GARDINER — During the last three City Council meetings, elected officials have been reviewing the level of service offered to city residents by the public library and the Public Works and Fire departments.

Officials have debated hours, staffing, use of volunteers and organizational structure in an effort to understand how those services are delivered and the costs associated with them.

When the council meets Wednesday night, its members will hear a review of the Police Department, the fourth and final department to be reviewed.

City officials contracted with Municipal Resources Inc. for a review of the level of services those four departments provide. The report that resulted, issued in August, found that for a city its size, Gardiner offers what comparable cities offer.

And while the consultants offered some recommendations — such as making the library more efficient — they didn’t suggest drastic changes.

“Nothing we’re doing is out of whack for a community our size,” Gardiner Mayor Thom Harnett said. “We’re not soft around the edges. We’re lean for a community our size.”

What happens next is still up in the air.

So far, councilors have directed City Manager Scott Morelli to meet with Library Director Anne Davis to review staffing; the city has not filled the open children’s librarian position. Councilor Philip Hart has asked all the department heads to consider whether positions ought to be filled when vacancies occur.

These discussions may come into play at budget time next year.

“You’ll hear some difficult discussions, and the fact that we have a report that basically says we’re doing things consistently with communities this size doesn’t answer the question of what individual councilors will do,” Harnett said.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ


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