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Budget Committee

Minutes - November 30, 2015 (Draft, subject to correction)

Chair Robin Veysey called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.

Present were:  Budget Committee members Marion McDevitt, Merle Bragdon, Robin Veysey; Secretary Stu Marckoon, Selectmen Gary McFarland, Jo Cooper, Fire Chief George “Skip” Smith, Comprehensive Planning Committee members Fred Stocking, Michael Jordan, Bob Christie, Kathie Gaianguest and Bonnie Marckoon.  Budget Committee members Cece Ohmart and Connie Bender had informed the secretary prior to the meeting that they would be unable to attend.

Minutes – November 16, 2015 – Merle moved to approve the minutes as distributed.  Marion 2nd.  Vote in favor was unanimous.

Fire Department Budget – Fire Chief George Smith said when devising the budget he tried to base proposals on the five year average.  He said the proposed increase is fairly modest and should cover costs that the fire department is encountering.

Chief Smith said perhaps it is nearing time to hire a full time fire chief, and he would like to have that discussion.  Robin asked if it is based on the workload.  Chief Smith said more and more the fire department is asked to do more things, and there will come a point where important things are not getting done  Robin said that is likely a conversation that needs to take place with the Board of Selectmen.  Chief Smith said he mentioned it to the Comprehensive Planning Committee.  Merle asked what kind of time frame the chief had in mind.  Chief Smith said it was not immediate.  He said he’d like to have the job, and it would likely need to be in the next few years.  He said a couple of years would be needed just to address the issue. 

Robin noted the chief’s salary is just about at the bottom of those in Hancock County according to a printout contained in the fire budget.  Merle said a job description needs to be developed.  Chief Smith said he has a job description now.  Merle said that could be expanded or enhanced.  He suggested the Chief keep track of what he does in that position for the next year.  He said the job description should be comprehensive.  Chief Smith noted that the Bureau of Labor Standards just conducted its inspection.  He noted the fire department will likely get written up for not documenting air pack inspections.  He said a full time chief would be on that. 

Selectman Gary McFarland asked about the chief’s salary and previous year levels.  The memorandum provided to the Selectmen and Budget Committee was clarified.

Merle asked about replacing the SCBA bottles.  Chief Smith said they’re due in about 5-years, and it was suggested to replace them all at one instead of piecemeal.  It was noted that is in the capital plan for FY 2018.  Marion asked about booking purchase of gear lockers in the current fiscal year under the station maintenance account.  There was a brief discussion about the appropriate category for such items. 

Merle asked about separate maintenance lines and it was suggested combining maintenance into one line with a written explanation for the various items.  Robin asked how the department was set for trucks and the boat.  Chief Smith said the equipment is in good shape.  He noted there are a couple of new members who have joined in the past few months. 

Public Safety Budget – Stu provided an explanation of the remainder of the public safety budget, including ambulance, fire dispatching and animal control.

Code Enforcement/Planning & Appeals Board – Stu provided a brief explanation of the proposed budget.  Robin said it would be interesting to see what value the town gets for its dues to the Hancock County Planning Commission.  There was a brief discussion. 

Jo Cooper asked about the legal line in the Code Enforcement Budget.  Stu said that’s designed for specific legal issues directly involving the CEO or Planning Board.  He said the larger things such as defending lawsuits are booked in the administration line. 

Revenues – There was a brief discussion about whether the revaluation would be recommended by the Board of Assessors and whether the revaluation fund would be utilized in the revenue budget. 

Robin asked about surplus.  Stu said he’s still waiting for the final audit, which may be awaiting the completion of the school department audit.  He said he thinks it will be between $400,000 and $500,000. 

Merle said the proposed increases in specific revenue lines are in line with what the town is seeing.  There were brief discussions about revenue sharing, use of the Hodgkins fund, and surplus. 

At this point of the meeting, the fire department was paged out to respond to an emergency call, Stu & Michael Jordan left the meeting.

Meeting with Comprehensive Planning Committee – Members of the Lamoine Comprehensive Planning Committee met with the Budget Committee to discuss long term planning items.

The next Budget Committee meeting will be December 14, 2015

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:56 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Secretary