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Lisbon may lower tax rate; council denies camp director a raise

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LISBON — The Lisbon Town Council is planning to lower the tax rate as it prepares a 2014 budget.

The council also decided last week against raising the salary for the Lisbon Beach and Campground director, instead opting to advertise the position at the current salary of $13,000 a year.

While the final budget is not expected to be ready until next month, the preliminary budget includes a tax rate of $5.50 per $1,000 including the fire district and library. That is a decrease from last year’s combined tax rate of $6.30.

Councilor Gary J. Jarvis said the preliminary budget will have to be adjusted once the fire district submits its 2014 budget at the end of the month; the current town budget is using last year’s numbers from the fire district.

The Town Council does not have any jurisdiction over the budgets of either the fire district or the Lisbon Hepburn Library, which will have a 10-percent increase in its budget this year.

In total, the preliminary budget for the town in 2014 totals less than the $2.7 million figure released in the tentative budget.

Discussions about the salary of Lisbon Beach and Campground Director Michael J. O’Neil, who requested a 52-percent raise this year, ended with the Town Council apparently opting to advertise the position at the current rate.

Councilor Susan M. Duffy said she wants to see more organization at the beach and campground.

“We need to organize it,” she said, referring predominantly to the campground’s financial records. “We need someone who will work with us.”

Mr. O’Neil was upset with the decision.

“I think it’s a slap in the face that I have to reapply,” he said. “There has been an awful lot of progress in the last ten years here.”

This year the Lisbon Beach is reporting $28,000 in profits after spending $118,726 and making $147,096.

Mr. O’Neil said he is disappointed with what he described as a lack of communication between him and the Town Council.

“I asked to have the board come over here and we’d talk over the 2013 proposals for the year, and they didn’t even show up,” he said. “And how do they know how to run a business if they’re never here?”

The Town Council did not officially vote on reposting the position, but Mr. Armstrong said that seems to be the wish of the majority.

The Town Council also tabled discussion regarding a 2 percent raise for the youth program coordinator, sewer superintendent and water purification supervisor.

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