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Lamoine Budget Committee

Minutes - January 29, 2007 (Draft- Subject to change)

Vice-Chair Joe Young called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM

Present were: Budget Committee members Reggie McDevitt, Hubene Brodie , Robin Veysey, Joe Young, Linda Feury ; Secretary Stu Marckoon, Selectmen Jo Cooper, Richard Fennelly Jr., Cynthia Donaldson, Cable TV Committee Chair Bill Butler

The meeting was telecast and recorded by Lamoine CTV

Minutes Reggie moved to approve the minutes of January 8, 2007 as written. Hubene noted she asked questions about the minutes to Stu prior to the start of the meeting. Linda 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Budget Recommendations Stu suggested the committee follow the draft town meeting warrant outline for making recommendations. There was no disagreement with the format.

Article 13 Stu explained this is to give town meeting formality to the gravel money received in 2006 being placed into an interest bearing fund account. Reggie moved to recommend approval of the article. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Article 14 Stu explained this article was to authorize an overdraft in the code enforcement budget account for the current fiscal year due to contract negotiation following town meeting last year. Reggie moved to recommend approval. Robin 2nd . Linda asked if the proposed budget needs to be adjusted to reflect the negotiated contract. Stu said the budget reflects that amount. Vote in favor was 5-0.

Article 15 Stu said he anticipates there could be an overdraft in the administration account of about $2,000 for a railing on the access ramp to the town hall. Reggie moved to recommend approval of the article. Linda 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Article 16 - Stu reported that the road budget, once the snow budget is expended, will likely be depleted with nothing available for emergency repairs at the end of the winter season. He said $5,000 could come from the road fund. Reggie asked if tree trimming could be included in that. Stu said that would be up to the road commissioner. Linda moved to recommend approval. Reggie 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Article 17 & 18 Stu said the budget committee recommendation would come on article 18 as this is the funding mechanism for the land conservation initiative questions. Hubene asked if this would be a one time contribution or recurring. Stu said he suspects it likely would be recurring. There was a lengthy discussion as to the status of the sub-group of the Conservation Commission. Nothing formal has yet been organized. Reggie said he didn't like the looks of this and referred to other efforts state-wide where trust organizations are buying up the land for public purposes but keeping the public from using it. Jo Cooper said this effort is to explore possible easements on land for public access and to make land available to the public and the Town of Lamoine . Reggie said the town furnishes four park areas and needs to take care of those.

Linda asked if land is purchased by a trust, does that take it off the tax rolls. Stu said he believed it would. Jo said if an easement were purchased, the land would remain on the tax rolls, depending on ownership. Hubene said if land were purchased, it must be kept up which would mean more tax dollars.

Joe said if there were something specific he would likely be more supportive, but there are no plans, and this would take tax money with no plan. Jo Cooper said the effort was to make a fund to which people could make donations. Linda said if there was a plan that needed money, the group could come to the Selectmen to ask that it be put to town meeting for funding. Linda moved to recommend no funding for Article 18. Reggie 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Article 24 (School Budget) Stu reported he did not have the specific break down yet for the various line items in the warrant articles for the school budget. He said the bottom line figure provided by the school department late this afternoon was $2,175,483.67. A lengthy discussion about the MDI laptop program followed with the committee not favoring paying for supplying laptop computers to high school students at MDI High School . Reggie suggested tabling the recommendation until the budget committee knew the cost of that program. There was a discussion on timing for town meeting and communicating with the school committee.

Hubene asked about a proposed 5% increase in the principal's salary and why that was recommended.

Reggie moved to recommend the budget as proposed with the exception of the cost of laptops at MDI High School . Robin 2nd . Hubene said she didn't think she was doing the job of the budget committee properly if the committee doesn't know what figure it's voting on. A lengthy discussion followed, mostly on the laptop program and budget timing. Vote in favor was 3-2, Young & Brodie opposed.

Article 25 Robin moved to recommend passage of the article as written which allows the property tax to be reduced if the state should supply more education funding than expected. Reggie 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Article 26 (Administration) There was a lengthy discussion about salaries for the Assessors, the Town Clerk/Tax Collector and Assistant Clerk/Tax Collector. Reggie moved to recommend that the Clerk/Tax Collector be funded at $14/hour and the Assistant Clerk/Tax Collector be funded at $12/hour. There was no 2nd , but a brief discussion. Robin said if the salaries are negotiated with the Selectmen, the proposal from Reggie would give them more money available to accomplish that. Joe said he feared that would be crossing over the line of telling the Selectmen what to do. Reggie said that was not his intent.

Linda moved to recommend $144,016.67 for the Administration Budget and to recommend the salaries printed in the latest budget printout. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-1, McDevitt opposed.

