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AYER — A problem with the Conservation Commission’s application fee process has resulted in a need for a reserve fund transfer from the Finance Committee.

The commission is $600 over budget, said member David Bodurtha during the Aug. 10 meeting.

“How did we run over?” asked Chairman William Daniels.

The shortfall was due to application fees not going into the commission’s budget, said Bodurtha.

“Right now there is no special account for legal ads,” said Daniels.

When applicants pay fees for the ads the commission posts in newspapers to announce hearings, those fees go into the general fund, said Bodurtha. When the ads are purchased, however, the money comes out of the commission’s budget and does not get reimbursed out of the general fund.

Bodurtha said he plans to request that the commission’s administrative assistant keep a record of checks paid for ad fees.

“Our applicants paid into the general fund, and we are simply asking for that money back,” said Daniels. “We don’t run on a very big budget, and there’s no ‘donut fund’ we can draw on when we run out of money.”

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