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Administrative Assistant's Report

For Meeting of January 23, 2014

Sure is nice to see sunshine and much warmer temperatures, dwindling snow banks and less ice! I'm sure no one would object to the remainder of the winter staying the way it is today (January 15 th ). I must say one of the biggest challenges here at the town office has been to keep the floors clean and to properly adjust the front door to completely close without too much force. The building keeps shifting with the temperature, and we've had to adjust the tension on the closer on a regular basis.

As you can see from items on the agenda, I think we're going to need another meeting before the town meeting warrant is ready to sign – there are some questions you need to answer before the final version is ready. The town report is plugging along too, but I don't think a final version will be ready for approval at this meeting.

Minutes of January 9, 2014 – Written corrections are easiest for me and most appreciated.

Warrant 13 – While this is a long one, more than 3-dozen of the entries are for the reimbursement to those receiving checks because of the County Commissioner's check as approved last meeting. We just received some bills today from Richard McMullen – tree limb removal, extra sand/salt for the public use pile, and one for moving the snow banks at the school which I have scanned and e-mailed to RSU 24. I await an answer on that one. All else is relatively routine.

Cash & Budget Reports – I am starting to get a bit concerned about some of the budgets as spending seems to be a bit more brisk than usual this winter. Obviously the parks/rec/cemetery budget concern over veterans graves care is a big one – you'll address that at the 1 st meeting in February. Fire seems to be brisk, and we're even pretty close on Administration – legal fees are part of what's driving that.

Property Tax Reminders – Since we split the tax due dates a few years ago, we have sent post card reminders to folks with balances due in February. Do you wish to continue doing that? I ran the numbers this morning, and there are still 990 taxpayers who have not paid in full. That's a little over $300 in postage, but it's good for cash flow!

Veterans Checks – As alluded earlier, I spent much of Monday and Tuesday processing those folks who receive the Veterans' exemption and have created receipts for those who had not paid in full and cut checks for the warrant for those who have. This should be finalized with the warrant signature, although many who receive the benefit may have an escrow company pay their 2 nd half bill, and that will mean more refunds to the taxpayer. The gift that keeps on giving, or something like that.

Foreclosed Property Update – This morning I went to both properties to take pictures as by law we have to insure the buildings within 60-days of acquisition. I have contacted Maine Municipal Association to begin that process. One of the former owners has received his certified letter, but to date the other has not. I have contacted Tony Beardsley in regard to the occupied property and we'll hold off on any action until the former owner's redemption period has passed.

Gravel Task Force Process – Thanks to Cynthia for editing the proposal that was e-mailed. Those edits are reflected in the new draft that'll be in your packet.

Appointments – We've had several folks respond to the request to serve. I will list them out for you on your meeting night and have blank appointment forms for the board to choose. The list to date will be in your packets as of Friday morning.

Planning Board Amendments – Thanks to John Holt & Gordon Donaldson, I have the final, final copies of the three amendments they've offered to the Selectmen to put before the Town Meeting. As I recall, the town attorney had an issue with the Appeals one. The Selectboard has not had a chance to discuss the proposals in detail, and a decision needs to be made on whether to place this before the March town meeting or at a special town meeting later.

Citizens Petition – I have sent this to Tony, sent the entire group of signatures to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, and Dan Pileggi (as well as you folks). We're awaiting legal advice on whether to include this on the town meeting warrant.

Expired Permits – I'm pleased to report that all of the gravel operations that had permits expire last fall are now the proud owners of new permits, therefore, the Selectmen will not have to take any enforcement actions.

Town Meeting Warrant – The Budget Committee meets on Monday the 20 th (a holiday) at 6:30 PM to make the final recommendations on the warrant items. I've got place holders for gravel ordinance amendments and the Building & Land Use/MUBEC amendments. I've asked the Planning Board for the “final” copies on this – there were so many versions floating around, I'm not clear which was which.

Do we want to possibly include an article in the warrant for this year's Parks/Rec/Cemetery budget to reflect the East Lamoine Cemetery bill? I will mention this to the budget committee on Monday.

Anything else we need to include?

I am suggesting that you might want to schedule a special meeting to sign the warrant – possibly January 30 th . I can have something ready to sign, but you'll need to hold tight the night of the meeting, and quite frankly, mistakes are likely if we do it that way.

Budget Update – See above – the budget committee meets 1/20/14 at 6:30 PM.

Citizen of the Year – I know last year there was discussion of a person for this year. I'm not sure if the board might have changed its mind, or if you have another person(s) in mind. Where this is somewhat of a surprise, you might drop me an e-mail with suggestions.

Town Report – We're plugging away at it – the town meeting warrant will be the last to get done, along with a specimen ballot. I would suggest that if you opt for a special meeting to sign the warrant, the final review of the town report also be done. We won't have the ballot info until January 27 th .

School Committee – I will e-mail Judy Lucarelli to see if she can provide a succinct report for you on how things are going (though I suspect Cynthia might have pretty good insight). The first meeting is tonight (1/15).

That's the extent of the meeting. See you on Thursday.

stu