WATERVILLE — The City Council on Tuesday will consider sending a letter to incoming Gov. Janet Mills, state legislators and area communities, asking that revenue sharing to municipalities be fully funded.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the Chace Community Forum at Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons downtown, with an executive session scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to discuss labor negotiations and consult with legal counsel.

City Manager Michael Roy said Monday that Councilor Winifred Tate, D-Ward 6, proposed a letter about revenue sharing be sent to legislators and the incoming governor, and that area municipalities be urged to join the request.

“As elected representatives of Waterville, we urge you to restore full revenue sharing as a first order of business for this legislature and administration,” the letter says. “The state is mandated by law to fund revenue sharing at five percent of all income and sales tax revenues. Currently, the reimbursement rate is 2 percent.”

Roy said the city’s loss of revenue sharing over the last few years has been, by far, the major reason the city has had financial difficulties.

“With an annual loss of $1.2 million, that’s had to be made up with spending our surplus and increasing taxes,” he said. “There’s no other way around it.”

The letter says municipalities depend on revenue sharing and need their sales and income taxes returned to help pay for critical local public services. Without those funds, property taxpayers shoulder an unfair burden.

“It is critical that the state respond swiftly to restore revenue sharing to ease the financial burden for property taxpayers, and to ensure that our Maine communities can continue to provide essential services for our local businesses and residents,” the letter says.

In other business Tuesday, the council will welcome new councilors Margaret Smith, D-Ward 3, and Jay Coelho, D-Ward 5, who will be administered the oath of office.

A discussion is expected to be held toward the end of the meeting about the city’s new dual packer trash and recycling truck, which is back in use after having been out of commission for repairs. The truck is also scheduled for an electronics system upgrade, Roy said.

He said there is no piece of equipment the city owns that’s more important than that truck.

“It’s on the road every single day, carrying 10 tons of trash to Norridgewock and back,” he said. “The only other vehicle that we have on the road more than that might be a police cruiser and a police cruiser is not nearly as complicated as a truck like this.”

He said the packer truck is a fairly new design as it receives trash on one side and recycling on the other and each side has separate hydraulic systems, so one can expect there will be some bugs to work out.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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