m-bathcouncil City expects fuel savings, taxpayer-friendly budget; Grant accepted to fight real estate blight
BATH — The city should save about $90,000 in its fiscal 2010 budget by going out to bid early on fuel, Finance Director Abbe Yacoben told the City Council on Wednesday.
Anticipating that fuel prices would increase, city staff last month locked in a price. M.W. Sewall won the bids for diesel and No. 2 fuel oil, charging $2.149 and $2.062 respectively per gallon, while Burke Oil won the bid for unleaded fuel, charging $2.185. Bath should reap the savings if current conditions remain the same, including the distance traveled by city trucks, Yacoben said.
"I'm not going to preach doom and gloom, like some of the other towns; I think we're going to be OK," City Manager Bill Giroux said, referring to the beginning of the fiscal 2010 budget process. He said a budget should be able to be adopted that minimizes any increase to taxpayers.
"I just want to send the message that I don't think the budget is going to be a major problem this year," Giroux added. "There are challenges to it, with the landfill and with sewage treatment, but I think we can figure those things out."
The council voted Wednesday night to approve the acceptance of about $2 million in state Community Development Block Grant funds for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Through this program Bath will have access to about $704,000 of the funds, while its two partner communities in the program, Brunswick and Lisbon, can use about $665,000 and $639,000, respectively. The funds will be used to help those communities acquire and redevelop foreclosed properties that may otherwise be abandoned.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has allocated $19.6 million to Maine's Community Development Block Grant program to address areas in the state demonstrating the greatest need for that work.
Bath will be the lead community in administering the funds, and the three communities will work on the project with their individual non-profit housing partners.