Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Budget Committee Minutes
November 26, 2007
Chairman Henry Ashmore called the meeting to order at 8:05 PM
Present were: Budget Committee members Linda Feury, Hubene Brodie, Henry Ashmore, Robin Veysey, Reggie McDevitt, Joe Young (arrived 8:07 pm); Secretary Stu Marckoon, Fire Chief George Skip Smith (arrived 8:15 PM), Selectmen Richard Fennelly Jr., Brett Jones, Cynthia Donaldson, Chris Tadema-Wielandt (left shortly after meeting started).
Minutes of November 12, 2007 Several members pointed out the word whey on page 1 should be why. Linda moved to accept the minutes with that correction. Reggie 2nd . Vote in favor was unanimous
School Consolidation Selectman Cynthia Donaldson reported that the plan that will likely be submitted to the State will be that the schools in Union 92 will be their own district because they cannot figure out how to absorb the cost of joining with Ellsworth. Henry noted that Union 96 is likely to decide to join with SAD 37 and Jonesport/Beals. A short discussion followed in regard to the size of school districts, and confusion about consolidation efforts. Cynthia said the plans are due December 1 st , and then people will know what the plan is.
Brett said he could sympathize with fears people have expressed about shutting down schools and the like. He said it's conceivable that a Regional School Unit (RSU) could decide down the road to close a school. Cynthia said it's conceivable, but unlikely. Henry said looking at the most efficient administrative models; it's unlikely that schools will be closed. He said the schools are located where they are because of distance. He said the consolidation is for administration only, and it's not taking away choice or closing schools. A short discussion followed on the fears.
Henry said the outstanding issue is finance, and the small towns around Ellsworth get hit hard. A short discussion followed on the numbers. Cynthia said the latest estimated cost to Lamoine was in excess of $400,000.
By-laws - The Budget Committee reviewed the proposed re-draft of the by-laws originally passed in 1992. A discussion about alternate members followed, with concern that the number of alternates could bring about a much larger committee. The wording was altered on the alternate line, and the re-worked document will be presented for approval at the December 11 th meeting.
Fire Budget Review Fire Chief George Skip Smith reviewed the proposed budget with the committee. Henry noted the proposed budget is up 8.71% or $2,925. Discussion followed on:
Chief Smith said he reviewed the budget closely and came up with possible minor cuts in lines like first aid, pagers, and his salary. Selectman Fennelly said given the run up in fuel costs, the budget looks like a really good shot at controlling things. Henry said one could nickel and dime this, and that may have to happen.
Fire Truck Reserve Stu reported the FY 09 budget contains the last fire truck payment for the 2005 pumper. Chief Smith said he'd like to propose that the payments figure be used to add to the fire truck reserve once the truck is paid off.
Animal Control Stu reported that certification is now required for Animal Control Officers, and an increase in calls has driven the costs of this budget up sharply.
School Bond Referendum There was a very brief discussion about the upcoming school bond referendum. Stu said he thinks it'll be proposed for around the same time as last January's vote.
Next Meeting The next meeting of the Budget Committee will be December 10, 2007.
Fire Personnel Reimbursement revisited Linda moved to lock the reimbursement level for Volunteer Firefighters at $300 each. Hubene 2nd . Henry said the fire budget might be adjusted elsewhere to account for half of that increase. A short discussion followed on gas prices. The vote in favor was unanimous; Joe Young abstained where he would be a recipient of the reimbursement.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:18 PM.
Stu Marckoon, Secretary