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Administrative Assistant to the Board of Selectmen

Stu Marckoon
Report for Meeting of July 23, 2020
 
 

As I sit here on a beautiful Thursday evening, we were kind of struck at having a fairly quiet afternoon.  The last 2-months in here have been brutally busy with seemingly non-stop vehicle registrations and then an election conducted by absentee balloting which monopolized our time processing ballot requests and returns.

 

Election Day was 2-days ago, and we were very surprised by how many people turned out.  After issuing nearly 400 absentee ballots, another 300-people voted in person – no doubt our largest primary turnout at 40%.  I’m not sure why so many voted, and it was a little chaotic at times with the social distancing requirements in place.  There were very few complaints about the wait and the process we followed, and it seemed to work.  It did make for a long day and the counting of 4 races was pretty convoluted, but we got through it.

 

This has also been a busy week for fire calls.  A truck caught fire on Pinkhams Flats on Monday, just around the corner from the town hall.  We had a truck on scene in less than 10-minutes from the call!  Had a mutual aid call to Hancock yesterday which was canceled en-route, and then a motor vehicle accident on Mud Creek Road last evening with a request for traffic control.  More about that later in the agenda rundown.

 

A reminder that I will be on vacation from July 27 through 31 and out of town.  I will have the cell phone with me for emergencies, but I suspect there should not be any.

 

You have a very long agenda – and the meeting will follow a special town meeting which begins at 7PM.  I’ll bring a PA and speakers with me so we can hold it outdoors, weather permitting.  One of you should be the moderator.   The warrant will be in your packets.

 

Minutes – July 2, 2020 – Please look over the minutes and make written corrections.

 

Warrant 3 – Since I’m writing this the day Warrant 2 was made available to sign, there is not a lot on here.  There will likely be a school payroll and AP warrant for approval. 

 

Warrant 2 – Thank you in advance for signing this – it was fairly large as Ellsworth High School tuition as on the warrant.   I had to move $150,000 from the investment account into the checking account to cover the expenses. 

 

Cash & Budget Reports – There are reports for both FY 19/20 and FY 20/21.  The report supplied with the warrant signing earlier today had not updated the FY 19/20 budget to reflect the amount approved for the Cupola repair, thus you might have noticed that the administration budget was exceeded.  It is not, thanks to the June town meeting.   The solid waste budget is exceeded, but presuming the town meeting approved the appropriation from surplus before the meeting, you will be OK here.

 

Encumbrance Order/Town Projects – There three projects I am recommending to attribute to FY 19/20 which hopefully we’ll get done in FY 20/21:

 

Meeting with Frenchman Bay Conservancy and land donors – Blunt’s Pond – Aaron Dority, Judy Whitcomb and her sister Katherine Dudzinski will join us via Zoom to talk about where things stand in the donation.   Speaking of Zoom, I have procured a decent TV (free, it was my Dad’s and we gave him our TV which was much larger), which should be perfect for Zoom.

 

Meet with Dick Fennelly -  Dick’s resignation letter from the Joint Municipal Board is in your packets and I suspect he has some matters he wants to discuss about shellfishing and the regional effort.

 

Comprehensive Plan Thanks – I’ll have certificates for those who served over the last several years coming up with the plan.  Earlier today I mailed off the required documents to the State of Maine to put this to bed.

 

Quitclaim Deeds – I’ll be drafting those up, hopefully tomorrow.   Richard Cleary’s office is handling the closing on the Map 4 Lot 45-1, so they’re going to review it on their client’s behalf.

 

Property Tax Commitment – I notified you last week of the error in the tax commitment last year.  That mistake will not happen on this year’s commitment.  We’re likely to see a bit of a jump in the tax rate, as the homestead exemption has increased significantly, drawing down the taxable assessed value. The assessors plan to do the commitment on Monday, and tax bills hopefully will go out next week (before I leave for vacation!).

 

Stop Sign Request – The woman who lives on the corner of Walker and Needle’s Eye Road has requested that we replace the yield sign on Asa’s Lane with a stop sign, especially because there is a new house under construction right near there on Asa’s Lane.   I do not oppose this request, but it’s your decision.

 

Harbor Float Piling Replacement Estimate – The quote obtained by David Herrick is in your packet.  This is a rather costly project.  I’ve not yet spoken to the new park manager about this – I’ll try to reach out to her this week.

 

Paving Update – Wellman Paving was the low bidder at around $77/ton.  An acceptance is in your packet.  I suggest you approve it.  They plan to pave on August 10th.    Randy Kelley has been replacing culverts on Shore and Mill Road that rotted out in the planned paving area.

 

Mud Creek Road – I’ve fielded a few phone calls expressing concern about parking on Mud Creek Road where one of the big field areas has been mowed off for a soccer pitch.  Last night (as noted above) there was an accident in that area, and the Deputy who covered it expressed her concern about the parking.  Her suggestion was that a parking area off Mud Creek Road should be established to get traffic off that fairly busy road.   I’ve asked the Sheriff to drop us an official suggestion. 

 

This was not something that the town granted a permit to do. Quite frankly, I’ve not looked at the BLUO to see if it’s something that needs a permit.  I’m not sure how you wish to proceed.

 

Solar Energy – I spoke with the folks who had been looking to build the array by the landfill last year, and the project is on the shelf.  Between wetland issues and the whole COVID-19 pandemic, they are no longer pursuing the project.     I’m glad we didn’t put a whole lot of time and money into this, but sorry that a potentially lucrative deal has fizzled at this point.

 

Cupola Repair – I spoke with the gentleman from Mid Maine Restoration.  He said they have a couple of projects that are very time sensitive this summer, but they will get to our job.

 

Lamoine 150! – Jo can update us on what’s not happening.

 

Phew!  That’s a lot to tackle for a night.  See you on Thursday.

 

stu