Town of Lamoine, Maine
Lamoine Budget Committee
Chairman Henry Ashmore called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM
Present were: Budget Committee members Reggie McDevitt, Henry Ashmore, Robin Veysey, Linda Feury, Joe Young; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Chris Reed (Red Cross, Downeast AIDS Network), Don Baril (Maine Coast Memorial Hospital), Anne Stocking (Lamoine Historical Society), Carroll Austin (Ellsworth Public Library), Ursula Heiniger (Eastern Area Agency on Aging), Trudy Lunt (WIC Program), Gary Taylor (WIC Program), Cathy Goebel (Community Health & Counseling), Peter Farragher (Downeast Family YMCA), Sharon & Maury Oliver (Open Door Recovery Center), Jo Cooper (Selectman, Faith In Action), Catherine Planchart (Hospice of Hancock County).
Minutes – Joe moved to approve the minutes of November 29, 2004 as presented. Reggie 2nd. Vote in favor was 5-0.
Review of Social Service Requests – Henry read the guidelines from the Donation Review Ordinance. He noted the last meeting was televised and mentioned the Cable TV Committee was meeting on the 15th and needed volunteers for future televised meetings.
Child and Family Opportunities – No one was present. Henry noted the request would have to drop to $600 to meet the ordinance maximum. Joe noted the committee usually considers this organization
Faith in Action – Jo Cooper explained this organization provides volunteer services at no charge to elderly and disabled people. She said the major service is providing rides, but they also do home repairs, and chores. Henry asked how long the organization has been running. Mrs. Cooper said they started in September 2003 with a grant. She said it’s a local program but was developed on a national level about 20-years ago by the Robert Wood Johnson foundation. Henry asked if the money goes to needs inside Hancock County. Mrs. Cooper said that was correct. Linda asked if there were any other organizations that provide rides. Mrs. Cooper said yes, to medical appointments, but they collaborate with them in order not to duplicate services. She said clients often can’t get help any other way because they either live in the wrong area or don’t meet income guidelines.
Lamoine Historical Society- Anne Stocking said in addition to the services they provide, they maintain the Lamoine Meeting House and historical archives, and they provide school programs at no charge. Henry asked if the request was earmarked for any specific thing. Mrs. Stocking said no, it’s to help maintain the meeting house. She said they have a grant for archival materials, and they use the meeting house to store the archives. She said they need to heat and dehumidify the building. Henry asked if the historical society had any plans to become a regular line item in the town budget. Mrs. Stocking said she didn’t think so.
Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry- No one was present to represent the organization.
United Cerebral Palsy – No one was present to represent the organization.
Eastern Area Agency on Aging – Ursula Heiniger said the organization provides services to people 60 and older, and most services are free. She said the services include Meals for ME, Information and Referral services, and helping in the field with federal programs. She said they help cut through red tape. She said in Lamoine EAAA served 11 citizens for a value of $618. She said the request was for $250. She said they’re required to get a match to get federal and state funding, and that’s becoming harder. Joe asked if people need to be income eligible. Mrs. Heiniger said no, just age eligible. She said the Meals for ME program is free, but they do ask for a $2.50 donation if people can afford it. She said legal services are offered on a sliding income scale. Linda asked if volunteers get mileage. Mrs. Heiniger said they have the option, but most (70%) opt to waive it and donate it. Henry asked how many meals they serve a day. Mrs. Heiniger said they served over 200,000 meals last year. She said most were served in dining rooms, and the nearest is in Ellsworth. She said some people get hot meals delivered.
Downeast Health Services – WIC Program – Trudy Lunt thanked the town for last year’s donation. She said they’re struggling with the program, and they served 27 clients in Lamoine last year. She said they send a letter to all communities, and serve income eligible clients. She said this is the 30th anniversary of the WIC program. Stu noted the request was for $810. Ms. Lunt said they use a funding formula of $30/client, and she realizes the cap is $600.
Washington/Hancock Community Agency – No one was present to represent the organization. Henry noted the request was for $1,065 which exceeds the limit. He read a portion of the submission that outlined the services received in Lamoine.
(Stu left the meeting briefly to transport a daughter home)
Hospice of Hancock County- Catherine Planchart presented that organization’s request.
American Red Cross of Eastern Maine – Chris Reed presented that organization’s request
COMBAT – No one from the organization was present.
Open Door Recovery Center – Sharon Oliver gave an outline of the organization. She said it’s the first request in Lamoine and they treat addictions and provide a community resource. She said they’ve operated since 1984. Henry asked if there was any state or federal funding. Mrs. Oliver said they get some as well as insurance money, and help from the United Way and the Office of Substance Abuse. She said they don’t turn any people away. Henry asked if this was unique to Hancock County. Mrs. Oliver replied that it is.
Maine Coast Memorial Hospital – Donald Baril thanked the town for it’s past help. He said the request was to help support Health-Link and the preventive medicine program. He said the outreach programs have focused on exercise and diet. He said a new weight-loss program started today. He said there are thee staff members committed to the program, including flu shots and community screening programs. He said the cost ranges between $180,000 and $250,000 per year. He said the programs usually don’t bill for services. He said the hospital is completing its expansion program, and the new operating rooms opened on November 23rd. He said the Intensive Care Unit moved on December 1st, and the hospital is growing fast – it’s now an $85-million dollar organization. He said the population of the area is growing. He said the Emergency Room had 18,000 visits, and was designed for only 13,000. He said they write off $800,000 as un-collectible each month.