Article 27 (Code Enforcement) Linda moved to recommend $17,950. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Article 28 (Planning/Appeals Board) Linda moved to recommend $1,200. Reggie 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Article 29 (Social Services Requests) Stu reviewed the list of requests and which agencies did not appear at the December meeting. Hubene said she didn't think taxpayer money should be spent to make donations. Linda said she had some hesitations on that, but most of the agencies serve Lamoine. She said she'd rather have a fund in the town office and let the Selectmen pick who gets funded. Joe said the townspeople at town meeting favor the program and restored funds in past years. Robin said she's not comfortable putting tax money into programs the town would not normally provide. Joe said maybe the committee might wish to ask the Selectmen to consider reviewing the process going forward. He said there were almost $8,000 in requests. He said maybe it's time to set new limits and criteria. Jo Cooper noted that other towns have differing processes some require petition signatures.

Linda said she would like to recommend elimination of funding for any agency that did not show at the meeting. Jo Cooper said attendance is strongly encouraged in the letter the town sends out annually. She said the services provided to the townspeople from the agencies save the town money. She said that's why her agency asks towns for funding.

Stu said if the requests from Community Health & Counseling, Yesterday's Children, Child & Family Opportunities, Open Door Recovery Center, and Hancock County Home Care were removed, the budget would be $5,300. (The listed agencies are those that were not represented at the December budget committee meeting). Linda moved to recommend $5,300, Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 3-2 (Brodie, Young opposed).

Joe moved to recommend that the Selectmen review the process and the amount of money to see if changes are needed because the amount requested seems to be growing. Reggie 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0. Selectman Dick Fennelly asked if the committee might have a budget number to suggest. Robin said the request was more geared toward the process and not the number. A short discussion followed on the process for requesting and recommending funding for outside social service agencies. A brief discussion followed on the Meals for ME program.

Article 30 (Parks & Recreation ) Hubene asked if better plans for the paving project at Lamoine Beach had come in. Stu said he had not seen any. Reggie said the amount requested for Lamoine Beach is ridiculous and gave a lengthy explanation of why he thought so. There were several questions about the proposed paving project. Jo said if the amount recommended were the same as the current fiscal year and the parks commission shed the excess sidewalk, that would still give them some money to work with. He moved to recommend $10,214. Linda 2nd . Vote in favor was 3-2 (Brodie, McDevitt opposed).

Article 31 (Library) - A short discussion ensued on the amount of increase the Ellsworth Public Library requested. Joe moved to recommend $5,835, Robin 2nd . Vote failed 2-3 (Feury, Brodie, McDevitt opposed). Reggie moved to recommend $2,000. There was no 2nd . Linda moved to recommend $3,500. Jo asked if the committee was looking at the whole picture. She said she was taken aback by the town meeting vote to increase the recommendation last year. Joe 2nd Linda's motion. Vote in favor was 4-1 (McDevitt opposed).

Article 32 (Public Safety) Hubene asked about the ambulance. Stu said the figure is the contract figure, and if any were trimmed from the budget it would have to come from other than the ambulance service. Linda moved to recommend $47,565. Hubene 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0 (McDevitt abstained).

Article 33 (Fire Truck Debt Service) Linda moved to recommend $27,430. Reggie 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Article 34 (Road Maintenance) Stu reported the snow plow contract had gone out to bid earlier in the day and the figures won't be known until the 22nd of February at the earliest. It was agreed that if an adjustment needed to be made to the recommendation, that would come on the floor of town meeting. Hubene moved to recommend $158,575. Robin 2nd . Reggie said he was still waiting for a guard rail to be installed by a gully on Shore Road . Vote in favor was 4-1 (McDevitt opposed).

Article 35 (Road Paving) Stu reported the paving consultant had provided his estimate which was put into the budget last week, and was higher than what his first guess was because Marlboro Beach Road is longer than he'd estimated. Linda moved to recommend $82,500. Robin 2nd . There was a brief discussion on the effectiveness of using the paving consultant and the quality of the paving and shoulder work. Vote in favor was 4-1 (McDevitt opposed).

Article 36 (Revaluation Fund) Linda moved to recommend $10,000. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Article 37 (Cable TV) Linda moved to recommend $5,000. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Article 38 (Solid Waste) Linda moved to recommend $91,342. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Article 39 (Revenues) Stu noted that he had increased the revenue lines previously to attempt to come in at the LD 1 allowed increase. He said that $85,000 surplus use was one of the changes, but with the increase in the road paving project, that could be bumped up to $100,000 to keep the LD 1 level. Linda moved to recommend the approval of the revenue budget as proposed with the exception of undesignated fund balance (surplus), and that be increased to $100,000. Reggie 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Article 40 (Fund Continuations) - Linda moved to recommend continuation of the listed funds. Robin 2nd . Stu noted the portable classroom maintenance fund is continued until next year when some decision would be made on the disposition of those funds. Vote in favor was 5-0.

Article 41 (Harbor Fund) Hubene moved to recommend passage as written, Reggie 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Article 42 (LD-1 Override) Linda moved to recommend passage if needed. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM

Addendum: The following morning Stu e-mailed the Budget Committee & Selectmen regarding two capital budget lines that did not have an associated article because they'd been shifted outside of the Administration Account. It was his intent to combine those into one article with a recommendation of $14,000.

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Secretary