FAIRFIELD — Voters at Town Meeting on Monday night will be asked to make the first $82,000 payment on a borrowing package approved at last year’s Town Meeting for town roads and to see if they agree with the Town Council and the Budget Committee to stop funding for the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments.

The meeting and 37-article town warrant is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Fairfield Community Center, next to the police station.

Town Manager Michelle Flewelling said some of the spending articles Monday night will come with two recommendations — one from the council and another from the Budget Committee. Because money articles can be decreased but not increased, the recommendation with the highest amount will be the one listed in the article, she said.

The Budget Committee is recommending a spending package for the coming year of about $5.54 million, not including schools or county tax. The Town Council is supporting a budget of about $5.57 million. The difference between the two is $24,600, Flewelling said.

The council’s proposal is about $91,000 greater than the current $5.48 million budget approved by voters at Town Meeting last year. The majority of that difference is seen in the first payment on the principal of a $900,000 bond to pave and rebuild sections of about 20 roads in town.

Speaking about the proposal to stop funding KVCOG, of which the town is a longtime member, Flewelling said residents can approve the $8,463 suggested in the article and ignore the council and Budget Committee recommendations.

“They left the number there for folks to vote on. You can still vote on it,” Flewelling said Wednesday. “Neither the council not the Budget Committee endorsed it.”

Founded as the North Kennebec Regional Planning Commission in 1967, KVCOG is a municipal services corporation owned and operated by and for the benefit of its members. The problem, Flewelling said, is that town leaders felt that membership in the Central Maine Growth Council and KVCOG was a duplication of services. The town also has its own economic and community development office, which is doing much of the same work. There is also a county economic development organization.

The Growth Councilwas founded in Waterville in 2001 by the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce and area municipal managers, according to the organization’s website. It is a public-private, nonprofit partnership committed to the economic development of central Maine.

Flewelling said KVCOG will send a representative to Monday’s Town Meeting to talk about the program.

“The question is, are we paying two different institutions to do the same exact service?” she said.

The Growth Council recently helped Fairfield secure a $25,000 trails grant and with another $5,000 grant.

Flewelling said aside from the bond payment for roads, which will be due every year through 2028, proposed budget increases are routine increases in fuel costs, insurance and utilities. The current tax rate of $21.70 for every $1,000 in property value is not expected to change if all articles are approved as written.

Spending on each article will come from taxation and from anticipated revenue. Voters also will be asked to take $250,000 from surplus to offset taxes.

In other proposals for the coming year, Fairfield residents will be asked to spend $827,311 for general government, $945,940 for the Police Department, $806,895 for the Fire Department and $1,142,839 for public works. Under spending articles for public service organizations, voters will be asked to spend $6,000 for the Fairfield Interfaith Food Pantry, $3,000 for the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter and $4,000 for Spectrum Generations. Voters also will be asked to give $500 to the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce and $100 to the Somerset Economic Development Corp.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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