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FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2011 VOL. 20 NO. 42 THE BERLIN DAILY SUN presented by Berlin Main Street Program Thurs., June 2nd 5:00-8:00 p.m. Rain or Shine Come see Bobo the Clown Amazing Food Live Entertainment and Hundreds of Classic Cars Hot Rods & Specialty Vehicles Vehicle Awards Ceremony at the end of the Evening Northway Bank • Verizon Wireless Greetings Jewelers • P&L Auto Parts Vaillancourt & Woodward Insurance US Cellular • Cross Insurance Shaw Communications Call 752-6246 for more information FREE 752-5858 Firefighters ask council not to cut force BY BARBARA TETREAULT Main Street, Berlin, NH BERLIN, N.H. BERLIN – The fire department budget drew most of the attention at Wednesday night’s hearing on the city council’s proposed fiscal 2012 budget. A contingent of fire fighters turned out to plead for a lager appropriation to avoid cutting two positions on the force in what was otherwise a sparsely attended public hearing. Mayor Paul Grenier opened the hear- ing by outlining the challenges facing the council as it puts together a fiscal 2012 budget. Stressing the $31,319,727 general fund budget presented was not final, Grenier noted it would increase the tax rate by 68 cents. It would also eliminate four and a half positions. At the same time, he said the amount of unpaid property taxes now totals over $1.3 million – a sign, he said, that the community is struggling. He said the council is trying to find the balance between maintaining services and a quality education system with the community’s ability to pay. “That’s the dilemma this council is facing,” he said. The proposed budget is $535,943 less than the budget presented by City Manager Patrick MacQueen and $203,848 less than the present budget. Grenier said the council will have a better idea of the final numbers in three ous grants and loans. In 2012, the budget calls for the department to use $2.2 million in so-called “forced account income”. That forced account work will continue for the next three years. Viens said the most significant financial issue facing the department continues to be its high debt load which next fiscal year will range around $7.2 million. But, he said, that load is decreasing and should be manageable when the bonds taken out in the early nineties are paid off by 2015. The start-up of the federal prison should help the revenue picture as well the startup of the proposed Laidlaw/Berlin Station biomass plant. Viens listed five major projects for the year. He said the department will continue to replace old water mains, complete the Godfrey Dam rebuild, and upgrade the Brown Farm well. It is also upgrading the office and garage and making green improvements that will allow the department to reduce its electric bill to zero. “We have a busy year ahead of us,” Viens said. see FIREFIGHTERS page 12 Water Works budget calls for no water rate increase BY BARBARA TETREAULT THE BERLIN DAILY SUN BERLIN – The Berlin Water Works Commission outlined its proposed 2012 budget Wednesday night and promised no increase in water rates for the 14th straight year. The commission is proposing a budget of $4.41 million for fiscal 2012. Water Superintendent Roland Viens said the department will continue to balance its budget by using its own workers to do system improvement work funded by vari- Selectmen to consider abatement request for historical society BY CRAIG LYONS THE BERLIN DAILY SUN GORHAM— The Gorham Board of Selectmen agreed to accept an abatement request from the Historical Society even though it was submitted after the deadline to file. The board Monday night voted 2-1 to accept the abatement request after it was filed more than a month after the March 1 deadline. Selectman David Graham didn’t feel he had enough information to vote in favor the accepting the request while selectmen Terry Oliver and Paul Robitaille wanted to consider it because of Berlin City workers paving the ATV trail at Dead River Park. The ATV club is paying for the work. WE BUY GOLD! 107 Main St, Berlin, NH • 752-1520 • see ABATEMENT page 7 Boutique at 101 • 101 Main St., Gorham, NH • 466-5811 Spring and Summer Fashions & Accessories for any Occasion Sign Up Now, Get $5 Off Your First Deal s r r Sign up by visiting our website TM G orh a m H ou se F lorist,L L C 10 E xch a n ge St., G orh a m •46 6 -5588 AAA For all your Memorial Day needs! Low Rates Fast, Professional Service SEPTIC 752-4767

The Berlin Daily Sun, Friday, May 27, 2011

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