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Administrative Assistant's Report

For Meeting of January 9, 2014

Happy New Year – I certainly hope the weather improves with the turning of the calendar. I started writing this on Monday, December 30, 2013 and we've had some heating issues at both the fire station and the town office. The fire station apparently ran out of fuel, and the chief engineer reports the boiler is using far more fuel than it should. The tank level gauge was not functioning properly (it was showing full when I looked last night, and we put 207-gallons in it today, which is less than ¼ full. The town office gauge is also registering about ¾ full today. The furnace was not coming on automatically over the weekend, so it was very cold in here this morning. Ray Plumbing was in swiftly after a call and cleaned it, replaced the nozzle and left, the furnace heated up, then turned off and would not come back on without manually hitting the reset button. We have called both Acadia Fuel and Ray Plumbing to make sure we've got plenty of oil and to make sure the furnace starts automatically. Ray Plumbing replaced a transformer and motor on Tuesday and as of Thursday, things appear to be working well.

You have a very busy agenda for the first meeting of the new year which will recess for the special town meeting at 7PM. I suspect that I will be selected as the moderator of the meeting on Tuesday morning the 7th, so I will be happy to run the open portion of the meeting. My guess is that it won't take all that long.

Minutes – There will be two sets of minutes for you to review – December 12, 2013 was the last regular meeting and December 26, 2013 was the special meeting at the fire station. Please look them over and bring written corrections if warranted.

Warrant 12 – The January RSU payment will be on here, as will an invoice from Dr. Lucarelli I suspect. We will have to move some money from the investment account to cover the RSU check. Property taxes will start to come in again in February.

Cash/Budget Report – This will be updated on the website periodically. There was nothing that raised any red flags at the last printing – I do have another item that impacts the Cemetery Budget rather drastically as a separate item on the agenda.

Checking Account Reconciliation – This was done Thursday and sent via e-mail.

Excise Tax Report – The 2nd quarter figures will be in for the excise tax report. It should show another “up” quarter.

Tax Acquired Property – I'll put the property cards of the two properties that did not pay the tax liens for 2011/12. There is also a letter for you folks to sign to the property owners giving them notice of a 30-day redemption period. If they do not respond, I would suggest that the Needles Eye Road property be placed for public auction and that the disposition of the Douglas Highway property be referred to Tony Beardsley as it is occupied by tenants.

Building & Land Use Ordinance Petition – We have received a petition with 120-valid signatures calling for a town meeting to amend the ordinance to prohibit new gravel permits in the Rural / Agricultural Zone. I have printed off the pertinent sections of the MMA Town Meeting & Elections manual in regard to petitioned questions. My recommendation is to place this on the annual town meeting warrant for March 12, 2014.

Gravel Ordinance Task Force – As forwarded to you via e-mail, the town attorney is recommending a task force to come up with potential amendments to offer to the town regarding the gravel ordinance with membership to include a Planning Board representative, a Conservation Commission rep, a member of the public and a Selectman. The suggestion was to have me facilitate the task force, which I am happy to do. I have made inquiry to the Planning Board and Conservation Commission chairs about possible appointees, and let the Planning Board chair know that the gravel operators wish to exclude him from the task force. He sent an e-mail today which I've printed for you. The gravel folks suggested Alice Workman as the public representative and she is willing to do it, I am told.

The task for the Selectmen is to decide whether they want to go with this process or not, and if so, whom to appoint to represent the parties of interest, so to speak. It appears to me the goal of the task force would be to come up with a set of amendments to the gravel ordinance that might be workable from all sides to offer to the voters for approval.

Expired Permits Status – The Planning Board will meet on January 14, 2014 to have a public hearing and decision on the two pits that remain unlicensed. It is the expectation that the permits will be granted conditionally. The requested paper work has been submitted by both pit owners.

Special Town Meeting – The warrant is enclosed in your packets.

School Board Election – Assuming that the ordinance change to the Elections and Assumption of Office ordinance passes, you'll need to sign an order to make nomination papers available for the two school board seats that will be created.

Veterans Funds Disbursement – Assuming that the special town meeting article passes to accept and authorize you to distribute the funds, I have drawn up an order for you to give to me to do this. It's in your packet.

East Lamoine Cemetery Invoice – We've received an invoice for $2,800 from the East Lamoine Cemetery Association for care of the 70 veterans graves at the cemetery. I feared this day would be coming. The cemetery allotment is included in the Parks/Recreation/Cemetery Budget. We have no written agreement with either the East Lamoine Cemetery or the Forest Hills Cemetery Association. Forest Hills had billed us annually and this year the amount was $40/lot for the 15 vets lots there. The East Lamoine Cemetery apparently has 70 veterans lots. We don't have $2,800 left in the appropriation and only $600 left in the cemetery line.

I would recommend that we meet with both the East Lamoine and Forest Hill associations and come up with some sort of agreement on the care of veterans lots – right now the town has no say in how much we are being billed for these lots. As your treasurer I cannot schedule this for payment because it will exceed what is budgeted.

Town Report – I'm in hopes of making big progress on the town report in the next few days as the Quarterly is out of the way. I'll print off what I've got the Friday before your meeting so you can review it. X-Press copy says the price will stay the same.

Ice Storm Follow Up – Thank you all for attending the special meeting at the fire station. As I write this, only three outages are reported in Lamoine. The last ice storm update was posted on Saturday morning. Things appear to be getting back to normal. We've had numerous compliments, especially from folks living out of state, about the Facebook update postings. I've not had a chance to get a price for installation of a town hall generator – you probably should ask the Cable TV Committee for its recommendation on that.

Shellfishing Analysis – Dick Fennelly passed along a nice report on the impact on Shellfishing revenues since passage of the regional ordinance. We have fared quite well since that happened.

PERC/MRC Legislation - In your packet are communications from both the Municipal Review Committee and the attorneys representing the majority owner of the PERC plant. If you care to read it over, both are lobbying for either support or opposition to a bill that will go before the legislature. I'm not sure that we need to get involved in either side. The MRC is our voice on this matter.

That's all for now – don't forget to vote on the 7th – I'll start off moderating, but Jennifer will take over that role around 5pm through the end of the election. I will check back with her after reffing a game in Blue Hill.

See you on the 9th .

stu