Town of Lamoine, Maine
The Official Website of Lamoine's Town Government
Administrative Assistant's Report
For Meeting of April 24, 2014
I've begun writing this the day after the annual (resumed) town meeting. I was impressed that 118 voters turned out last night, and that the business was completed in less than two hours. Even more impressive (but not unexpected) is the civility that is shown at town meeting. Allow a little story. Last week I got a call from a reporter from the Ellsworth American who is preparing to do a piece on citizen engagement in local government. She asked about our town, and I had to answer that while we would always like to see more folks involved, it really hasn't been much of a problem. I proceeded to tell her about the Gravel Work Group and how we had to turn people away. Then I told her about the town meeting that drew 40-folks on the original night even though every one of them knew it would be adjourned. I don't think she got much fodder for the article – I'll be interested to read it. Do I have an explanation? Sort of. I think our citizens are very well informed, both through the town channels and through our elected and appointed officials effectively communicating about the issues that face our town. You should pat yourselves on the back for both creating the communication systems and utilizing them well.
Your upcoming meeting has a 3-week gap, so there will likely be an addendum.
Minutes – April 3, 2014 – Please review and make any written corrections if you would.
Warrant 20 – The warrant will be updated periodically as bills are added. We've received the generator from Colwell Diesel. Dead River required a down payment to install the propane – since it is less than $500, I'll cut the check for that prior to the warrant to get the ball rolling. The electrician was in the day it was delivered and has to make arrangements with Bangor Hydro before doing the final install.
Cash & Budget Report – You'll see a negative checking account balance until about the 20th of April because I've not yet moved the funds out of the investment management account to the checking account to cover the RSU 24 check which isn't due until April 20th . Really, we are doing OK. The budget continues to track pretty closely to reality.
Conservation Commission – Commission chair Larry Libby asked to meet with you, and since the board talked about meeting more frequently with town boards, I suggested he invite the rest of the commission. Unfortunately, the rest of the commission is unable to attend.
I had suggested to Larry that it would be a good idea to get the go ahead from the municipal officers before expending much energy on a possible grant being administered by the City of Ellsworth in regard to a settlement by an oil waste discharge site. I've enclosed an e-mail that the board sent to the DEP last summer supporting the terms of the settlement as a small area in the tip Lamoine was potentially a stakeholder because of the proximity of the aquifer to the waste oil. This, in my mind, was not an endorsement of any grant application, only the settlement between the City of Ellsworth and the DEP. Larry should have an explanation of what the grant is seeking. Also in the packet is the grant criteria that was in the proposed settlement.
Transfer Station Manager Contract – I've drawn up a contract with Chris Meyer for signature. It's the same language as the previous manager's contract and runs through 6/30/15.
Road Commissioner – separate memos are in the packet for spring work and street signs. I've had a few people inquire as to whether the town intends to do any more cleanup of the branches that came down during December's ice storm. It's your call, but there doesn't seem to be a lot left to clean up on the town roads and my fear is that people will pile branches from their yards beside the road with the expectation that the town will chip up their brush.
Enforcement Delay Request – You were e-mailed the advice from town counsel.
May 22, 2014 Town Meeting – The school budgets are in, the Budget Committee will have met and made recommendations on April 21 st . I've prepared the special town meeting warrant for signature based on the school committee's recommendations. If there is a discrepancy between the Budget Committee and School Committee, the warrant will be updated for signature.
Town Meeting Follow Up – Clean copies of the Building & Land Use Ordinance and Gravel Ordinance with the changes approved at the town meeting will be ready to sign.
The town meeting approved of the Comprehensive Plan update – it's time to appoint a committee. Already had one person offer at town meeting! Let's plan on how to advertise it.
Finally, we should get a request for proposals together soon for a new heating system here at the town office now that funding is approved. I'll see what we did for the fire station and look for other examples.
Computer Matters – As you may have heard on the news or elsewhere, Windows XP is now obsolete. The computer in my office uses XP (I still love XP, but it's not compatible with the newest Office software that we have on the rest of the machines). It would be my recommendation to upgrade this computer, and since we use it extensively to schedule the Cable TV system, the purchase could be made through that fund, maybe?
The other issue is that the accounting program will become obsolete in July. I'm not terribly pleased about this – we had just purchased the 2014 edition last July. It looks like it's about $360.00. I would recommend the new computer first, though.
Veterans Graves Maintenance – I spoke with our risk management folks about the possible agreement with the cemetery associations. They would be satisfied with a clause in the agreement that states that the cemetery association agrees to follow state and federal laws when employing contractors to care for the graves. That should allow things to move forward. I might have a new draft agreement for the meeting.
Request for funding from Hodgkins Fund – Bar Harbor Bank & Trust passed this along. I asked them for the terms of the Hodgkins Fund, and the request would not meet the terms of that. I thought it might be helpful to review the trust parameters, though.
Acadia National Park Centennial – I've copied some material from the Centennial Committee. A big celebration is planned in 2016 and they invite any organization to take part. This would be a good time to discuss whether the town wants to play any official role.
That's it for now – see you on the 24th .