Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Budget Committee
Minutes of December 17, 2007
Chairman Henry Ashmore called the meeting to order at 7:37 PM
Present were: Budget Committee members Reggie McDevitt, Hubene Brodie, Joseph Young, Henry Ashmore, Robin Veysey (Linda Feury – excused absence); Secretary Stu Marckoon, Selectmen Brett Jones, Richard Fennelly, Cynthia Donaldson, Jo Cooper, Chris Tadema-Wielandt, Stuart & Lisa Branch, Fred Stocking, Nathan Mason, Richard & Christa Brey, Kerry Galeaz and CTV operator Merle Bragdon.
Minutes – Reggie moved to approve the minutes of December 10, 2007 as written. Joe 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Capital Projects Budgets – Bloomfield Park Entrance – Parks Commission chair Kerry Galeaz explained the history of requests to improve the entrance road to the park. He noted there are big potholes on the current road. He said the Branch family had issues because of the traffic, and everyone met with the Selectmen and worked out a deal to reconfigure the entrance. Mr. Branch explained how the entrance would be laid out. He said there has been more traffic on the road and people drive extremely fast when the road is in good shape. He said the town couldn't close off the park entrance without affecting his house. He said his family owns both sides of the road, and with a new easement, the park entrance would be cut in, a curve in the road installed, and that should slow traffic down. He said he agreed to split the cost of the survey layout with the town. He said he would pay to fix up the new driveway to his home, and the town would pay for the rest. He said he's plowed the entire road in the winter, and he has no problem with the town using the road, but the town has a responsibility to maintain the road.
Henry said the Budget Committee has the drawing of the proposed layout but he would like help figuring out where everything is going. A short discussion followed. Reggie said he had a concern that it would cost $3,500 to survey the park property. He said he knew where the lines were. A discussion followed about the survey and how the snowmobile club would access their property.
Chris Tadema-Wielandt said the reason to spend $3,200 not is because taxpayers didn't want to spend that money years ago. He said a survey will be needed in the future. He explained surveying history. He said it's worth the effort when a project such as a road is done.
Henry asked if the estimate from Jay Fowler included any of the Branch driveway. Mr. Branch said not that he knew of. Mr. Galeaz explained the Fowler proposal. He said he felt the town could fix the road once and for all. He said it was about a $3,500 difference between fixing the existing road vs. putting in the new road entrance. A discussion followed on the type of gravel to use on the road. Reggie noted that the town spent a considerable amount of money surveying the area around Coolidge Crossing and he can't seem to find out the results of that.
Henry said the question before the budget committee is whether they support the project, regardless of the details. Reggie said the committee's job is to determine the details and bring them out. Stu Marckoon said he thinks the committee knows what the project is and what the proposed cost would be.
Telephone System – Stu said the Selectmen are looking at installing a better phone system at the town hall. Brett said the labor cost could be a third less if he and town staff wired up the building. Henry said that would bring the cost to about $1,000 and asked if there would be any more cost. Brett said yes, if there were a 2nd incoming line. A short discussion followed on the system's layout. Stu noted the phone system is included in the town hall reconfiguration plan.
Town Hall Reconfiguration – Henry said $40,609 is what's proposed. The Budget Committee reviewed the proposal sheet from the designer. Stu said the proposal came in this morning. He said he would expect more detail. The Budget Committee said it would like a schematic and a price breakdown.
Buttermilk Road Widening Fund – Stu explained that Road Commissioner Dennis Ford proposed the fund in anticipation of having to rebuild Buttermilk Road to handle more traffic. Henry asked if there is more traffic. Richard Fennelly said there already is so it can bypass the traffic light by Wal-Mart. The Committee felt it would like more information from Mr. Ford.
Ditching Fund – There was very little discussion on the proposed line item.
Anderson Garage – Stu said there is a leaking problem and it needs some security upgrades. Reggie said the service door appeared to be open last weekend. Stu said he would check on that. He said he was unsure how much to budget for.
Revaluation – The committee noted that $10,000 is proposed for this line again this year.
Land Conservation Reserve – Fred Stocking said the Conservation Commission brought this to the town meeting last year, and they're asking for another $1,000 to keep growing the fund. He explained the reasoning for that. Robin asked if there has been anything set up to take donations. Mr. Stocking said yes, and added that expenditures are controlled by the town meeting.
Revenues – Interest on Unpaid Taxes – Stu said there was a brief discussion about this line at the Selectmen's meeting. Chris Tadema-Wielandt said it was a philosophical discussion as to how much the town should rely on this income.
