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Lamoine Budget Committee

Minutes of December 13, 2010  (Draft, subject to correction)

Chair Henry Ashmore called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM

Present were: Budget Committee members Hubene Brodie, Kathleen DeFusco, Merle Bragdon, Henry Ashmore, Robin Veysey (arrived 6:34 pm); Secretary Stu Marckoon, Selectmen William Brann, Gary McFarland, Jo Cooper, Michael Sirota (Pine Tree Chapter, American Red Cross), Ronald Fortier (Ellsworth Public Library), Brett Jones (RSU 24 Representative), Jack Frost (Maine Coast Memorial Hospital), David Schick (Lamoine Conservation Commission), Gordon Donaldson (Local School Advisory Committee), Faith Perkins (Child & Family Opportunities), and Peter Farragher (Downeast Family YMCA)

Minutes of November 29, 2010 Merle moved to approve the minutes as written. Hubene 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0 (Veysey had not yet arrived)

Review of Social Service Agency Requests Henry asked if there was any objection to the folks who were present addressing their requests. There were no objections

Faith In Action Jo Cooper, the Executive Director, explained the organization's function. Hubene asked if there was any age limit to qualify for services. Mrs. Cooper said they are flexible. Henry said he was impressed by how many people are served.

Pine Tree Chapter American Red Cross Mike Sirota explained the function of the Red Cross and how many people were served in Lamoine. He said the organization's funding sources are private. He said they do not deal with blood services that's a separate organization.

Maine Coast Memorial Hospital Jack Frost explained that the hospital did not make a request the previous year, and he is now the development director following the end of a capital campaign. He said the $600 requested would be used for a medication assistance program and provided an explanation of that program. There was a brief discussion about income eligibility and publicity for the program.

Child & Family Opportunities Faith Perkins explained this is the Head Start Program, and that they serve 3 income eligible children from Lamoine, so the request is for $200/child. Hubene asked about the age limits. Ms. Perkins answered said they serve children up to 5-years old, and that they've added a classroom at the Ellsworth Elementary & Middle School. There was a brief discussion about taxpayer support for the program.

Ellsworth Public Library Ronald Fortier explained that the request is based on 470 card holders from Lamoine at $17/card. Henry asked how the numbers compare to last year. Mr. Fortier said the overall number of card holders has decreased about 5%. Henry asked if students using the library through the school are counted. Mr. Fortier said they don't count anyone under 10-years old.

Mr. Fortier presented numerous statistics and said there are some new items, including on-line services. Henry asked if the $17/card holder was higher than last year. Mr. Fortier said it's the same. Henry asked if the number of card holders is down, why the request would be higher. There was a brief discussion of where to find the previous year's figures.

Downeast Family YMCA Peter Farragher, the CEO of the YMCA explained that the request was the same as the previous year but there have been a lot of positive changes at the Y. He said the former Moore School in Ellsworth is housing the child care program and that has allowed the Y to expand its fitness offerings. He said membership from Lamoine last year was 156, and this year it has increased to 284. He said the Zumba program has been very popular, as has an after school program at the Lamoine Consolidated School. He said there was in excess of $1,100 in financial assistance granted to Lamoine residents to attend programs. Hubene asked about the after school program. Mr. Farragher said it's held at the Lamoine School and charges $70/week and is a certified day care program.

Mr. Sirota said posting the requests on the town's website was laudable.

Non-RSU 24 Tuition RSU 24 Representative Brett Jones said the numbers for the suggested budget were sent electronically. He said the request is for enough to cover the MDI High School extra tuition charges. He said there was a special town meeting last year that approved $30,000 for this year's budget. He said the request of $25,000 for next year might actually be reduced. He said there would be a requirement to have the town explicitly approve the expenditure, and explained that the appropriation would make up the difference of what is charged to attend MDI High.

Gordon Donaldson said the town got into a bind last year and had to use a special referendum vote to approve the matter. He said the Local School Advisory Committee wanted to get its act together and place this matter before the annual town meeting. Hubene asked why the committee was bringing it to the Budget Committee this year when it didn't go before the budget committee last year. She said it should have been run through the budget committee. A brief discussion followed.

Henry asked if there is a definite number available for MDI's tuition difference. Mr. Jones said there wouldn't be until school starts. He said this year's $30,000 figure is beyond what was needed. He said they anticipate the number will be $100 per student less. Merle asked if this is for the 10% debt service factor. Mr. Jones said that it was. Merle said the town voted to pay that earlier this year. A brief discussion on how to figure the MDI costs followed, as did a discussion about the town's voting method on the question. Merle said it makes sense to him to include this as a routine item in the budget. A brief discussion followed on whether this is a recurring vote or whether there should be a longer term contract.

Henry asked about the forum at the school last week and how this matter was dealt with. Mr. Jones said all seemed to be strongly in favor of offering a real school choice to Lamoine students.

Land Conservation David Schick explained that the money would be placed in the current reserve fund to be used if a project comes along. He said it is not to fund the Conservation Commission's activities. He said the Conservation Commission elected not to make a request last year because of the economy. A very brief discussion followed regarding the economy.

