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Communities find savings in collaborative efforts

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 6:54 PM EDT
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AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine (WAGM) -

Collaborative efforts have led to cost savings for several County communities. Kathy McCarty has more on the benefits of working together.

Having a strong interlocal agreement serves as a sound foundation, when working with multiple municipalities, says Sandra Fournier, Town Manager of Mapleton, Castle Hill, and Chapman. The interlocal agreement between the three was established in 1992.

“It’s all about the interlocal agreement and having a formula within the interlocal agreement that’s equitable and fair for all three communities and treats all three communities as one, when you’re looking at decisions that need to be made that affect all of them,” says Sandra Fournier, Town Manager of Mapleton, Castle Hill, and Chapman.

For example, a $45,000 budget increase for the Highway Department, due to the rising cost of gravel.

“The communities came together and found ways to be able to lower the budget in other departments, increase revenue in other areas to help mitigate what that impact would be for all three communities, not just for one,” says Fournier.

Washburn assists Wade, handling automobile registrations and other paperwork, eliminating the need for a part-time clerk in Wade.

“Now we pay Washburn pretty much that same fee that we were spending before and we have full-time hours. Wade doesn’t need a full-time clerk, so when this person is working, she’s not working for Wade, she’s working for Washburn. So it’s kind of a win-win for both towns,” says Donna Turner, Town Manager of Washburn.

Aroostook Waste Solutions is another example of how Limestone, Fort Fairfield, Caribou and Presque Isle have teamed up to save money.

“We could not afford to have our own dumps. It was not environmentally good or anything else. Fortunately the DEP, EPA and so forth put laws into effect through the state that we had to become, in order to make it sufficient. It works. It’s truly the most economical way for us to handle our trash,” says George “Bud” Finch, Town Manager of Limestone.

All three town managers agree, cost savings can be realized if communities put their differences aside and strive to work together for the benefit of their citizens. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

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