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Lamoine Budget Committee Minutes

December 15, 2008

Vice-Chair Hubene Brodie call the meeting to order at 7:12 PM

Present were: Budget Committee members Kathleen DeFusco, Robin Veysey, Merle Bragdon, Reggie McDevitt, Hubene Brodie, Henry Ashmore (arrived @ 8:00); Secretary Stu Marckoon, Mr. & Mrs. Gene Churchill (Eastern Area Agency on Aging), Mickey Sirota (Red Cross), Mona Clark (Yesterday's Children), Jo Cooper (Selectman, Faith In Action, Historical Society), Jackie Thurber (Loaves & Fishes), Christa Brey, Kerry Galeaz (Parks Commission), Kermit Theall (Selectman), Diane Sanderson (Hancock County Home Care), Johanna Barkhouse (Ellsworth Public Library), Tim King (WHCA, Downeast Horizons), Jim Crotteau (Child & Family Opportunities), Trudy Lunt, Gary Taylor (WIC), Mary Ann Saxl (Warren Center), Lynda Tadema-Wielandt (Hospice of Hancock County, Conservation Commission), Peter Farragher (YMCA), Carol Smith (Maine Coast Memorial Hospital), Zachary Wright (Downeast AIDS Network).

The meeting was televised and recorded by Lamoine Cable TV Channel 7.

Minutes - The minutes of December 1, 2008 were approved with correction of one typo on Page 2 on a motion from Reggie, a 2nd from Robin, and a 4-0 vote in favor (DeFusco abstained).

Social Service Agency Requests

American Red Cross Michael Sirota said his agency provided services to 47 residents, and the request is for $360. He said everyone is eligible to receive service. He said they provide health and safety training including CPR, First Aid and Water Safety (of which 44 residents received service), military family assistance (of which 3 residents received service), and disaster responses. He said there were no disaster responses needed in Lamoine last year. He said this has been a busy week for the Red Cross due to the ice storm in Southern Maine . He said the funds donated by the town would be used for town residents. He said they make similar requests of other towns. He said he hoped the Red Cross has proved its worth, and complimented the committee on having one of the shortest questionnaires.

Child & Family Opportunities Jim Crotteau told the Committee this is the Head Start agency, and he served on the Board of Directors for a number of years. He said there are 5 Lamoine children in Head Start at an approximate cost of $49,000. He said the agency is requesting $600.00. He said there is an obligation from the state and federal funding components that local funding be sought, and that the money from the other governmental agencies is not sufficient to carry out the job. He said 25% of the budget must come from community support.

Hubene asked if qualification for Head Start is based on family income. Mr. Crotteau said yes. He said the agency runs a number of programs, but they are seeking assistance for Head Start. He said the program is designed to help provide an educational program for younger, poor children.

Down East AIDS Network (DEAN) - Zachary Wright said Lamoine has leant support to the agency in the past. He said the DEAN program supports people with HIV and high school students. He said they provided HIV tests to 32 students identified as from Lamoine, and they provide safe sex supplies. He said the agency distributed 42,000 condoms last year, though not all of those were in Lamoine. He said they offer case management services, but did not believe Lamoine had any clients. He said if there were someone with HIV in town, he was positive they would extend services to them. Hubene asked if they provided medication if someone could not afford the medicine. Mr. Wright said they would.

Eastern Area Agency on Aging Gene Churchill said the agency provided Lamoine with $4,218 worth of services and helped 23 senior citizens in Lamoine in the past year. He briefly outlined the many services. He said more people are after legal services than in the past.

Downeast Horizons Tim King said he would represent this agency. He said the service is for developmentally disabled adults, and they are finding themselves facing cuts at the state and federal level

Faith In Action Jo Cooper explained that the program assists the elderly and disabled with transportation and other needs. She said they act as a service and volunteer coordination agency. She said they helped 14 Lamoine residents in the past year. She said there are no income requirements and some people would not qualify for Maine Care. She said there are a lot of requests for transportation. She gave an example where the agency helped an elderly woman with transportation for radiation treatments. She said they assist a lot of the agencies in the room, including delivering Meals for Me, rides to the food pantry, and rides for people who don't qualify for WHCA's transportation services and to their LiHEAP appointments. She said the goal is to help people stay independent and to stay in their own homes. She said they rely on fundraising for much of their budget. Hubene asked how people can obtain Meals for ME help. Mrs. Cooper said they can call the Eastern Area Agency on Aging or Faith in Action to get that phone number.

Hancock County Home Care Diane Sanderson said her agency provides home health service. She said they made 17,600 visits last year, including 230 to Lamoine. She explained the various services offered. She noted the agency drove 324,345 miles last year. She said revenues do not cover expenses and they had a deficit of $65,000 last year. She said contributions like that being sought from Lamoine help cover the services.

