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Lamoine Budget Committee Minutes

December 12, 2005

(Draft - subject to change)

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

Present were: Budget Committee members Henry Ashmore, Linda Feury, Joseph Young, Robin Veysey, Reggie McDevitt (Hubene Brodie had phoned to say she was unable to attend); Secretary Stu Marckoon, John Wood (Downeast Horizons), Mildred Jordan (Loaves & Fishes), Anne Stocking (Lamoine Historical Society), Becky Leeman (Ellsworth Library), Gary Taylor (WIC Program), Trudy Lunt (WIC Program), Mona Clark (Yesterday's Children), Tim King (WHCA), Peter Farragher (YMCA), Diane Sanderson (Hospice of Hancock County, Hancock Home Care), Parks Committee Members Tom Barr, Steve Valleau, Kerry Galeaz, Christa Brey , Selectmen Richard Fennelly Jr., Cynthia Donaldson, Brett Jones, Jo Cooper (also representing Faith In Action - arrived 7:45 PM).


Linda moved to approve the minutes as written. Reggie 2 nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Social Service Agency Requests

Stu told the committee he photocopied only the application pages and that a lot more information was submitted by the various agencies which is on file and available for review if needed.

Downeast Horizons – John Wood said his agency was requesting $600. He thanked the town for 10-years of support with the exception of last year when they did not submit a request. He said the agency deals with adults with disabilities. He said the day rehabilitation program has centers in Ellsworth and Bar Harbor . He said they try to teach independence to their clients, which includes job coaching and placement. He said they no longer operate the sheltered workshop as they want people placed into the community. Henry asked how that has worked out. Mr. Wood said very well, as they have clients working at 12-job sites. He said the former workshop in Bar Harbor is doing “day-habilitation”. He said they also operate 8-homes that provide 24-hour a day care and housing. He said one person from Lamoine is being served. He said Maine Care is billed $17,000 for that person, but the cost is about $20,000 to provide the services. Linda asked about other funding sources, including a Hancock County appropriation. Mr. Wood said they do not receive anything from the county. He said 90-percent of the budget comes from Maine Care, fundraising accounts for 9%, and 1% is from miscellaneous sources.

Henry explained to the audience what happened to the social service funding for the current fiscal year. He said the town meeting went the usual way in funding the various agencies, but a subsequent town meeting decided not to fund any amounts higher than the LD-1 municipal tax commitment level. That resulted in a total budget reduction of about $57,000, so the social service agency requests were reduced to $1 each so that the organizations could each say they got something from the town. He said he hoped the town meeting would fund the organizations in the usual manner in the upcoming year. Anne Stocking asked about overriding the LD-1 cap at town meeting. Henry felt it would have to be done at the regular town meeting to avoid the situation that occurred this year.

Eastern Area Agency on Aging – No one was present to represent this agency. The Budget request was $250.00

Community Health & Counseling Services - No one was present to represent this agency. The Budget request was $600.00

Washington Hancock Community Agency (WHCA) – Tim King said WHCA has provided services for 40-years. He said the programs include Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and transportation services. He said they sue local money for transportation services, and get additional Medicaid funding for a 2-to-1 match. He said generally the elderly use the Medicaid transport services. Henry asked how many residents were served. Mr. King said they provided 229 rides which translates to a cost of $3,560, 34-households received LIHEAP benefits worth $18,761 and they provided assistance to two businesses in Lamoine. He said they also provide vouchers for child care through the family resource center.

Yesterday's Children – Mona Clark said the organization runs 3 group homes. She said they are funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and get some private funding. Joe asked how many Lamoine residents are served. Mrs. Clark said none this year, but there was one last year.

Historical Society – Anne Stocking said the society offers 2 or 3 programs per summer. He said the have materials on the Maine Memory Net, and they maintain the East Lamoine Meeting House. She said a boy scout has landscaped the front of the building and refurbished the old bell. He said they maintain artifacts and got some grants to organize the archives. She said they raised money at a steel band concert this summer which they plan to make an annual event. Henry asked if this is the only source of town funding. Mrs. Stocking said yes, though they do sell a few publications.

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry – Mildred Jordan said the organization is completely volunteer with the exception of the manager. She said through September of this year 35-families from Lamoine have used the pantry, representing 114-people. She said the pantry supplements food. She said they provide about a weeks worth of food per month. She said people can get food once a month or as emergencies warrant.

