Town of Lamoine, Maine
The Official Website of Lamoine's Town Government
Administrative Assistant's Report
For Meeting of March 6, 2014
This is the final meeting for this version of the Board of Selectmen. As you'll recall Cynthia announced that she would not be able to attend her last scheduled meeting. I am in hopes she will be at town meeting so we can give her a proper farewell.
Thank you for letting me have the 27th off – there are a lot of cheerleaders who might appreciate that as well. I look forward to watching the replay of the gravel task force (or work group) meeting.
It has been hopping for the past two weeks here at the town office. Property tax payments are steadily coming in as the 2nd half is due at the end of February. I'm writing this on the 21st .
I will be out of the office for the day on Tuesday, March 4th – this is my day to teach the Tax Collectors and Treasurers Association tax lien class.
This will be a busy meeting, maybe some of the outstanding issues we have will come closer to resolution.
Minutes – As always, written corrections are most appreciated.
Warrant 16 – Among the highlights will be the 2nd half payment to the elected officials and the road commissioner. There will also be a sizable transfer into the investment account.
Cash & Budget Report – I'll keep the report on the website updated periodically (provided the website continues to function).
Check Reconciliation – This will be e-mailed to you. Should have it done on Monday the 3rd .
Tax Acquired Property – I have sent the information to Tony. A couple of neighbors have already expressed interest in purchasing the property, and one has warned that the current occupants may cause damage if evicted. I've not spoken with the occupants, and this is best handled by our town attorney.
Petitioned Question – The Planning Board has the information regarding the required public hearing to be held prior to an open town meeting. I've made a copy for your packets. The advice from MMA has prompted other questions that I can't definitively answer as I'm not an attorney.
You have until April 7, 2014 to set the town meeting date. There was discussion whether this should happen in an open town meeting or as a referendum. The only solid date that I have at this time is the June 10, 2014 primary election which would be a referendum date. We do not have a firm date yet on a special town meeting for the school budget.
Veterans' Graves Care – I've drawn up a draft contract between the town and the cemetery corporations (East Lamoine is the one on the draft).
There is a bill before the Legislature that clarifies some things in the state law. I've printed that off for the packets. It has not received approval yet – I like the changes, as it would specify that the town can indeed contract with the associations for care of the graves (among other things).
Website/E-mail Issues – This is causing quite a knot in my stomach as there is no easy fix and it's way beyond my skill sets. As mentioned at the last meeting, the old server that houses the town's website was compromised and flooded the modem with so much data that we were unable to use the Internet. Brett Jones worked for about 4-days programming the new server that was purchased a while back and got that up and running just fine. On Tuesday the 18th , we started experiencing the same issue – that server has apparently been compromised by the same issue. It's intermittent and unplugging the server from the modem for a stretch of time apparently is temporarily resolving the issue. That's not a great solution as it means town e-mail and website are down during those times.
The apparent solution is to have the website and e-mail hosted by an off-site server. There are several companies that do that. Jo's IT person gave me a good link to a company called hostgator and it looks pretty easy to use. It costs a bit of money for a single domain ($66.72/year). We'll talk that over in the Cable TV meeting on Wednesday evening, and I may have a recommendation for you.
Public Safety – Fire Truck – Chief Smith tells me that we might have a new fire truck delivered around the meeting night. It's almost finished. If so, there will be a big item on the warrant. If the weather's good and the truck is here, I might have someone run it up for you to take a look at!
Cell Phone-Data – The phone I carry for the town runs about $30/month, texting costs extra and there is no data available (it's pretty old). An updated plan with unlimited data, texting and 400-minutes (I barely use 100-minutes/month) is $50/month with the government discount. From a public safety standpoint, this would be good to have in situations like the December ice storm where instant updates can be posted to the town's Facebook pages and folks can reach me (as EMA director/road commissioner/deputy fire chief/administrator etc.) in a variety of manners if needed. I plan to discuss this with the Cable TV committee too.
Road Postings – Traditionally the town has posted roads in the spring. As road commissioner I have placed the signs on the various roads posted. Our trouble is enforcement – the ordinance reads as follows: This ordinance shall be administered and may be enforced by the municipal officers or their duly authorized designee (such as road commissioner, code enforcement officer or law enforcement officer). This means Mike Jordan or I can enforce the road posting ordinance, but neither of us are trained in writing tickets and would have to refer any violation to the town attorney if we wish to bring an actual complaint against a violator. That's one of the hazards of having no local police department. I will draw up a posting order for you, and we can discuss whether the town wishes to post local roads any longer or whether the annual posting of the state highways is sufficient.
Emera Maine – Annually Emera asks to use posted roads. I recommend you approve this request as always. The other annual event is whether we wish to waive automatic maintenance of the private lines that serve the salt/sand shed and transfer station. I would recommend that we do not waive that and if they do have to do some maintenance that we pay for it. In 20-years they have yet to bill us for that. We have trimmed the trees on our own dime and that's been sufficient. I did call during the ice storm to advise there was a limb on the entrance line, but have yet to see a bill from it.
Request for support for using County wind funds for fuel assistance – A group calling itself OneHancock is requesting that the town petition the County Commissioners to set up a fuel assistance fund with the funds from the wind tower projects. Their material is in your packets.
Cable TV Follow Up – I will let the CTV committee know that we received a check for $11,590.36 for the 2013 franchise fees. That puts the fund at just under $50,000. Their agenda on March 5 th calls for discussion of a generator for the town hall and payment coming from this fund. There are a couple of other things mentioned previously in this report for the CTV folks to discuss as well which will be reported at the Selectmen's meeting.
Municipal Review Committee Resolve – The folks who are in charge of towns sending trash to the PERC plant (The Municipal Review Committee or MRC) are exploring a lot of options following 2018 when contracts expire. The folks who own the majority share of PERC also have some politics they're trying to keep towns in the fold. The MRC has asked that Lamoine sign a resolve and join other member communities in supporting that option search. I've copied it off along with a letter from USA energy. The League of Towns is discussing this matter on the 25 th as well.
Town Meeting Preparation – I will be making the usual power point presentation for the annual town meeting and will have that printed out for your meeting. Harvey Kelley has the warrant – he found the header on the warrant had the incorrect dates on them (last year's). I've corrected that as it did not affect anything in the body of the warrant and corrected the warrants signature page with correction tape. The headers did not appear in the town report, though there was a year reference in the fund articles that should have been 2013 instead of 2012 which was also corrected (it was just a column header).
Anything else we need to get ready for town meeting?
Next Meeting Date – You will have the new board organizational meeting on March 13th , the night after town meeting. The agenda for that will be in your packet as well. It's the one meeting a year that I get to call to order!
I've got nothing for an executive session at this time.