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Lamoine Budget Committee Minutes

December 11, 2006

Draft - Subject to change

Chairman Henry Ashmore called the meeting to order at 7:01 PM

Present were: Budget Committee members Reggie McDevitt, Henry Ashmore, Joe Young, Robin Veysey, Linda Feury, Hubene Brodie; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Assessors Terry Towne, Jane Fowler, Colene Sharkey; Mickey Sirota (Red Cross), Dartha Reid (Hospice of Hancock County), Jackie Thurber & Daughter (Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry), Trudy Lunt (Downeast WIC), Ursula Heiniger (Eastern Agency on Aging), Donald Baril (Maine Coast Memorial Hospital), Anne Stocking (Lamoine Historical Society), Peter Farragher (Downeast Family YMCA), Tim King (Washington/Hancock Community Agency), Gary Taylor (Downeast WIC), Rebecca Leamon (Ellsworth Public Library), Johnna Barkhouse (Ellsworth Public Library), George Russell (Downeast AIDS Network), Ken Bustard (Downeast Horizons), Chris Tadema-Wielandt & Lynda Tadema-Wielandt (Hospice of Hancock County).

Minutes of November 27, 2006 Reggie moved to approve the minutes as presented. Linda 2 nd . Vote in favor was unanimous.

SOCIAL SERVICES BUDGETS

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry Jackie Thurber handed out brochures from the agency. She said the food pantry provides food to anyone in need. She said they served 50 Lamoine families last year. She said they're doing the neighbor helping neighbor campaign. Hubene asked if they accept monetary donations. Mrs. Thurber said they do. She said the money goes a long way. Reggie asked if they get food from Hannaford and Shaw's. Mrs. Thurber said they did. She said one store sold food bags that came to them, and the also get the day old bread. Henry noted they are looking for $600 in funding.

Faith In Action Community Connection Jo Cooper said the agency she runs assists the elderly and disabled, mostly with transportation. She said there is no income requirement and they don't limit the destinations. She said they provide rides to doctor's appointments, the library, food pantry and help deliver Meals for ME. She said the organization helps people stay independent. She said the population in Hancock County is aging. She said they helped 8 people in Lamoine last year. She said there is no charge for the services. Henry asked what the primary expense is. Mrs. Cooper said they run a small office with a staff of one. She said it was a shoestring budget. She said staffing a phone is necessary so people know they can get help. Henry asked if the drivers are reimbursed. Mrs. Cooper said they are not, but they hope to someday. She said they collaborate with WHCA for the MaineCare system, which benefits both agencies. She said the agency covers all of Hancock County with the exception of MDI which is covered by Island Connections. She said they get requests from all over the county. Henry asked if the request is for $600. Mrs. Cooper replied it was.

Lamoine Historical Society Anne Stocking said the Historical Society offers free programs, maintains the East Lamoine Meeting House, and the collection of archival materials is open by appointment. She said they are working with the Parks Commission. She said people often contact the society for family information. She said they work with the Lamoine School and space for the archival material is included in the proposed school renovation/addition project. She said it's an all volunteer group, and funding goes to the cost of building maintenance and archival supplies. Linda asked how past funding has been used. Mrs. Stocking said for archival materials and film strip restoration. She said there is an 1832 Commodore Petition that is very fragile and they'd like to preserve that, but it's very expensive. Linda asked what other revenue sources they have. Mrs. Stocking said they have member dues, donations, a fund-raiser at the state park, a state grant, and they sell calendars.

Hospice of Hancock County Dartha Reid read from the letter requesting support. She said they provide hospice support as a free service. She said they have no state funding, and volunteers provide service. She said operational costs are rising. She said the program provided patient care to two Lamoine residents and bereavement programs to three in Lamoine. She said they're asking for $150.00

Community Health & Counseling Henry noted the request is for $600. No one was present to represent the agency. Budget Committee members looked over the request letter.

American Red Cross Mickey Sirota of the Red Cross handed out their annual report. He said the Pine Tree Chapter serves 8-counties. He said the request is a modest $100. He said they didn't receive much from Lamoine last year. He said the Pine Tree Chapter served 44 Lamoine citizens, including 4 military service emergencies and 40 residents in health and safety training programs. He said they train in water safety, CPR and Automated External Defibrillator use. He said they also fund disaster services, mostly for house fires, but none were needed in Lamoine last year. He said the $100 would be used for those services. He said there are fees for training, but no charge for disaster response or military services. He said this is the 2 nd largest chapter in the continental US. Hubene said she had lots of dealings with the Red Cross and she didn't feel they did anything. She said one case involved a military emergency and the serviceman was told he would have to pay for transportation. Mr. Sirota said the Red Cross does not provide transportation. He said they provide communication with the serviceman's commander that an emergency exists at home. He said they can provide loans for transportation. He said they cannot force a commanding officer to release a serviceman. He said the Pine Tree Chapter provided such communications 354 times last year.

