Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Budget Committee
Minutes of February 11, 2008
Chairman Henry Ashmore called the meeting to order at 6:55 PM.
Present were: Budget Committee Members Reginald McDevitt, Joseph Young, Hubene Brodie, Henry Ashmore, Robin Veysey, Secretary Stuart Marckoon, School Board Chair Faith Perkins, School Board members Robert Pulver, Nancy Sargent, Christina Maguire-Harding, Union 92 Business Manager David Bridgham, Selectmen Brett Jones and Jo Cooper
Minutes of December 17, 2007 – Robin moved to approve the minutes with minor corrections. Joe 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Town Hall Reconfiguration – Stu reported the Selectmen asked for a re-design and the cost has been reduced to $25,000 for the project. A brief discussion of the specifics of the project following, including the service window area, the proposed window for the Administrative Assistant's Office and the flooring. Robin moved to recommend $25,000, Reggie 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Buttermilk Road/Ditching Proposals – Stu said the proposal for a fund for Buttermilk Road was designed to put $25,000 per year away with the goal of widening and paving the shoulders and striping the road. There was a discussion about that project and the proposed 2-miles of ditching/shoulder work per year proposed at $60,000.
Henry asked how much more of a tax commitment is needed for the proposed budget. Stu said about $160,000 more. There was a discussion about what types of work needed to be done. Joe said if the ditching proposal is deferred another year, the town is no worse off than it was a year ago. Henry said if some funds are set aside for road improvements, that would be something to fall back on if needed. Robin suggested not trying the fund specifically to Buttermilk Road , but to call it a Road Improvement Fund. Reggie advocated for properly and completely rebuilding Buttermilk Road . Stu said that could be a million dollar project.
Joe moved to recommend no funding for the ditching project and $25,000 for the Road Improvement Fund. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-1 (McDevitt opposed). Reggie said he couldn't see spending a lot of money on a road and then having to rebuild it in 5-years. Brett Jones inquired as to what the vote was, and Henry explained the motion.
School Budget – School Board Chair Faith Perkins said the school committee was presenting the expenditure side only because the revenue components are not yet known. Union 92 Business Manager David Bridgham said his office has been working feverishly on each school department's budget under the new budget validation process and thus was unable to provide a narrative with the budget submittal. He said the overall budget as proposed was up 4.9% or $104,629. He said the balance forward is substantially less than the current fiscal year ($156,000). He said the initial budget was 8.1% higher than the current year. He said the increase was driven by potential teacher raises and energy costs. He said in the subsequent workshop sessions they took out a lot of nickels and dimes. He said course costs, travel costs and secondary tuition costs were lowered. He said the principal position would be cut to 4-days a week; the nurse position to 1-day per week, music is cut to 4-days a week, and the librarian to 1-day per week. He said the World Language program is eliminated, as is the DARE program. He said $8,000 in technology purchases were cut – and the total cut from the original was about $70,000.
Mr. Bridgham said the biggest increase was in secondary tuition and special education, both of which were under budgeted for the current fiscal year. Henry asked if that meant there were more students or the cost was higher. Mr. Bridgham said the current year budget was operating on an assumption that the cost for 1-student would not be as high as it turned out to be. Hubene asked about the definition of a special needs student. Mr. Bridgham briefly explained the process that identifies students and special needs. A short discussion followed.
Stu asked if the renovation bond payment is included in the budget. Mr Bridgham said it is not because the repayment does not start until April 2010.
There was a brief discussion about secondary tuition rates.
The committee then went through the budget line by line with discussions on the following matters:
Pre-K – 2 Targeted Funds
Benefits, cap on health insurance costs
New freezer for the kitchen
Pay increases, non-teaching staff (3%)
Reduction in principal's hours, saves approximately $14,000
Teacher Benefits and a union-wide salary structure
Librarian Benefits – that line needed adjustment
Secondary tuition numbers
Classification of Ed Techs
Hot Lunch prices
The Renovation Project
The school budget process, number of warrant items, and the validation referendum.
Henry said he didn't think the Budget Committee had any particular problem with what was presented. Ms. Perkins said the school committee would be in contact with the Selectmen when they're ready to schedule the town meeting to consider the school budget, and when they're ready to go before the budget committee for final recommendation.
There was a brief discussion about why the state budget is having a shortfall.
There was a discussion about what level of surplus use would be comfortable. Robin moved to recommend appropriation of $100,000 for the budget. Joe 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
The Committee agreed by consent to recommend that any leftover money from the Salt/Sand shed project be moved back to the Capital Projects Fund. Stu estimated it would be about $15,000.
Robin moved to appropriate $36,000 from the Capital Projects Fund to be used for the Town Hall Renovations and Bloomfield Park entrance projects. Joe 2nd . Reggie asked if the items could be split. It was explained that the committee had already approved the Bloomfield Park entrance expenditure and this was to help lower the property tax impact. Vote in favor was 5-0.
Other – Selectman Jones reported that the Lamoine Volunteer Fire Department has voted to move ahead with funding an upgrade to the Scott Air-Packs for $30,000, eliminating this from the future capital needs line.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:05 PM
Stu Marckoon, Secretary