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Mild winter helps Mexico carryover funds
MEXICO -- At the July 24 Board of Selectmen's meeting, Town Manager John Madigan, in looking over the end of year budget, said the town had $177,000 in unspent funds.
Selectman Byron Ouellette asked if it was due to the budget being over inflated.
Madigan responded that $62,000 of that was in the winter roads account as a result of the mild winter, saving the town on fuel, overtime, sand and salt.
He said the town also took in $18,000 more in revenue than projected.
Both figures will be added to the surplus account. Madigan said the auditor went over the books last week. Once the final report is issued, he said they will be able to set the tax rate. In the recent past, the town has been about to take $100,000 out of surplus to offset taxes. Madigan believes they will be able to do that again this year.
As far as general assistance, he said the town spent $15,131.46. "I don't think Mexico has ever spent that low an amount. It was an excellent move to hire Thelma Giberson (Rumford GA director). She did a great job for the town."
In other business, Fire Chief Gary Wentzell said the ladder truck jointly purchased with Rumford is at least another two to three weeks away.
Further, Engine 2, which the town traded as part of the purchase, was sold for $40,000 to Brindle Lee, who then resold it for $49,000 to the Montrose Hellfighters in Colorado. This is a private fire department that subcontracts for the federal government.
They're called out when they are needed for all these wildland fires. "As far as I know, that's (Engine 2) is fighting wildland fires in Colorado as we speak," said Wentzell.
In a related matter, he said that once that ladder arrives, he plans on keeping the present ladder truck as a backup.
"We will keep that (Mexico's) ladder truck certified. It's worth maybe $10,000, maybe. I don't want to put money into this truck. If it get to the point where it will not pass inspection, ship it."
When asked, Mabel Merrill of the Recreation Committee acknowledged that longtime recreation board member Todd Wardwell has resigned. She said they now have openings on the board for a fulltime member and an alternate. Anyone interested can fill out papers at the town office.
The recreation committee meets at the recreation center at 6:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month.
The board agreed to purchase a property at 22 Alder St. for the appraised value of $23,500 minus taxes for a total of $21,760.76.
Madigan said owning the property will save about $50,000 to erect a retaining wall, which would have part of the road project there.
Funds come from the town’s road reserve account.
Selectmen also approved going out to bid to tear that building.
In a related matter, the board tabled action accepting construction bids for Alder and South Main streets.
Following a public hearing, selectmen approved renewal of a special amusement permit for Tommy Tompkins, d/b/a Tommygun's Pit
Stop, with the stipulations that there be no live bands, DJ's only and follow the Fire Marshal's rules when they hold dances.
Madigan said the town will receive $27,372 in four quarterly payments of $6,843 from the Urban Rural Initiative Program. Those monies will go into the road reserve fund and must be used for road construction.
The board agreed to share in the cost of a new Mexico/Roxbury cemetery sign with Roxbury. However, the issue will be revisited if the cost is deemed too much.
The town accepted use of a 400-gallon water tank trailer for the Mexico Fire Department from the Maine Forest Service. Madigan said the tank will likely be housed at the Byron fire station.
Mexico’s annual Night of Appreciation will be held at 5 p.m. on Oct. 18 at the recreation building.