Henry asked where the Conservation sees this fund going. Mr. Schick said it could be for shore access secured by an easement or maybe a trail project. He said there is one project in the works to get an off road area to park a school bus in order to access a trail. He said maybe money could be used in conjunction with other non-profit groups, but there is nothing in particular that has yet been identified. He said the Conservation Commission is trying to grow the fund to a point where it could be of some use. Henry asked if Town Meeting approval would be required. Stu said it would.

Shellfishing Enforcement - Stu said he was led to believe that the appropriation for the regional Shellfishing enforcement budget would be the same as the current year, $3,000. There was a brief discussion about the enforcement program and where the license sale revenues go.

There was a brief review of the list of agencies that had requested funding but had not sent a representative, and it was noted that all the agencies that submitted requests had previously been funded and were not required to be present.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Administration Robin moved to recommend $166,307.80. Merle 2nd. Vote in favor was 5-0.

Social Services Hubene moved to recommend 20% less on each request. There was no 2nd . Merle moved to recommend $8,629. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-1, Brodie opposed. Hubene noted that revenues are down and unpaid taxes are up and asked what would be any different the next year.

Library Merle moved to recommend $7,990. Robin 2nd . Henry said he did not support the funding level and feels the recommendation ought to be a last year's level. Merle said it's a very small increase. He said the library is a tremendous resource and Lamoine has no library of its own. He said even when the Budget Committee has voted to freeze the request, the town meeting has voted to increase it anyway. Hubene said that's now how the budget committee should work. A short discussion followed on the function of the committee in relation to town meeting action. Vote was 2 in favor, 3 opposed (Ashmore, DeFusco and Brodie). Kathleen moved to recommend $7,335. Hubene 2nd . Vote in favor was 3-2 (Bragdon, Veysey opposed).

Public Safety Robin moved to approved $58,880. Hubene 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Waste Disposal Merle moved to recommend $97,788. Robin 2nd . Stu noted the Selectmen will be opening bids for transportation and recycling this week and hoped he built in enough of an increase to cover the budget. Vote in favor was 5-0.

Planning & Appeals Board Kathleen moved to recommend $800. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Code Enforcement Robin moved to recommend $20,005. Kathleen 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Non RSU 24 Tuition Merle moved to recommend $25,000. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-1 (Brodie opposed).

Road Maintenance Merle moved to recommend $131,615. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Major Road Projects (Paving) Robin moved to recommend $145,540. Merle 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Parks & Recreation Merle moved to recommend $7,574. Robin 2nd. Selectman Gary McFarland asked if the YMCA line in that budget was the same line as discussed on tonight's agenda. The board answered that it was. Vote in favor was 3-2 (Brodie, DeFusco opposed).

Cable TV Merle moved to recommend $5,000. Hubene 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Shellfishing Enforcement Robin moved to recommend $3,000. Hubene 2nd . Kathleen asked how much the town received. Stu said the revenues accrue to the region, so there has been no individual town revenue recognized. Kathleen asked if there would be an annual report issued. Stu said he would hope so and that he would supply it to the Budget Committee when it's generated. He noted the program started last July. Vote in favor was 5-0.

Capital Projects After a very brief discussion, it was agreed to vote on the lines individually.

Fire Truck Debt Service Kathleen moved to recommend $7,700. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Land Conservation Fund Merle moved to recommend $1,000. Robin 2nd . Vote in favor was 3-2 (Brodie, DeFusco opposed)

Bloomfield Park Privy Merle moved to recommend $3,100. Robin 2nd . There was a brief discussion about using more of the Parks Fund to offset the cost. Henry noted that a recommendation last meeting was to use $1,500 of the fund. Vote in favor was 3-2 (DeFusco, Brodie opposed)

Town Hall Entrance Merle moved to recommend $5,000. Robin 2nd . It was asked if there had been any firm estimate. Stu said there was not, just a guess. Hubene urged that the overhang on the front steps attempt to look the same as it does now, and offered to help cut the fancy framing if needed. Vote in favor was 5-0.

Revaluation Reserve Kathleen moved to recommend $10,000. Merle 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Henry noted that the expenditure budget as recommended was $704,673.80, which is up $54,174.83 from the current fiscal year, or 8.33%. He noted that $52,240 of the increase is for paving.

Revenues Henry noted that the committee discussed last meeting the general fund revenue proposal which is $49,236.13 less than last year. He said Code Enforcement Revenue is proposed to decrease $300, but other revenues are up slightly. He said total revenue is projected to decrease by $33.136.13.

Henry said the County and School portions of the budget are unknown.

Robin moved to recommend $493,400 in offsetting revenues. Kathleen 2nd . There was a brief discussion about utilizing more of the Parks Fund. Vote in favor was 5-0.

Other Business Henry noted the open town meeting will be held March 16, 2011.

Stu thanked the committee for their service. Henry said the next meeting would be at the call of the chair.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:25 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Secretary