February 5, 2014
A group of 21 communities near Portland, Maine reaped a $2.9 million windfall by reducing assessment fees. Portland reaps the biggest reward—about $572,000. With other communities taking in between $380,000 and $42.000.
But according to a report from the Bangor Daily News, the windfall could evaporate quickly.
Portland City Manager Mark Rees said the city is facing $300,000 in additional cuts over last year’s revenue sharing, and there’s a possibility the state will cut an additional $3 million.
“As such, this reduction in ecomaine assessments will probably be used to plug holes in next year’s operating budget,” Rees said.
That sentiment was repeated by managers throughout the area.
In Scarborough, the town stands to gain $305,000 in savings from ecomaine, but lose $500,000 in revenue sharing, according to Town Manager Tom Hall.
The assessment fees were originally created to help offset long-term debt of ecomaine, a nonprofit agency that handles solid waste for Portland and other surrounding communities. That debt was paid off last year. The agency’s board of directors voted unanimously about a month ago to eliminate the fees, according to the Morning Sentinel.
Overall, ecomaine handles about 25 percent of the state’s garbage, according to WCSH6.