COMBAT - No one was present to represent this agency. The Budget request was $100.00

WIC Program – Trudy Lunt said they serve 18-clients from Lamoine. She said the request for $540 represents $30 for each client. She said the money allows staff to go to outreach clinics. She said clients often have trouble getting to appointments, so the outreach clinics benefit the clients. Henry asked what the vouchers from WIC are for. Mrs. Lunt said for healthy foods. She said they concentrate on obesity, and it starts with young children and educating families on how to eat properly. Henry asked where the vouchers are used. Mrs. Lunt said at WIC approved stores located in most towns. She thanked the committee for past support.

Red Cross - No one was present to represent this agency. The Budget request was $600.00. Linda said Chris Reed of the Red Cross might be in the South giving aid to hurricane victims. She said she would check.

Downeast AIDS Network - No one was present to represent this agency. The Budget request was $600.00. Ms. Reed also represents DEAN.

Child and Family Opportunities - No one was present to represent this agency. The Budget request was $600.00

Hospice of Hancock County – Diane Sanderson said this agency has been around for 20-years. She said they provide support for people and family members for those at the end of their lives. She said they served one person in Lamoine and two families with 7 residents. She said six others got phone calls, and four attended grief support groups. She said five of the volunteers live in Lamoine. She said they provide care in several communities. She said they get no state or federal funding, it's all from donations. She said they had a yearly campaign, an auction and a regatta. Henry asked what the total budget was. Mrs. Sanderson said income is $233,000 and expenses $232,000. Henry asked if that all came through fundraising. Mrs. Sanderson said they do get some grants. She said they're asking Lamoine for $300.

Hancock County Home Care - Mrs. Sanderson said she also works for this organization. She said she didn't have any information regarding the request. She said this is the visiting nurses association. She said it's breaking off from Blue Hill Memorial Hospital and will come under the auspices of Eastern Maine Health Care. She said they are reimbursed through Medicare. She said the organization travels 500,000 miles a year. Henry asked if that is just Hancock County . Mrs. Sanderson said they serve the entire county, 24 hours a day.

Open Door Recovery Center - No one was present to represent this agency. The Budget request was $600.00

Emmaus Homeless Shelter – Anne Stocking said she was representing the organization. She said this is the first year they've asked for town assistance. She said they're funded by the government, grants and donations. She said the government funding is decreasing and use is increasing. She explained the homeless shelter operation and said they help with transitional housing. She said there are a lot of service referrals, but she has no statistics on how many from Lamoine are served. She said they're asking for $500. She said the services provided avoid having to pay for the same services through General Assistance.

Henry asked about how much is available to recommend by statute. Stu said it's 5% of 1-mill which is approximately $11,600.

Ellsworth Public Library

Becky Leeman said she is the co-chair of the Board of Trustees. She thanked the town for its past support. He said there is a newly overhauled genealogy department which is available on their computers. She said the library offers free Internet access and has a wireless network. She said there are 445 cardholders from Lamoine who checked out 11,239 library materials. She said they budget for the library is $553,000 which is mostly paid for by Ellsworth residents. She said $30,000 is raised from other communities. She said they are asking for $15/card holder with a 10-percent population reduction. She said that works out to a request of $5,835.

Linda asked how many card holders are students. Mrs. Leeman said she was unsure but could check. Henry asked if there was a way to separate out the school children who check out books from the rest. He said that might make up a good portion of the 11,000 items checked out. Mrs. Leeman said the library continues to set records, and they're well ahead of the pace for the previous year. She said use skyrockets during a tough economy. She said they have a big DVD collection. Joe asked about books on tape. Mrs. Leeman said they have a good selection as well as CD's of books. She said there is a big interest in audio books. Reggie asked what the request was last year. Mrs. Leeman said $6,675. Stu said they received $2,500 after the LD-1 action. Brett Jones asked if there was an item in the school budget for the Ellsworth Library. Henry said there is not. Robin said a school library is very different from an adult public library. A short discussion followed about books on tape.

Faith In Action – Jo Cooper said she was a little uncomfortable making a request given her position as a Selectman. She said her organization goes to all the towns to ask for help. She said the program recruits and trains volunteers to assist elderly and disabled people, allowing them to stay in their homes with a strong quality of life. She said most of the requests are for transportation. She gave a list of the various services offered and said they provide a lot of rides. She said the volunteers have assisted 8-people in Lamoine and 12-volunteers live here. She said their sources of funding are private, some small grants, and from municipalities.