Hubene asked if some agencies overlap services. Mrs. Sanderson said the agency is Medicare certified and offers medical services. She said there is a hospice component to their service.

Hospice of Hancock County Lynda Tadema-Wielandt said the agency is fully volunteer, and they work with Hancock County Home Care, as Medicare requires that volunteer hospice services be offered. She said they piggyback volunteers with the medical component for longer term support. She said they sometimes will visit clients every day, depending on what patients like. She said they have a lot of volunteers and they have a service where a group will sing to patients.

Mrs. Tadema-Wielandt said they provided support for 141 people in Hancock County last year, including 5 in Lamoine. She said there is also a bereavement component, and they're looking for more volunteers. She said they provided bereavement services to 6 Lamoine residents last year. She said they are not funded by the state or by insurance, but do receive town support from other communities.

Hubene asked what number could be called to volunteer. Mrs. Tadema-Wielandt said it's 667-2531. She said there is a 9-week training program, and the work is very rewarding.

Lamoine Historical Society Jo Cooper said the Society provides a number of services to the town, and they try to preserve history. She said they've done programs with the school, and gave examples of a play written by 5 th graders and a recent tour by 2nd graders. She said they own the East Lamoine Meeting House and hope to restore it some day. She said they offer programs throughout the year. She said they hope to get a small grant, and need matching funds to come up with an assessment for the East Lamoine Meeting House.

Hubene asked about document preservation. Mrs. Cooper said t hey got a small grant for archival boxes, so historic records could be indexed and organized, and some historic artifacts be displayed. She said the only space at the moment is in the Meeting House.

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry Jackie Thurber said the Pantry provides food to anyone with a need. She said they amount of assistance is based on the number in the family. She said they receive no federal funds, and are supported primarily by churches and service clubs. She said they also ask towns for help. She said they served 55 Lamoine families last year, which was 2.8% of all people served. She said that was about $1,200 worth of food. She said the need keeps rising, and patronage is up 25% to 30% recently. Hubene asked if they accept individual donations. Mrs. Thurber said they do. She said cash is the best donation, as they can buy a lot of food. She explained how to donate.

Maine Coast Memorial Hospital Carol Smith explained they're asking for a special donation as part of the capital campaign for a new emergency room. She said the present ER was built in 1989 and is designed to accommodate 12,000 people a year. She said they are now seeing 18,000 people a year. She said the new ER would have 13 exam rooms, 2 major trauma rooms, a new ambulance entrance, a heliport, and expanded parking. She said the facility will cost $9.9 million dollars and they've embarked on a 2-year campaign. She said people can make pledges over 5-years. She said numerous people are volunteering on the campaign, including Lamoine's own Dr. Fred Hutchinson. She said they're making a special request of $5,980, which is based on $4/person from the 2000 census. She said she understands the Budget Committee can only recommend $600.

Hubene said she's been to the hospital many times and has never been treated badly. She said she suspected the hospital didn't hear the good feedback often enough. Mrs. Smith thanked her for the feedback and said they use negative feedback to learn.

The Warren Center - Mary Ann Saxl said they provide audiology and speech services. She explained the hearing aid grant program, and the $500 would provide one hearing aid for a Lamoine resident. She said hearing aids are extremely expensive running from $800 to $5,000 per ear. She said a person with hearing loss lives in an isolated environment. She said they saw 148 people from Hancock County last year, and the waiting list for a hearing aid is down to two years. She said she contacted local officials to try to let them know that the service is available.

Hubene asked if the various charitable groups could be publicized. Stu said they could. A short discussion followed.

Washington/Hancock Community Agency Tim King explained the services offered and reported that approximately $49,000 worth of service had been extended to Lamoine residents in the past year. He said they appreciated the past help. Stu asked about the THAW fund. Mr. King said they've raised $46,000 and any household is eligible, and families could be referred to the THAW hotline at 664-2424 ext. 4444. He said people could designate donations to be specifically for Lamoine residents.

WIC Program - Trudy Lunt said the program has been around for 35-years. She said it's the federal nutritional program and has been successful. She said they served 26 Lamoine clients last year an increase of 10 clients. She said they gave out $16,970 worth of food vouchers. She said it costs about $635/year/client. She said the vouchers are for health foods, and it's an income eligible program. Hubene asked if the vouchers say what can be purchased. Ms. Lunt said they do, and there is some accountability. Kathy asked if names are on the vouchers to avoid trading or selling. Ms. Lunt explained how the program security features work to prevent that.

