at the present time — and town officials from all four of the district’s communities were encouraged to attend.
    In other business, the selectmen heard concerns from several citizens on the East-West Corridor project and afterwards Select Vice Chair Cindy Freeman Cyr was wondering if the town could work with the Maine Municipal Association (MMA) to get together with other communities on or near the proposed route to discuss concerns and possible plans.
    Clukey said MMA “certainly could be a facilitator in this discussion.” He said while the exact East-West Corridor location has yet to be finalized, “We will certainly be in the route or near the route.”
    “The discussion before would be on what’s the best time to do what,” he said. Clukey said MMA would be able to help towns determine courses of action in the law and the impact of proposed legislation — such as with eminent domain and private/public partnerships.
    “What are the rights of Dover-Foxcroft citizens to negotiate if it is a good thing and if it is not a good thing for Dover-Foxcroft what protections are in place,?” Freeman Cyr asked.
    “I don’t want it to be for it or against it, I just want to get more information,” Select Chair Elwood Edgerly said about the potential involvement of MMA with communities that could be impacted.
    Clukey said he would be in touch with Geoff Herman of MMA’s state and federal relations and report back to the board at a later meeting.
    “We had another very successful winter sports season with a great turnout for boys and girls basketball teams and cheering,” Clukey said. He said signups for spring youth sports are scheduled for the first week of April.
    He also reported that the town is advertising for landscaping work proposals at the Maine Leathers site. Proposals are due by April 1 and a bid walk is scheduled for March 19.
    “On May 2 Senior Network will be holding our fifth year anniversary,” Nancy Matulis announced during the open session to start the meeting. Senior Network meets several times per month on Thursdays from 10:30  a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Morton Avenue Municipal Building.

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