Parks & Recreation Budget

Lamoine Beach – Stu attempted to explain the budget lines which included funding for signs and using revenue from the park fund. There was a discussion about the budget for Lamoine Beach , and Stu said he received figures from several different sources on the Parks Committee and wasn't real sure exactly what they wanted to submit. Kerry Galeaz of the Parks Committee said they used the figures from last year. Christa Brey said they included new picnic tables for Bloomfield Park . She said their goal was to increase park usage and respect for the park areas, and that's behind the slight budget increase. Mr. Galeaz said each sign would cost $1,172. He said if they're all done at once, it would save money. He explained the plan for the kiosk signs they've proposed. He said they're designed to help build an image for the parks. Stu said he didn't build that much into the budget for the signs, as he was unclear on how the committee was presenting that portion of the budget. Mrs. Brey said they were hoping for donated labor and materials. Mr. Galeaz said they hope to have some fund raisers. Henry advised the Parks Committee to get an idea on how much income and expense they produce during the year.

Stu reported there was $3,242.37 in the Parks Fund. Mr. Galeaz asked if this is a non-lapsing dedicated revenue account. A short discussion followed. Henry said any funds raised by the committee would be put into that fund, and any money left from the town budget would be closed into the fund.

Mrs. Brey asked if they needed to do a mass mailing for a fishing derby, would they need money form the town budget. Henry said they would. He suggested the committee put its heads together on a budget. There was a brief discussion on how the treasury process works, the proposed sign design and vandalism at the parks.

YMCA – Peter Farragher, the CEO of the Downeast Family YMCA, said 190 members are from Lamoine, and the reduction in fees saves them $7,896. He said there are 92 programs and day care which generated $1,255 in savings and 9 children in after school care saving $1,620, while those taking classes saved $2,280 by being a supporting community. He said the total savings for the community support is $13,783. He said the “Y” provided another $732 in scholarships. Mr. Farragher handed out brochures and aid they run hundreds of programs ranging in age from infant to seniors. He said the “Y” is open to all citizens from supporting communities on Saturdays and Sundays. He said people can sign up for programs on their website. There was a brief discussion of the active older adult program and the aqua fitness program. Henry said the “Y” is asking for $3,000. Mr. Farragher said it's the same request as last year, though they ended up receiving $2,500 after the LD-1 change.

Mrs. Brey asked if they could get help with the budget preparation. Stu said he would be glad to if he's available. A short discussion followed on the cemetery line.

Salt/Sand Shed

Stu said the DEP would be here on Thursday evening to meet with the Selectmen. Henry said there might be the possibility of paying for the shed by selling gravel. Jo said the town has to find out if it can place the shed on the former Anderson property. She said they're looking into a variance. She said it might be possible to utilize the gravel. Stu said there are a number of hurdles, and the local Planning Board might be the most difficult. Discussion followed about design of a shed.

Next Meeting

The next scheduled meeting was initially planned for January 9 th . Budget Committee members said they would like to have a full copy of the school budget the weekend prior to that. The committee also said they would prefer to meet with the school department at the town hall.

Social Service Request Discussions

Henry said the policy cap allows recommendations of up to $11,600. He said the requests total $8,219, which is under the cap. He asked if Maine Coast Memorial Hospital had made a request. Stu said he'd not received anything.

Downeast Horizons – Reggie asked what the maximum recommendation could be. Henry said $600. Stu said that's the amount in the ordinance. Joe said they made a good presentation. Stu asked if the committee planned to formally vote. Henry said if there is no problem, the committee would leave the requests where they are, in this case $600.

It was noted that the Ellsworth Library and YMCA were originally funded higher by the regular town meeting, but those amounts were reduced in the subsequent LD-1 votes. Henry listed out the agencies that were cut in the previous discussion.

Reggie said he had a concern about agencies overlapping services. A discussion followed on the transportation services offered by WHCA and Faith in Action.

Reggie said the library was bounced around last year. He said they made a good presentation, but it's a lot of money to ask for. Henry said the town meeting originally funded the library more money than the budget committee recommended. Reggie asked if the committee ought to go for a happy medium. Henry said the library asks surrounding towns for money, and Lamoine is not singled out. He said the library gets $30,000, and it would take 6-communities the size of Lamoine to get that. A brief discussion followed. Joe said you can't duplicate the quality of the library service for that price. Henry said he supports the library, but might look at the cost.

Henry said the committee has seen the entire municipal side of the budget. There was a brief discussion of the LD-1 cap and the municipal tax commitment of $0. There were brief discussions about the county budget, the revaluation budget, and the salt/sand shed. It was felt the salt/sand shed issue ought to be a special town meeting matter, and that part of it might be funded from a bond.

Henry suggested that budget committee members review the submissions line-by-line t o find reductions.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Secretary