Baileyville Looks at Workfare Program

By Kaileigh Deacon

 

The Baileyville Town Council met on Monday, February 26th. Among the topics discussed was the potential of starting a workfare program for the recipients of General Assistance in the municipality and the county budget.

Town Manager Christopher Loughlin brought up the possibility of implementing a workfare program in Baileyville. Workfare, according to the Maine Municipalities Association, is a program that would require those who receive General Assistance and are capable of working to perform work for the town or a non-profit organization. The town had tried another program similar to this in the past but it ended due to various factors. The person would be assigned hours to work off the amount of assistance they received at the state minimum wage rate. The program will be looked into further before a decision is made. 

The town also received the County Tax bill which increased by $180,032 from last year. Part of this was due to the increase in the valuation of the town from $206 million to $301 million, as well as the increase of the county budget itself. The increase to the County Tax Bill will affect the Baileyville town budget. What was looking to be an increase of 3 percent, according to Town Manager Loughlin, could be a possible 7 percent, though nothing is set in stone. More will be discussed about the budget at the town’s upcoming budget meeting on March 7th.

In the upcoming budget there is $30,000 set aside for an animal control building. According to Town Manager Loughlin, it looks like the $30,000 raised previously will not be enough to build what the town needs. So at this early stage of the budget, the money is still set aside for the project. 

The town’s animal control shelter had a state inspection and they found a few issues that need to be addressed. There are pieces of the chain link fence that need to be repaired, insulation that needs to be recovered and parts of the shelter that need more water resistant barriers. Loughlin expects that the fixes the state mentioned in their inspection would be remedied by the second week of March. 

The Town Council appointed Dwayne Andrews to the Baileyville Utilities District. They also accepted the high bid of $7,500 for the property on 77 Washington Street to Mike Sear. The town’s lawn mowing contract was extended for an additional two years at the current rate. 

Machias Savings Bank has indicated that they would be interested in providing rent subsidies for a year as well as $10,000 in renovation money for a business to fill the building space they will be vacating this March. The town will be reaching out for business proposals which will be opened and reviewed at the second Town Council Meeting in March. This proposition would allow a business to get off the ground as well as filling a vacant space in the shopping complex.

The town councilors took time to congratulate both the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams on what they achieved during tournament week in Bangor as well as wishing the boys’ basketball team luck as they compete for the State Title in Augusta. Tim Call also pointed out that the Woodland Dragon Mascot was recognized as Northern Maine’s Best Mascot by I-95, 95.7FM’s annual poll. The poll stays open for tournament week and closes at the end of the week. 

The next town Council meeting will be held on March 12 at 5:30 p.m.