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Administrative Assistant's Bi-Weekly Report - Meeting of 2/3/11

The sun's out and the temperature is a balmy 14-degrees, and it looks like the storm headed this way tonight will just skirt Lamoine, leaving only about 3-inches. I must say I'm weary of shoveling off the steps and ramp at the town hall, and of washing the salt residue off the floors inside. Kudos to Bill Fennelly who kept the transfer station operating last Friday as planned, despite the nearly 13-inches of snowfall. We took in less than a ton of trash! He truly appreciates the snowblower, though! I sent Jennifer home at noon last Friday so the traveling wouldn't be too bad, and I kept the office open until 4PM, and there actually were some customers. I sent the picture below to Channel 2 in Bangor and it was on both that station and Channel 6 in Portland that night:

You have a relatively short agenda for February 3rd , but the items on here are quite important and require some homework if you would.

Minutes of 1/20/11 – It was a quick meeting, but look over the minutes and submit written corrections.

Warrant 15 – As of today (Wednesday, 1/26/11) it's very light! I'm expecting Richard McMullen's bill any time now, so that will increase it significantly. Speaking of the plow contract, the price of diesel has risen to $3.59. Given that, and the number of events, it looks like the excessive cost escalator will kick in on the plowing contract. You will also notice an item called “excess FICA withheld” under the payrolls. I did not realize the FICA withholding rate went down on 1/1/11 (no notification was sent by IRS or SSA), so instead of the new withholding rate of 4.2%, 6.2% was withheld on the first payroll of 2011. That adjustment has now been made.

Cash & Budget Report – Operations here at the town hall seem to be doing pretty well. The administration budget is tracking below the percentage of year passed, and the overall municipal budget is doing the same. Excise taxes, though, are nearly $20,000 below projection for the percentage of year passed. We've collected just over 50% of expected excise revenue. Last year at this time we had collected $2,000 less, or 47.95%.

Audit Question – The question was asked about why the Undesignated Fund Balance amount on the books doesn't match the same line in the Audit Report. The difference is unrealized gain on investments, and the auditor confirms that. The amount on the trial balance in the books does not include that amount; however, the audit requires that it be reported. The trial balance reflects reality!

Property Tax Reminders – As of today, there are 944 properties with 2 nd half balances due on 2/28/11. Do we wish to send reminders this month? Postage alone is $264.32, and it takes about 3-hours to prep the cards.

Town Meeting Warrant – The version in your packet is all that I have. Please note the LD 1 increase question was added as the final article. There are several articles near the beginning dealing with ordinance changes, including an omnibus one that puts in the ability for the Selectmen to set ordinance fees. The Planning Board is expected to finalize the proposed changes at their meeting on Tuesday. Please, if you have any more changes to the warrant, let me know prior to the meeting so a signature copy will be ready for you!

Town Report – Still waiting for reports from the Parks Commission and Conservation Commission, an RSU 24 report, and for the ballot to be finalized on 1/29/11. Look over the rest for errors if you would. My aim is to get this printed and delivered back by mid February.

Water Testing/Filter – I've called Norlens and written to the homeowner in question for her to coordinate with them to get an estimate. There is also a large amount of material that has come in from DEP which is in your packets. No action to take at this point.

Recycling Contract – I called Coastal Recycling, but there was no answer and no answering machine. I will try calling them again, and if there is no contact, I will mail them a letter (which I plan to do anyway).

Job Descriptions/Policy Editing – New copies are in your packet.

MDOT Input Request – A letter from MDOT is in your packet requesting input on the process they use for determining which road projects will proceed.

That is it for now. See you Thursday!

stu