North Yarmouth seeks residents' input on library, rec costs

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NORTH YARMOUTH — The town is asking for feedback from residents regarding a proposed community service agreement for next year with Cumberland.

North Yarmouth pays Cumberland for library and recreation services, and could end up pitching in for park use next year as well.

An ad hoc committee is studying existing and future agreements between the two towns, according to committee member and North Yarmouth resident Heather Giandrea. She said the North Yarmouth Board of Selectmen wants input to help decide whether to accept the agreement, or to discuss alternative options to the existing arrangement. The ad hoc group plans to make a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen at the board’s April 5 meeting.

North Yarmouth residents were recently sent postcards with instructions for completing an on-line survey. There is a code on each postcard’s mailing label, which should be used to submit the online survey, Giandrea explained; people can alternatively use their mailing address as their code. In return for filling out the survey, found at northyarmouth.org, residents will be eligible for a raffle prize of five large or 10 small trash bags. There will be five winners, and the deadline for submission is March 25.

Paper copies of the survey are available at the North Yarmouth Town Office. Only one survey can be submitted per household. Assistance is available at the town office for those who need it.

North Yarmouth currently pays a portion of Cumberland’s recreation and library budgets, and now the latter town needs help with its parks budget, Cumberland Town Manager Bill Shane said last December.

North Yarmouth pays 36 percent of recreation and library costs, a percentage that comes from the town’s population compared to Cumberland’s, along with administration expenses. As of last December, its estimated fiscal 2012 assessment for recreation was nearly $59,000. Its library assessment was about $134,000.

North Yarmouth’s assessment for parks would be smaller. Cumberland would split the approximately $184,000 assessment in half and then charge North Yarmouth 36 percent of that amount, or about $33,000. Cumberland would also phase in that cost to North Yarmouth over 3 years, staring with about $11,000 in fiscal 2012.

North Yarmouth’s total fiscal 2012 assessment would be about $204,000, 8.17 percent more than its fiscal 2011 assessment of nearly $189,000.

The Cumberland Town Council is due to vote on its budget on Monday, March 14, followed in early June by North Yarmouth residents at their Town Meeting. Although North Yarmouth’s residents could opt not to pay for the services, Shane has built next year’s budget with North Yarmouth’s contribution.

For more information on the survey, call the Town Office at 829-3705 or Giandrea at 829-8051.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.