WESTERNPORT - Westernport elected officials held a work session on Monday evening to discuss several issues, with no motions or voting procedures taking place.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
WESTERNPORT - Westernport elected officials held a work session on Monday evening to discuss several issues, with no motions or voting procedures taking place.
However, the items of concern discussed during the meeting will be listed on the agenda of the next town council meeting.
Because of the Labor Day holiday, the next Westernport town meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m.
Allen Shapiro, finance commissioner, presented to the other council members a concern about having the water, sewerage, and garbage all “bundled together in the general revenue account”, and he would like to “break up the three” into separate accounts.
“We can’t see where the money is going,” he said, referring to the combination of the three items, suggesting that the three be separate, and “This would show what each account has.”
Garbage collection was another item discussed, and among what was said on this subject was the possibility of a raise in this service.
Mayor Tim Jackson said the raise in garbage collection would be “penalizing those that pay their bills on time.”
Shapiro told the council members that the Verso Paper Company is no longer using the raw water from Westernport, and because of this, “We are getting less income.”
With less income, he also mentioned that the previous town administration voted just prior to the new officials taking office to increase the town employees pay by $1 per hour, which amounts to $29,108.56, per year, not counting overtime.
Shapiro said what he felt could assist with the finances of the town would be to “have no more than $1,000 be spent at a time without the council’s approval.”
He said that in case of an emergency where more than the $1,000 would be spent, “The commissioner could sign off on this.”
Shapiro made the recommendation for Westernport “to make sure we are financially doing good.”
Water commissioner Laura Freeman Legge approached the subject of unpaid water bills during the work session, and the process of shutting off the water to those who could be months behind in this utility payment.
Town attorney Mike Llewellyn told the council members that the water is not a public utility but rather a service to the Westernport citizens.
Mayor Jackson said the process for residents with unpaid water bills starts with a notice in the water bill with a shut-off notice, followed by a red flag on the water meter, indicating the water shut-off would be happening soon.
He added that $50 is added to the water bill as a shut-off fee, and another $50 is charged for a reconnect fee.
Shapiro said that he will be meeting with the town’s auditor in the upcoming days, and, “We will go over these items.”
One more subject was taken under consideration during the work session and that was the code enforcement officer, and Jackson said the work schedule for the officer is to work two days a week, at eight hours per day.
Shapiro had a question about this position and asked, “Do we need a full-time or a part-time code enforcement officer?”