Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Budget Committee
Minutes of January 18, 2010 (Draft, subject to correction)
Vice-Chair Hubene Brodie called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM
Present were: Budget Committee Members Robin Veysey, Hubene Brodie, Merle Bragdon, Kathleen DeFusco; Secretary Stu Marckoon, Selectmen Richard Fennelly Jr., Cynthia Donaldson, Kermit Theall (several members of the school advisory committee arrived just prior to their meeting at 6:30 PM)
Minutes of December 7, 2009 – Merle moved to approve the minutes as distributed. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.
Shellfishing Budget – Stu provided a brief explanation of why the budget figures were needed. Hubene asked if liabilities are covered. Selectman Fennelly said Insurance will be provided, the cost to be split equally among the 7 member towns. He said there would be one lead town that would likely administer the insurance policy.
There was a question about the vehicle costs. Kathy asked if the warden position is a year round job. Selectman Fennelly said it was, a full timer, and possibly a part timer added down the line. Kathy asked about the basis for the $39,000 salary. Selectman Fennelly said it was consistent with other towns. Kathy asked if it was a 40-hour a week position. Selectman Fennelly said there would be no digging on Sundays, and each licensee must perform 12-hours of conservation time, which could include cleanup of access points.
Hubene asked how the conservation time would be enforced. Selectman Fennelly said the warden would enforce that by supervising and scheduling conservation projects. Hubene asked how much authority the warden has. Selectman Fennelly confirmed the warden has arrest powers. He said it would be ideal to find someone with a law enforcement background for the job.
Kathy asked about the hours. Selectman Fennelly said night digging is addressed in the ordinance. He said the idea would be to limit the digging to times when the warden is on the job. Hubene asked if the group had considered 2 part timers. Selectman Fennelly said there was a lot of discussion, and there may have to be a part timer added. He said the consortium of towns is trying to minimize the costs until revenue from licenses and fines starts to come in, when the program should become self supporting. Hubene said there would be times of no coverage if there is just one full timer. Selectman Fennelly said that was correct. Selectman Donaldson said the part timers would have to spend considerable time coordinating their efforts.
Hubene asked to whom the warden reports. Selectman Fennelly said to the Regional Shellfish Committee which is made up from members from each town. He said he hopes all seven towns vote to participate. He said if only six participate, that would increase the cost to each town a bit.
Hubene asked about recreational digging of up to one peck of clams and whether a license would be needed. Selectman Fennelly explained that it probably will because of what he called “peck pirates”. He said it would be a modest fee, and that would help measure the activity of recreational digging. He said one license a year would be required.
Merle asked how many commercial diggers there are and what the fee would be. Selectman Fennelly said he thinks the fee is $450/year and they've projected 70-to-80 diggers. He said there will be a number of non-resident licenses required by law. There was a brief discussion about the non-resident fee.
Hubene asked where the fines go. Selectman Fennelly said they would go back to the administering town which keeps 10-percent, and the rest to the town where the offense took place. He said he thinks Ellsworth is talking about being the administering town.
Kathy asked what the town gets out of participating in the program. Selectman Fennelly said it allows the towns to better manage the shellfishing resource. He said the town was inundated with diggers when red tide shut down most of the coast last summer, except for this area. He said that didn't leave many clams in the flats. He said there would be more value available for the commercial diggers from Lamoine, and the flats are managed better. He said the conservation work would be a lot of valuable time put in by diggers.
Merle asked about closures. Selectman Fennelly said that would be decided by the regional committee and the warden is the enforcement tool.
Hubene asked where the revenue figures came from and if it was an educated guess. Selectman Fennelly said it's based on the estimated licenses from the 7-towns, and it may be a bit low. Hubene said the ordinance would not prevent non-residents from digging. Selectman Fennelly said it limits it. There was a brief discussion about non-residents and the productivity of the clam flats.
(A phone call came in to inform that the audio on the telecast had not been turned on).
Selectman Fennelly noted that most clam diggers now carry cell phones and would not be shy about reporting violators to the warden.
Merle moved to recommend that $1,820 be recommended to be appropriated from the Harbor Fund for the startup costs for FY 2009/10. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.
Merle moved to recommend that $2,725 be recommended for FY 2010/11 from the general fund. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.
Other Business – Merle asked about proposed article 3, and interest rates. Stu explained that state law requires interest to be paid on overpayments, and the Treasurer of Maine sets that rate.
There being no other business, the meeting adjourned at 6:24 PM
Stu Marckoon, Secretary