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Budget Committee

Minutes of December 2, 2013

Chair Robin Veysey called the meeting to order at 6:33 PM

Present were: Budget Committee members Robin Veysey, Kathleen DeFusco, Marion McDevitt, Merle Bragdon, Connie Bender; Secretary Stu Marckoon, Fire Chief George “Skip” Smith, Selectman Jo Cooper.

Minutes of November 18, 2013 – Merle moved to approve the minutes as distributed. Kathy 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Fire Department Budget – Kathy asked how many volunteers are on the department. Chief Smith said about 30, but noted that members are aging. Chief Smith reviewed the proposed 2014/15 budget line by line. There were brief discussions about electricity, oil, pump maintenance, the rescue boat and when to replace it, respiratory fit testing and hose replacement.

Marion asked about whether using the Hodgkins Trust money was feasible. Stu said that is restricted for use on town parks and buildings. Chief Smith noted the department does receive grants from time to time.

Robin asked about future concerns. Chief Smith said SCBA air bottles are a concern, as the inventory will expire in about 7-years. A discussion followed about setting up a reserve account for replacement of the bottles. Marion moved to establish a reserve and to add $2,000 per year for SCBA bottle replacement purposes. Kathy 2nd . Merle said it's not a lot of money and is a shift where the folks paying taxes today may not see the benefit in the future. Vote in favor was 4-1 (Bragdon opposed). The item will be included in the capital projects section of the budget.

Administration Update – Stu reported that an updated memo from the Maine Municipal Health Trust came in after the previous meeting which resulted in another change to the health benefits line. He also said he'd prepared an updated inflation report. Merle said the budget presented had built in 3-percent increases. He suggested leaving those increases in the budget, but advising the Selectmen to use the actual CPI calculations when negotiating employee raises.

Code Enforcement/Planning – Stu briefly reviewed the budget proposal.

Parks/Recreation/Cemeteries – Stu reported the Parks Commission had submitted its portion of the budget with the assistance of the former chair. He said the YMCA request is the same as previous years. He said the cemetery line is showing a significant increase as he expects a bill for veterans graves care from the East Lamoine Cemetery. There was a lengthy discussion about veterans graves.

Shellfish Enforcement – Stu reported the $3,000 share of the regional Shellfishing program is unchanged from the previous year.

Roads – There was little discussion about the individual lines in the road budget, but there was a discussion about tree removal and a general consensus that cutting efforts have a positive impact on the roads.

Education – Stu asked the committee how it wishes to handle the upcoming special town meeting funding question for the new Lamoine School Department. Marion said the committee ought to rely on the Selectmen to make an informed recommendation. Jo said the Local School Advisory Committee has talked about $8,500 as an interim budget until town meeting. Merle said he would support hiring a consultant, but it's hard to say what the funding amount should be. He moved to have the budget committee support hiring a consultant, and to have the Selectmen determine what funding would be needed. Kathy 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Outside Agency Requests – Stu said the deadline to receive applications was Saturday and he's plugged in the request figures. He noted one request was well over the recommendation level set by ordinance. He suggested that each requesting agency would be contacted via e-mail, welcomed to the meeting on December 16, 2013 but that they not be required to attend if they have received funding previously. He said the agency that requested more than could be recommended would be notified that there was a limit of $600 and that a representative could attend town meeting. There was no objection to the plan from the committee.

There being no further business, the Budget Committee adjourned at 7:50 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Secretary