GARDINER — Councilors on Wednesday plan to accept a general assistance ordinance that will reduce the maximum benefit by 10 percent and limit housing assistance to nine months.

The council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at City Hall.

City Manager Scott Morelli said the general assistance ordinance is updated every year to reflect changes in state law. The changes councilors will adopt reflect those made by the Legislature, he said. The general assistance changes will be in effect from July 1 through June 30, 2013.

“The effect on Gardiner residents will be the same as elsewhere in the state — a 10 percent reduction in the maximum benefit and a limit on housing assistance to nine months,” Morelli said.

Gov. Paul LePage had proposed significant cuts to general assistance, but the Legislature approved only a 10 percent cut, restrictions on housing assistance, and a reduction in the reimbursement rate for large cities from 90 percent to 85 percent.

Unlike some larger communities, Gardiner is not affected by the change in state reimbursement from 90 percent to 85 percent.

The council on Wednesday also expects to:

* hear the second and final reading of a fireworks ordinance. The ordinance allows the sale and distribution of fireworks but prohibits their use within city limits. The reading will follow a public hearing.

* discuss a proposed Delegated Review Ordinance that would allow the Fire Department to review and approve building plans instead of the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

“Very few communities can offer this, and it’s only because of the credentials of our staff that we would be able to offer this,” Morelli said.

* consider an ordinance to allow active-duty military personnel to be exempt from paying vehicle excise tax.

“Although there is no accurate way to gauge how many in Gardiner would qualify or take advantage of this exemption, neither the tax collector nor I believe it will amount to a significant revenue impact on the budget,” he said.

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663

[email protected]

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