Washington/Hancock Community Agency (WHCA) Tim King said they have requested $600. He said the agency provides significant services for Lamoine, and the work with Community Connection on transportation. He said the money is used as matching funds for other grants. He said a third of the funds go towards a 2:1 match for transportation. He mentioned a new program called Helping Hands Garage .

Downeast Health Services WIC Program Trudy Lunt briefly explained the nutrition program. She said it was serving 23 clients in Lamoine. She said they're seeing an upward trend both locally and statewide. She said they've been flat funded by other government agencies, and they've not had a raise in 3-years. She said the request is for $600. Linda asked how large a staff they have. Ms. Lunt said they have 5-part time people.

Hancock County Home Care/Hospice No one from that agency was present. Henry read the request letter which seeks $579 and made 315 visits in Lamoine.

Open Door Recovery Center Henry read the request letter, saying the organization is requesting $600 and provides substance abuse counseling and treatment. He said the letter did not address specific services to Lamoine. No one was present to represent the organization.

Yesterday's Children Henry read the request and described the program. No one was present to represent the organization.

Downeast AIDS Network (DEAN) George Russell said if it were not for the community allocation program, there would be no Downeast AIDS Network. He said the agency serves people affected with HIV/AIDS. He said funding has been a problem, but community support has turned the agency around. He said he cannot identify people served because of the stigma attached to AIDS. He said even putting a sign outside their building is a hot agenda issue. He said AIDS is becoming a women's problem. He said they offer free HIV testing and training workshops, and listed several programs. He said AIDS is the worst pandemic in history, yet no one talks about it. He said their overhead is 3.05% and there are 4-people who work in the office to serve between 800 and 900 people. Henry asked what the total budget is. Mr. Russell said just under $400,000. He said some of the funding is disappearing.

Eastern Agency on Aging Ursula Heiniger said most of the services they offer are free of charge. She said the services are for elderly people. She said the biggest program is the Meals for ME program. She said they helped a lot of people with the Medicare Part D program. She aid the agency worked with 8 Lamoine seniors in the past year. She said they're asking for $100, or about 20% of the services they provided. She said the money would be used as a required match for state and federal funding. Henry asked how much the request was for. Mrs. Heiniger said $100. Henry said the application read $250. A short discussion followed on the Meals for ME program.

Downeast Horizons Kenneth Bustard said they're requesting the same $600 that has been provided in past years. He said the organization runs 8 residences and two day programs. He said funds are put into a pool to fund non MaineCare expenses. Henry asked if they still operate the sheltered workshop. Mr. Bustard said that is out of business, but the building there is utilized for other activities.

Child and Family Opportunities No one was present to represent the organization. Henry read from the application. It was noted that no head start program is located in Lamoine.

Maine Coast Memorial Hospital Henry said the hospital is asking for $2,242.60. Donald Baril of the hospital said they've asked for $1.50 per person from each community. He said the hospital is now a $137-million dollar corporation. He said they've asked for help in the past to assist with community outreach. He said they're asking for help this time to deal with a medications program and explained how it worked. He said the program has run out of money, and the contribution would help support three staff people assisting people with drug purchases. He said he was sure people from Lamoine benefit from the program. Henry said he appreciated specification of where the money would go. Mr. Russell of the Downeast AIDS Network said prescription drugs with the elderly have become a problem as sometimes they sell pills to minors in order to fund other medical needs. Mr. Russell said he was in support of the MCMH request. Hubene asked if the hospital could ask for more than $600. Henry said they can ask for anything, but what they'll get is another story. He asked if this was the first year the hospital requested $1.50/person. Mr. Baril said 18 towns gave the $1.50 request. He said new drugs and therapies are expensive.

Parks & Recreation Downeast Family YMCA Peter Farragher said the organization serves people from six weeks old to senior citizens. He said the program is trying to address the needs of the community. He said Lamoine is served by the after school program (9-children cared for) and that saves $1,620/year. He said there are 181 members from Lamoine, and the discount by being a supporting community is $7,659/year. He said there are reduced fees for classes and free use of the pool and gym for non-members on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. He said they're asking for $3,000 just like last year. He said a new program offered free to supporting communities is an activity night for kids in 5 th through 8 th grade on the 1 st Friday of the month starting in January.

