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Lamoine Budget Committee

Minutes of December 8, 2014 (Draft, subject to correction)

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

Present were:  Budget Committee members Cece Ohmart, Marion McDevitt, Robin Veysey, Merle Bragdon; Secretary Stu Marckoon, Peter Farragher (Downeast Family YMCA), Ronald Fortier (Ellsworth Public Library), Maureen Giffen (Hancock County Home Care), Christa Brey (Lamoine Parks Commission Chair), Selectmen Gary McFarland, Jo Cooper; George “Skip” Smith (Fire Chief) and School Committee Chair Brett Jones.

Minutes – November 24, 2014 – Merle moved to approve the minutes as distributed.  Marion 2nd.  Vote in favor was 4-0.

Budget ReviewSocial Service Requests – Stu reported the only new request this year is the Lifeflight Foundation request.  Maureen Giffen of Hancock County Home Care said her organization thanks the town for its past support and is again requesting $579.  She said they served four hospice patients and 23-home health care cases in the last year.  There were no questions about any of the other requests.

Downeast Family YMCA – Executive Director Peter Farragher said the $3,000 request is the same as in the past 15-years.  He said the town’s support reduces rates for members and townspeople get free use of the facility on the weekends.  Mr. Farragher said he is especially pleased that several sports teams have started to form in Lamoine to participate in the “Y” leagues, and that’s a nice value.  Cece asked how many “Y” members lived in Lamoine.  Mr. Farragher said 216, but many more residents participate in the programming.  He said it’s a great partnership.

Ellsworth Public Library – Ronald Fortier of the Ellsworth Public Library Board said there are 307 card holders from Lamoine.  He said the rate per card holder is up by $1.00 this year.  He said Lamoine residence checked out 8,211 items from the library last year.  He placed the value on that at just over $82,000.  He listed several items in services at the library that residents take advantage of.  He said the City of Ellsworth funds most of the library budget – using communities generally contribute $35,000 collectively. Merle noted that the info-net service probably bring usage up by many thousand more items.

Parks – Robin noted there were no major projects proposed.  Parks Commission Chair Christa Brey said they are at the maintaining current use stage.  She said the commission could use some more members/new blood.  Merle noted the Lamoine Beach budget is down by $650.  Mrs. Brey said the line painting in the current year budget is removed from next year’s.  Merle said the budget looks very reasonable.

Cemetery Contracts – Stu reported the Selectmen are about to enter an agreement with East Lamoine Cemetery Association for maintenance of veterans graves.  He said a similar agreement with Forest Hill Cemetery is still under negotiation.  

Flag Program – Stu reported the flags displayed on utility poles take an awful beating from the wind, sun and rain each year.  He said he’s purchased some new poles and will need a lot of new flags to replace worn out flags in the program. 

Public Safety (Non-Fire) – Stu reported the town will be in its final year of the contract with County Ambulance.  He said the dispatch rate is set by the County Commissioners and he hopes enough is budgeted.  He reported there is a new animal control officer, and the budget for 2015/16 is based on the actual budget for 2013/14. 

Fire Department – Chief George “Skip” Smith reviewed the fire department’s budget with the committee.  There were brief discussions about personnel reimbursements, electricity, hose testing and foam. 

Rescue Boat – Chief Smith said the department has done a little research on a possible replacement rescue craft.   He said they’ve looked at both Boston Whaler and inflatable boats and he handed out pictures and prices to the committee.  He said he spoke with the Marine Patrol which uses a Boston Whaler and learned that it rides pretty rough while the larger inflatable boat rides better.  He said they’re looking at about a 21-foot boat, and it’s very early in the research stage.  There was a brief discussion about the types of rescues undertaken.

A brief discussion followed on the reliability of the current boat and motor.  Robin asked when the new boat purchase would be anticipated.  Chief Smith said he would like to see the new tanker truck paid for before diving in, but it seems to cost more money for every year the town waits.  After a brief discussion about setting up a reserve vs. a loan for a replacement boat, there was some sentiment expressed about placing a loan on the upcoming town meeting warrant.

Water Tank – Chief Smith said the department wants to install a water tank next to the station, but the portable classroom in front of the school would have to move.  He said the pond water currently in use is not good for the trucks and pumps, and they’ve been filling up with clean water in Ellsworth.   He said the fire department is not looking for any money at this point, but the building does have to be moved. 

Brett Jones said that topic is on the agenda for the next school board meeting. Chief Smith said the fire department hopes to find a donated tank to install.  Mr. Jones said a secondary benefit would be supplying the sprinkler system in the school.   There was discussion about whether moving the portable classroom ought to be in the school budget or the fire department budget.  Stu said it might possibly be a good use for the Hodgkins Fund.

Shellfish Enforcement – Stu said he’s had no report that the $3,000/year price would change.  There was a brief discussion about the number of licenses issued.

Selectmen/Town Budget – Stu noted the Board of Selectmen has not yet met on the town budgets that have been presented. 

School Budget Timeline – Brett Jones reaffirmed that the school budget will not be ready for presentation in time for the proposed January 12th meeting.    He said state figures are still a guess and the RSU’s reconciliation is not yet complete.  He said he anticipates a special meeting later in the year to deal with the school budget.   There was a brief discussion about when a budget would be ready for the committee.  No specific target date was chosen, but Mr. Jones said it would not be in January.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:37 PM.

Respectfully submitted, 

Stu Marckoon, Secretary, Budget Committee