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Peru cuts budget by $32K
PERU- The selectmen and finance committee were able to finally come together last week to finalize the budget for their April 29 deadline. They were able to trim expenses by approximately $32,000. It wasn’t the $50,000 chairman Jim Pulsifer had in mind, but a savings just the same.
Those items taking the largest cuts were town office operations and general administration by $13,750, and the road department by a cut of $8,170.
In an earlier meeting discussing the budget, Selectman Lee Merrill inquired of Road Commissioner Joe Roach, as to whether or not the town really needed three full time guys on the road crew year round.
Roach stated, “It’s not a simple answer. What are the town’s legal obligations to keep the roads safe and accessible. We have to think about the town’s responsibility and right now it warrants having three full time guys.”
“I’m just suggesting maybe we look at putting one to part time during the months we don’t need three of you,” stated Selectman Merrill. “You’ve got to work with what you’ve got and for years this town ran with just two full time road crew.”
Roach informed the board, at that time, that if they wanted to make cuts, then they needed to cut and he would make the necessary adjustments in his budget.
During last week’s meeting, other items taking a cut for the next fiscal year were, the fire department, general assistance, the Peru Recreation Committee, and the historical society. Monies having to be raised have also been reduced for county taxes, and a capital improvement bond payment.
Allocations remaining the same is the budget for the Town Clerk/Tax Collector/Treasurer Office at $42,275; the snow removal and sanding budget of $113,615; Med-Care Ambulance service at $27,738; Peru’s share of the Northern Oxford Regional Solid Waste operations of $98,022.02; and maintenance and operation of the Worthley Pond spring of $1,650.
Voters will also be asked if they want to authorize selectmen to take $75,000 from surplus to reduce the 2013/2014 tax commitment. That amount is down from the $90,000 that was requested in 2012.
According to Town Clerk Vera Parent, “We weren’t able to make as many cuts as we wanted, but we’re raising less than last year. The budget presented is right around $717,000.
The date for voting is set for Tuesday, June 11, at the town office from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Also on the agenda to be voted on is that of the three-year secretary to the selectmen position and the one seat that will be open for the three-year selectman’s seat.
As of Friday, those returning their signed papers in a challenge for the one selectman’s seat were Jim Pulsifer, Kurt Rowley and Ed Ferland. Pulsifer currently holds the two-month seat until the June vote.
As for the secretary position, Valerie Taylor and Angela Barkhouse were the only two returning papers. The town will vote for one selectman and one secretary.