Stu noted that if all the municipal spending as proposed were to pass, the municipal tax commitment would be up $157,000. Joe Young asked how much surplus was used for the current year budget. Stu said it was $147,125.
There was a short discussion about municipal revenue sharing from the state. Henry asked about the level of surplus if $50,000 were used in the coming budget. Stu said it would be between $270,000 and $280,000. Robin asked how much is added to the surplus each year. Stu said it varies; a lot depends on the property tax overlay.
Richard asked about the impact of the school budget on property taxes. Henry said he has no idea, but there will be an increase in the debt service line. Richard said he expects there will be an increase in the tax commitment. Henry noted the proposed municipal budget is down $100,000 because the salt/sand shed it not included. Richard said it looks like the overall number is going up.
Stu noted that lease revenues from the proposed cell tower are not included in the budget yet.
Recommendations – Solid Waste – Joe moved to recommend $98,620. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Library – Joe moved to recommend $6,180, noting the town has expressed support for the library in previous years. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 3-2 (Brodie, McDevitt opposed)
Administration – Reggie moved to recommend $153,206.45. Robin 2nd. Vote in favor was 5-0.
Public Safety – Robin asked if the stipend increase approved by the Budget Committee was included in the latest printout. Stu said it was. Hubene moved to recommend $55,240. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 3-1 (McDevitt opposed, Young abstained)
Anderson Garage – Joe moved to recommend $2,000. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0
Bloomfield Park Entrance – Hubene said she wanted to see the whole cost and moved to table. After a short discussion the motion was withdrawn. Robin moved to recommend $10,292. Joe 2nd . Hubene asked what this was going to be next year. Reggie said it's a lot of money to build a short road. A short discussion followed on the impact to the overall budget. Vote in favor was 3-2 (Brodie, McDevitt opposed)
Town Hall Reconfiguration – The item was tabled without objection
Fire Truck Debt Service – There was no formal vote taken and no objection to recommending the $26,624 amount.
Buttermilk Road – There was a discussion of the proposal. Jo Cooper asked what was different about building a fund for road improvements and whether this should be in the major road portion of the budget. Henry said the major road portion has not put money aside in a reserve fund to do something like this. A short discussion followed on how much of an impact this would make. Joe Young moved to table a recommendation. Hubene 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Ditching Upgrades – The consensus was that this line should go into the road budget.
Land Conservation Fund Addition – Robin moved to recommend $1,000. Reggie 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Revaluation – Joe moved to recommend $10,000. Reggie 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Parks and Recreation – Robin moved to recommend $11,142. Joe 2nd . A short discussion followed on how much this budget was up, and about the cemetery portion of this budget. Vote in favor was 4-0 (McDevitt abstained)
Code Enforcement – Robin moved to recommend $18,250. Joe 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Planning Board – Robin moved to recommend $1,200. Reggie 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Road Maintenance – Robin moved to recommend $121,675. Reggie 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Major Road Projects – Hubene moved to add the ditching proposal of $60,000 to this budget. Robin 2nd . A short discussion followed. Joe moved to table the recommendation until the committee could discuss it with the Road Commissioner. Jo Cooper said that would mean another meeting to schedule. Robin 2nd the motion to table. Vote in favor was 5-0. Robin moved to recommend $95,000 for paving Birchlawn Drive and Walker Road . Joe 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0 (McDevitt abstained).
Social Services – Henry noted that those agencies that showed up at the review meeting totaled $6,249 in requests, and those not present totaled $2,075. He said looking at the ordinance, failure to be placed on the warrant article is final. A short discussion followed about those agencies that did not show up. Jo Cooper said the Budget Committee could recommend to the Selectmen that only those agencies that showed be listed. A short discussion followed on whether that would meet the ordinance. Mrs. Cooper said the Budget Committee could recommend to the Selectmen that an ordinance change be proposed.
Reggie said the Warren Center seems like a statewide project, and he couldn't see Lamoine taking care of someone in Alfred. A short discussion followed on how that funding would work. Hubene asked if an agency does not meet the criteria but showed up for the meeting, what would happen. A short discussion followed.
Robin moved to recommend $6,249, assigned to those agencies that came to the meeting and met the submission criteria. Joe 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Cable TV – Robin moved to recommend $5,000. Joe 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Revenues – Joe moved to table a recommendation at this time. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0 .
Next Meeting – No time or date was set for the next meeting.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:57 PM
Stu Marckoon, Secretary