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Budget Committee Minutes

November 29, 2010

Chairman Henry Ashmore called the meeting to order at 6:32 PM

Present were: Budget Committee members Hubene Brodie, Kathleen DeFusco, Merle Bragdon, Henry Ashmore, Robin Veysey; Secretary Stu Marckoon, Selectman William Brann, Parks Commissioners Richard Brey, Kerry Galeaz, Julie Herrick, Susan Belanger and Fire Chief George “Skip” Smith. Budget Committee member Reginald McDevitt was unable to attend.

Minutes – The minutes of November 8, 2010 were approved on a motion from Merle, a 2nd from Robin, and a 4-0 vote in favor (Defusco abstained)

Budget Reviews

Parks – Henry said the written description from the Parks Commission explained a lot. There was a brief discussion about the ability to open the descriptions posted on the town's website.

Kerry Galeaz said the budget as submitted is pretty much the same as last year, except for the proposed bathroom at Bloomfield Park (Blunt's Pond). He said the time has come, for many reasons including sanitation, to build a privy at Bloomfield similar to what's in place at Lamoine Beach Park. He said the estimate from Richard McMullen was $3,100 for everything. He said it would be identical to Lamoine Beach.

Mr. Galeaz said there is some money in the Parks Fund, and recommended using $1,000 toward that project, and funding the rest from property taxes. Henry asked what the Parks Commission would foresee for the use of the remainder of the Parks Fund. Mr. Galeaz says it's for a contingency.

Henry asked about mowing at Lamoine Beach. Mr. Galeaz explained what areas are mowed and weed whacked. Stu mentioned that the kiosks have been installed. Robin said they look very nice. There was a brief discussion.

Kathleen asked how much the privy at the transfer station cost. Stu said there was no holding tank – it's just a pit privy, and cost $2,000. Kathleen asked where the privy would be placed at Bloomfield Park. Mr. Galeaz explained the potential location. Hubene said it would have to be set back from Blunt's Pond. Stu said a site evaluator would have to draw up the plan and design the facility.

Merle asked about the YMCA budget. Stu said it was just submitted earlier this evening and would be on the next agenda.

Mr. Galeaz said he would appreciate a positive recommendation on the privy. He said in the past five years, the Parks Commission has completed numerous projects, and the privy at Bloomfield Park is the last piece of the puzzle. Hubene asked if the trash can covers were in. Mr. Galeaz said they are. He urged the Budget Committee to take a look at the parks, because they look great.

Stu noted that the Selectmen have endorsed the privy project, at least informally. He mentioned that some funding from the Leurene Hodgkins Trust might become available after the terms of the trust are modified through Probate Court. Mr. Galeaz noted that he checked for potential grants to construct the privy, but could find nothing viable.

Fire/Public Safety – Henry noted the only increases proposed are for airpack maintenance and supply hose purchase. He asked if submitting basically the same budget as the current year would do any harm to the fire department. Chief George Smith said the next budget ends more than a year and a half from now, so his best guess is that the fire department will be fine. He said the department's fund raising kicks in once in a whole.

Chief Smith explained that the airpacks require new batteries a couple of times a year, and that necessitates the increase. He said that when the hose was last tested earlier this year, a couple of pieces of 4-inch hose were lost, and need to be replaced.

Chief Smith said he's requesting hepatitis A shots for the firefighters that normally respond to car accidents and the like for the coming year, and asked whether that request should be part of the fire department budget or in a separate article. He said there are 12-14 firefighters that need the shots ASAP, and explained that the disease is in the area and it's very dangerous. Hubene asked for how long the shots are effective. Chief Smith said once both shots are administered, it's good for life. There was a brief discussion about the numbers and costs of the shots.

Merle asked why the Hepatitis A shots would be listed in the capital needs section instead of the regular budget. Chief Smith said that's how the pager/radio upgrade was handled the previous year. Henry said the fire department budget seems to be an appropriate place for this item. Robin agreed. More discussion followed about the Chief's plan to have half the firefighters receive shots in the next budget, and the remainder the following year.

There was a brief discussion about the theft at the fire department last July. Merle asked if the fire department had considered billing insurance companies for responses to automobile accidents. Chief Smith said the department has not done that, but it's a possibility. A lengthy discussion followed.

Chief Smith asked about the next fire truck purchase, which would be a tanker truck planned in FY 2015. There was a brief discussion about the current fire truck payment schedule. He asked if it is time to start planning the next truck purchase from the fire department's point of view. There was a discussion about setting money aside from the town for a down payment. Chief Smith said the VFD corporation would like to help with the cost. He said he could start planning and find out the potential costs for a new truck. A lengthy discussion followed about selling the current tanker truck and whether and when to start a down payment reserve.

Stu explained the remaining lines in the public safety budget, including the ambulance contract, and the uncertainty of the amount of the ambulance contract due to the census number not yet being available. There was a very brief discussion about the ambulance contract.

Capital Projects – The Budget Committee advised to add the maintenance line for the Veterans Memorial to the Town Hall maintenance budget. Hubene suggested placing an ad for memorial bricks in the next Lamoine Quarterly.

Land Conservation Fund – Stu reported he received an e-mail from the Conservation Commission indicating they would like to put $1,000 in the budget again. Hubene said she believed this is a useless fund and asked it a matching contribution came in. Stu said it did when the fund was established several years ago. Merle said the Conservation Commission should attend the next meeting to justify the request.

Revenues – After reviewing several of the revenue lines, there was a discussion about how much of the parks fund to appropriate. A majority of the committee agreed on $1,500.

There was a brief discussion about how much surplus would be available. Stu reported the Board of Assessors advised of the potential for a reimbursement on a tree growth penalty, and urged that the fund balance not be hit too hard.

Next Meeting – Stu said he planned to write a memorandum to the social service agencies that have requested funding that the town has received the request, and that the next meeting is December 13, 2010, but if the agency has received funding in the past, there is no mandatory attendance required. There was no objection.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:02 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Secretary