Yesterday’s Children – No one was present to represent the organization. Stu said Mona Clark had left a letter earlier in the day and Henry read the letter aloud.
Community Health & Counseling- Cathy Goebel said last year they served 24 people from Lamoine, 13 with mental health needs, and 11 with home care services. She said they seek the money to cover unmet service provisions and the homemaker program.
Downeast AIDS Network – Chris Reed said the new director was unable to attend this evening. She said they get some money from United Way and some from local contributions. She said they have two offices in Ellsworth and Machias. She said they provide counseling, HIV testing, workshops and education and support programs. She said they run a food pantry for clients. She said the subject makes fund raising difficult. She said the statistics are difficult to quantify due to confidentiality. She said there were 36-clients from Lamoine, and they offer free condoms to young people. She said they might try to partner with the hospital. She said a lot of the cost is for prescription medication.
Parks & Recreation – Downeast Family YMCA – Peter Farragher handed out a brochure, and said the relationship in the past has been successful. He said there are 292 members of the “Y” from Lamoine. He said there are 6 to 10 kids in the after school program. He said they opened a new child care center and serve people from 6-weeks old to 91-years old. He said the infant child care program is full, as is the pre-school program. He said they have a scholarship program, and last year $1,642 in help went to Lamoine residents. He said the townspeople and volunteers have helped support the “Y” program.
Henry asked where the ice skating takes place. Mr. Farragher said next to the “Y” facility. He said they’re asking for $500 more than past years. Henry asked if there is a reduced rate to Lamoine residents through the contribution. Mr. Farragher said there was, and residents can use the facility for free on weekends. Henry asked if there were Lamoine sports teams. Mr. Farragher says there were basketball and baseball teams, and kids from Lamoine merge onto other teams as well.
Ellsworth Public Library – Carroll Austin said the amount requested was less than the amount requested the previous year because usage from Lamoine declined. He said there are 495 card holders in Lamoine, and people took out in excess of 10,000 books and other materials. He said the children’s room had expanded and was remodeled. He said they had a $38,000 anonymous donation. He said the request was based on the same formula used in previous years - $15/card holder. He said Ellsworth pays about $65/card holder. He said the committee asked last year how many other towns give 100% of the request. He said six of the eight around the same size as Lamoine give 100%, one gives 75% and Lamoine gives what it gives. Linda asked about Internet statistics. Mr. Austin said they have free in-house access, along with access to 47 databases with genealogical data. Jo Cooper noted there is a lot in the Ellsworth library that is not available elsewhere.
General Discussion – Jo Cooper said she’s been to a lot of communities with requests and noted that every town has a different way of handling such requests.
Ambulance/Public Safety – Stu said he’d not received anything from County Ambulance, but they were planning to meet with the Selectmen on Thursday.
Appeals Discussion – Henry noted there were $8,200 in requests. He said they need to think about it. He said of the 16 agencies asking, 10 were represented tonight. He said 6 didn’t show. He said the town meeting does what it wants. Joe said his concern is that the requests continue to grow. Linda said word spreads. Jo Cooper said a lot of agencies have foundations that require community support. Linda said some of the requests seem to be looking for just that. Joe Young said the total requests exceeds the cap the Selectmen can recommend. Henry said the requests are $2,581 greater than the cap.
The Committee discussed the YMCA and the Library briefly.
Linda said this is not a write-in campaign, and she would favor writing off anyone who didn’t show tonight. Discussion followed on how the donation ordinance works, the cap, and the town meeting format. A discussion followed regarding a possible user fee for the library.
The committee decided to review those agencies that were not present. Henry noted that Child and Family Opportunities, Loaves and Fishes, United Cerebral Palsy, Washington/Hancock Community Agency, COMBAT, and Yesterday’s Children had no one present. He said the requests totaled $3,200. Stu suggested that UCP and COMBAT had not been funded before, and that would eliminate $1,000.
Linda noted that Hancock County has the highest level of social services in the state. Discussion followed on overlapping services and the need of each agency. Linda said if the agency were just looking for community support, she’d favor cutting back. Henry said he’d suggest that WHCA get $100, Loaves & Fishes $100, Child and Family Opportunities $100, Yesterday’s Children get $200, and $0 for UCP and COMBAT.
Linda moved to recommend to the limit of the request or the maximum amount of those present, and $400 for Loaves and Fishes and $200 for Yesterday’s Children. Robin 2nd. It was noted that would be $5,800. Vote in favor was 4-1, McDevitt opposed.
YMCA – Reggie moved to recommend $2,000. There was no 2nd. Joe moved to recommend $2,500. Linda 2nd. Reggie said there should be a user fee. Henry said there is a fee attached as well as the town donation. A short discussion followed. Vote in favor was 4-1 (McDevitt opposed).
Library – Reggie moved to recommend $3,000. Linda 2nd. Vote was 2 in favor, 3 opposed (Veysey, Ashmore, Young). The vote failed. Joe moved to recommend $3,500. Robin 2nd. Vote in favor was 3-2 (Feury, McDevitt opposed).
Next meeting – The next meeting will be January 10, 2005 at the Lamoine School. The committee would like to discuss, in addition to the school budget, the revenue budget and the cable TV proposed budget.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:20 PM
Stu Marckoon, Secretary