Yesterday's Children Mona Clark said they are a non-profit corporation that serves developmentally disabled adults. She said they are primarily funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, but some things are not covered by Medicaid. She said they do a lot of fund raisers, and they operate two group homes, two day programs, and a 24-hour nursing care center for the mentally handicapped. She said there are currently 15 residents in that program. She said they're requesting a $300 donation.

Ellsworth Public Library Johanna Barkhouse thanked the town for its past support. She said the request for $6,270 is based on 418 card holders, adjusted downward by 10% for attrition. She said Lamoine card holders checked out more than 16,000 materials in the past year. She said the library has become a very busy place as the economy worsens.

Kathy asked if there were 418 actual users, or did that number come from the book. Mrs. Barkhouse said the cards eventually expire, and if they're not renewed, they are removed from the list. Hubene asked if the number of card holders include the children who visit on the school bus. Mrs. Barkhouse said in some cases it does, but anyone can use the library.

YMCA Peter Farragher said they are asking that the town maintain its support of $3,000 for Y programming. He said every citizen can use the Y on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4, and the support includes a reduced membership fee. He said there are reduced programming rtes for supporting communities. He said there are 171 members of the Y from Lamoine, and the town's support has reduced their cost by $7,480. He said they have a scholarship program which extended $1,161 in savings to Lamoine citizens. He said a teen center has just opened, and briefly discussed that operation.

Mr. Farragher said they're working with the Lamoine Department in running an after school care program at the school for grades K-5. He said 8-kids are signed up for that program.

Parks Budget Parks Commission chair Kerry Galeaz said the budget is down from last year. He said the budget is for basic operations at the park with a couple of minor items.

Reggie asked where the kiosks are. Mr. Galeaz said they are in the final stages of design. He said the Selectmen and Historical Society have reviewed them, and the kiosks should be installed by this coming summer. A short discussion followed.

Hubene asked about the Leave No Trace expense. Mr. Galeaz said they had to become a member to use the logo and the phrase on the signs, as it is copyrighted. He explained what the organization does and the benefits of belonging.

Reggie asked about the price of the new road into Bloomfield Park . Mr. Galeaz said it was around $10,000, and explained the project. Reggie asked about cutting the brush in the front part of the park. Mr. Galeaz confirmed that the dead trees and small undergrowth were cleaned up. He said they are working to create a walking path on the 2-acres the town owns. He said easements have been executed with neighboring property owners for hiking trails. Reggie cautioned that the old pine trees are dying out and asked how much the Parks Commission was going to leave. Mr. Galeaz said they plan to leave quite a bit and a short discussion followed.

Kathy asked about the pet waste center. Mr. Galeaz explained that there is a problem with dog droppings in the picnic area of Lamoine Beach Park . He said this would be a separate receptacle and explained how it would work. Reggie said the public won't use such a receptacle.

Capital Projects

Fire Truck Merle said the $25,000 had been plugged into the fire truck reserve line. There was a discussion on the best method of paying for a new brush truck, and how much one would cost. The Committee would like an estimate on the cost from the fire chief.

Copier/Computer There was a brief discussion on a new photocopier, the age of the current one, and a memory upgrade for the Clerk's computer.

Land Conservation Fund Lynda Tadema-Wielandt said the fund was started in 2006 and approved at town meeting, and has been in existence for the past two years. She said they're requesting another $1,000 this year. She said donations are being accepted, and they got some the 1 st year, but none so far this year. She said the purpose was to set up a reserve so that when land becomes available and is considered worthy of preservation, there might be a fund to draw from. She said the priority was that any purchase would be to have open access to all people, and that shore access, historic land, and scenic landmarks have preference. It was noted that the budget spreadsheet showed no funds expended in this area the past two year. Stu said he could fix that.

Outhouse at Transfer Station Henry asked how much rental is for the porta-potty. Stu said about $1,100/year. A short discussion followed in regard to the short payback period for an outhouse.

Revaluation There was no discussion about the addition to the revaluation fund.

Town Hall Renovations Vault Stu noted he pulled this out of the budget given the economic situation. There was a discussion about shelving and humidity control in the vault.

Revenues Henry said there probably would be no school budget available until at least April. A short discussion followed.

Stu said he was budgeting revenues pessimistically given the economic situation. He outlined his thinking on surplus use, investment interest, and excise tax.

It was noted that the bottom line town valuation line was lower than the current fiscal year. Stu said he would adjust that on the spreadsheet.

Hubene asked if the budget committee could ask each department to cut its budget by 10-percent. Henry said he was not sure that would be prudent. He said the problem appears to be less non property tax revenue. Merle noted the proposed town budget is down from last year. A short discussion followed on the budget impact.

Next Meeting The committee plans to meet next on January 5, 2008 at 7PM. There was a discussion about school consolidation.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:14 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Secretary