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Lamoine Budget Committee
Minutes of January 10, 2005

 

Chairman Henry Ashmore called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at the Lamoine School.

Present were: Budget Committee members Robin Veysey, Henry Ashmore, Joe Young, Reggie McDevitt; School Committee members Bonnie Marckoon, Faith Perkins, Linda Haft, Tammy Dickey, Union 92 Business Manager David Bridgham, Union 92 Superintendent William Fowler, Principal Val Perkins, Adm. Asst. Stu Marckoon (arrived 7:15 PM) and member of the public Franco Colella (Arrived 7:30 PM).

Minutes – Joe moved to accept the minutes of December 13, 2004 as presented. Reggie 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.

Education Budget – The Superintendent briefed the committee regarding an unfavorable ruling in a legal case. The will result in a reduction of the balance forward, and instead of a 3% increase in local appropriation for education, the amount will increase by 9.1%, a worst case scenario. The Superintendent and business manager said there is no firm idea on what the town would receive under the new EPS funding formula.

The budget committee reviewed the education budget section by section.

Ambulance – Joe asked if County Ambulance met with the Selectmen. Stu said they had. Henry said he watched the presentation on TV. He said in terms of what he heard, the amount requested was to help keep County Ambulance solvent. He said the payment guarantees an ambulance will be available to answer a call in Lamoine. He said the proposed amount is a 20-percent increase, or $1,495. A short discussion followed on the history of paying the ambulance contract and the services provided. Henry said on the table is a public safety budget of $44,722.75. Joe moved to tentatively approve that amount. Robin 2nd. Vote in favor was 3-1 (McDevitt opposed).

Fire Truck Reserve – Henry noted that nothing was proposed. Stu said the reserve amount has been shifted to the debt payment.

Cable TV Budget – Henry explained that the town receives about $5,000.00 as a franchise fee from Adelphia, and the Cable TV Committee felt that ought to be built into the budget. He said the fees in the last few years accumulated to about $12,000, which was used to purchase equipment for broadcast. Reggie moved to tentatively approve the Cable TV Budget at $5,000. Joe 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.

Revenue Budget – Henry asked where the surplus level stands. Stu said with the current year appropriation subtracted from the level at the end of FY 2004 it’s around $295,000. Discussion of whether appropriating $50,000 was appropriate followed, as well as the bottom line. Joe moved to give tentative approval to the revenue budget as presented. Robin 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.

Education Budget – Franco Colella gave a brief presentation to the Budget Committee. He said the student population has fallen for 8-years, but costs are up. He said the proposed budget adds benefits at greater than the cost of inflation. He asked if there were goals for the principal to meet and if those are measured. He asked about scores from the 8th grade MEA tests. He said Lamoine appeared to be above average on math, but below on other subjects. He asked if the assessments meant anything. He said he was unsure of the political connections on how the budget is formulated and found the increases questionable. He asked how minutes of the school committee are taken, and said the last minutes are not posted on line.

Henry explained the teacher contract, how assessment tests work, and about the Ed tech (aides) benefits. There was a brief discussion about the cost-per-student figures. Mr. Colella presented some charts to the Budget Committee.

Joe moved to give tentative approval to the education budget as presented at $2,120,839.83. Robin 2nd. Vote in favor was 3-0 (McDevitt abstained).

Next Meeting – The Committee opted to meet on Monday, January 17, 2005 at 7:00 PM to finalize the budget and forego the January 24th meeting.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:20 PM

Respectfully submitted,


Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst.