Town of Bath ends year in the black
Councilman and Finance Committee Chairman Andy Swaim told the Town of Bath Council the town finances were significantly under budget for the fiscal year ending June 30.
“The final results for 2011 – 2012, across the board, we came in under budget by $40,483,” Swaim reported at the Tuesday evening, July 17 council meeting.
Asked how the town managed to be so far in the black, Swaim said savings were realized in all budget categories. A large portion, about $27,000, was saved in office administration expenses.
“We are running more efficiently downstairs, that’s for one thing, plus we are paying less because we have a new person,” Councilman Ken Easton said, referring to new Town Clerk Debra Peck who was hired in January.
Lease for new police cruiser
Attorney Charles S. Trump brought a car lease and resolution before the council for the town’s new police cruiser.
The resolution, authorizing Mayor Susan Webster to execute the lease agreement, passed unanimously. Webster then signed the agreement which calls for 14 payments of $1,795.27.
The lease from CNB Bank is financed at 3.49% interest and the total interest for the lease is $539.83.
Webster said the town is leasing the vehicle because the payment schedule runs beyond the next election for Mayor and council.
It is unlawful for the council to burden the next council with debt. “So the new council will be able to turn in the vehicle rather than make the final three payments if it so chooses,” Webster explained.
Lynn Creel complained again to council about speeding cars on Independence Street. One of her cats was killed at the intersection of Harrison Avenue and Independence Street by what she said was a speeding car coming down the hill.
Creel had approached council in April after another of her cats was struck and killed by a car at the intersection.
Bath Police Chief Craig Pearrell said enforcement had been beefed up on Independence Street but it is impossible to station a police car at the intersection all the time.
Webster suggested Pearrell speak to the Division of Highways about placing signs warning drivers they are approaching a dangerous intersection.
The town cannot place a sign on the roadway because Independence Street is maintained by the state.
New ordinances coming
The council agreed to look into a new ordinance to streamline building permits and another new ordinance reevaluating business license fees.
The council discussed some inequities in business license costs. For example, lawyers in town only pay $5 a year for a business license while craftsmen pay $90 a year.
Webster said the current ordinance based its fees on the minimum rates charged by the state for business licenses.
“I think we really need to look all the way across at all the fees and make it fair for everybody,” Councilman Scott Merki said.