Ellsworth Public Library Rebecca Leamon of the library said they've installed a wireless Internet service since last year and have updated the genealogy section. She said Lamoine residents checked out 11,244 pieces of library materials last year. She said the request is for $15/card holder. She said the city of Ellsworth requests $30,000 from the 18 towns that use the library. She said they reduce the number of cards by 10-percent, and that would give Lamoine 423 card holders. Henry asked if that's how the request for $6,345 was derived. Ms. Leamon replied it was.

There was a brief recess at the end of the outside agency presentations

Assessors The assessors handed out a proposed budget. Henry said the reason they asked to meet with the Board of Assessors was that they were confused as to what was going on with assessing, quarterly reviews and a revaluation. Jane Fowler said the last quarter review ended 2 or 3 years ago. She said the process ensures that all the properties in town are covered in a 4-year period. She said the idea was to pick up things that were not previously picked up. Henry noted the town just finished the factored assessment adjustments. Terry Towne explained how that worked. He said the appraisal company looked at the values in relation to sales figures. He said the town needs to stay within 70% of the state valuation. He said the factored revaluation cost $18,000. A short discussion followed.

Henry said it appeared the town did the quarterly review, followed by the factorization, and now another quarterly review is planned. He asked if the assessors actually look at the property during the quarterly review. Mrs. Fowler said the purpose of the quarterly review is to pick up property that has not been valued before. Mr. Towne explained how the appraisal firm uses a cost schedule, and that a revaluation determines that schedule. He said the last full revaluation was in 1993, and the factored co-efficient was applied in 2005. He said a full revaluation starts the schedule from scratch.

Henry said he would like to stay away from the $80,000 full revaluation if possible. He asked when that might happen. Mrs. Fowler said she didn't know. She said the town might be able to do another factoring based on recent market sales. Henry asked if the town does a factored revaluation twice, would it do the quarterly review and then do another quarterly review before a full revaluation. Mr. Towne said there are all kinds of market pressures that determine when a revaluation is needed. He said a full revaluation might be 4 to 8 years out.

Henry asked how much is spent on a quarterly review and how much is set aside for a revaluation. Mr. Towne said RJD Appraisal charges $450/day/man. He said a quarterly review would be $7,900 or the per day cost based on the actual number of days used. He said the Board of Assessors felt they could do the quarter review themselves without employing RJD. He said the Assessors had organized all the materials for the quarter review for RJD, and he feels it is a duplication of work with the spring appraisals. He said the Board opted to remove the quarter review from the budget.

Mrs. Fowler said the Board would be picking up new stuff they would see in the spring work anyway. She asked what a quarter review actually accomplished. She said there seems to be a distortion. Henry said the Budget Committee was told a quarter review would reduce the major revaluation cost. Mrs. Fowler said that is probably more an advertisement from RJD than from the Board. She said the Board could accomplish the work, and if there is something significant picked up, they could add it to the spring work for RJD.

Mr. Towne said there have been some personnel changes at RJD and the work has not been the same quality as in the past, so they've re-looked at the program. He said there is probably a significant savings to the town with this proposal. He said it would mean more work for the Board. Mrs. Fowler said the quarter review would have to pick up more than a million dollars in valuation that would not show up in the annual spring work for the quarter review to pay for itself.

Reggie said the assessors are looking at a double-edged sword. He asked how many people put up a building without a permit. Mr. Towne said the Assessors check permits and what is actually on the property each year. Reggie asked why the Assessors have to look at everything. Mr. Towne said they're required to see what is there on April 1 st . A short discussion followed on the philosophy of the April 1 st valuation.

Mrs. Fowler said the proposal is the best the Board could do for the budget. Henry asked what the $5,300 proposal was for. Mrs. Fowler said that reflects the increase from RJD to $450/man/day. Mr. Towne said that is for the spring work section. A short discussion followed on how RJD works, and an explanation of the assessor's budget request, and a program apparently from the Census Bureau photographing each property which is not related to any town work.

Stu said RJD had called last week and asked if the town plans to schedule the quarter review work. He asked if Mrs. Fowler would contact them with an answer. She said she would. Mr. Towne said the Board may request appraisal proposals soon.

LD-1 Calculation Limit The Budget Committee briefly discussed a memo from Stu showing the limit on how much the property tax commitment could rise without an override vote. That figure was 5.09%.

School Building Stu reported a special town meeting on two referendum questions is set for January 23, 2007. He said the first question is for the renovation loan, and the 2 nd is for a building addition including classrooms and a gym and a major school reconfiguration. There was a lengthy discussion of the costs, the historical society's use of the school, the tax impact, access, safety issues, the length of service of the building if the project is approved, consolidation, and how much would be paid each year.

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

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Secretary