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Machias approves pay hikes for part-time laborers in 3 departments

MACHIAS – Pay hikes for workers in three Town of Machias departments took effect immediately after the Town Board approved the increases at its May meeting.

Supervisor Matthew S. Bull said that the town has not addressed rates for the last few years and that the increase would take part-time labor rates for the cemetery, highway and water departments from $10.60 to $11.50 an hour.

The town’s recreation specialist and lifeguards would also see an increase from last year in the next pay period.

The board also approved filling vacancies in the those areas, as well as for deputy town clerk.

Officials revealed that the town pool is scheduled to be opened the first week in June, weather permitting; the recreation program will start July 6; and the Justice Court Assistance Program courtroom improvement project is projected to start in mid-June.

A clean-out day will be scheduled for workers in the affected areas.

The board also authorized submission of the tax freeze and efficiency report to the state in June. Under the state mandate, the town needs to show a savings of at least $6,616, or 1 percent of its budget.

With the shared services relationship with Franklinville on dog control, the sewer agreement with Arcade and the switch to a new health insurance provider, the projected savings “far exceed that which we must show as a savings,” Bull said.

The board unanimously approved switching to New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal as its new health insurance provider. The switch should result in savings of more than 3 percent, officials said.

Cemetery sexton Pete Andrews said the obelisk in Brewer Cemetery has a “lean that needs to be addressed.” Maple Grove Cemetery also has a few monuments that need repair, he said.

Highway Superintendent Richard Dash said that potholes were being filled and that repair work on Route 242 will take about three weeks.

Surrounding towns will be helping with the state project and receive free millings in return.