Dixfield selectmen approve 2014 Water Department budget

DIXFIELD — The Board of Selectmen voted 4-1 Monday to approve a 2014 budget of $359,230 for the Dixfield Water Department.Chairman Mac Gill and Selectmen Hart Daley, Dana Whittemore and Bob Withrow voted to approve the budget, while Selectman Scott Belskis voted against it.

IMG_4565In other business, the board voted 4-0 to change the billing cycle for buildings with larger meters from quarterly to monthly.

During the Dec. 9 selectmen meeting, Water District Superintendent Jim White requested the change.

“There are a lot of factors that go into deciding how large a meter is,” White said. “Basically, a lot of it depends on how much water a building is going to potentially use. The larger the volume, the larger the meter.”

White said at the Dec. 9 meeting that the 6-inch meter at Irving Forest Products had recently stopped working for a time.

“Somewhere between one of the quarters, it stopped working on us,” he said. “If you look at the budget under commercial accounts, we lost $10,000 on that. My recommendation is that we change the billing cycle to a monthly basis, when it’s convenient for us. It might take a little bit to work it through and do it properly, but I feel like it’s the prudent thing to do. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have come to you.”

Daley requested that White provide the request in writing, along with a list of businesses that would be affected by the switch.

White provided that list at Monday’s meeting.

Whittemore supported the change, saying it would allow the Water District to “find a problem sooner and catch any mistakes.”

White agreed, adding that the current way of billing “frustrates us to no end.”

“Fortunately, there’s a solution out there for this,” he said. “It won’t go into effect right away, though. The way things are going right now, it’s just not possible to switch over.”

The board also approved an application for the Dixfield American Legion to host future BYOB functions at its building.