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Budget Committee

Minutes, November 16, 2015 (Draft, subject to correction)

Chair Robin Veysey called the meeting to order at 6:32 PM

Present were:  Budget Committee members Cece Ohmart, Robin Veysey, Marion McDevitt, Connie Bender, Merle Bragdon; Secretary Stu Marckoon, Selectmen Gary McFarland, Jo Cooper; Parks Commissioners Marguerite Andros, Cathy Goebel; Recreation Committee Chair Greg Stone

Minutes, October 26, 2015 – Merle moved to approve the minutes as written.  Connie 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

Parks Budget – Stu introduced the parks commissioners present to the Budget Committee.  Robin said it appears the budget doesn’t propose any new major project.  Merle noted a dog waste dispenser is proposed for Marlboro Beach.  Maggie Andros said it appears someone constructed a homemade dispenser for that park.  There was a brief discussion about dog waste.  Robin said the proposed budget looked good to her.

Cemeteries and Flags – Stu explained how he devised the budgets for care of veterans’ graves at the three largest cemeteries in town, including contracts with two cemetery corporations to care for the graves and provide estimates of stone repair costs.  He said the flag program budget replaces 15 flags and six poles per year.

The committee asked Stu to get in touch with the YMCA and the Ellsworth Public Library to make sure they had received funding applications.

Recreation Committee – A written budget from the committee was distributed.  Committee chair Greg Stone noted the committee is less than a year old, and so far has been self-funding.  Cece asked what programs they are offering.  Mr. Stone said indoor soccer, a “slow ride Sunday” bicycling route, outdoor soccer, basketball and cheering.  He said the soccer program was full. He said adult pickup basketball is also being offered when the gym is available. 

Mr. Stone said the committee priorities are to take care of children and not duplicate other programs such as what might be offered through the YMCA.  He said they also try to serve families and seniors.  He said a major role for the committee is to facilitate program offerings and to communicate what is available.  He said there are a lot of programs around offered by various organizations.  He said communications are a challenge for future programming.  He said they expect to focus on program availability notification, keeping participation fees reasonable, offer scholarships to folks who can’t afford a small programming fee, and keeping a relationship with the school.

Mr. Stone said equipment storage is an issue.  He said the budget is based on costs and the committee has devised a $5,900 budget, and expects to generate $4,000 to $5,000 in fees and donations. He said there was some controversy about including other towns with Lamoine’s program offerings, but it was helpful to have other communities participating to gain the critical mass needed to run a program.  He said they consider the YMCA a partner. 

Mr. Stone said the big expense is always equipment.  He said the fees cover uniforms.  He said the budget request is $5,900.  He said the committee has all kinds of ideas for future programming. 

Marion asked where the authority comes to charge a fee.  Mr. Stone said the checks are made out to the town.  Stu said the committee seeks program approval from the Selectmen and the committee was formed by policy.  There was a brief discussion about fees and scholarships offered to those who might not be able to afford a fee.  Mr. Stone said the recreation committee reviews any scholarship requests, but they’ve not had any thus far.  He said the rec committee’s philosophy is to not have a fee be a deterrent to participation. 

Stu asked what revenues should be included in the budget.  Mr. Stone said $3,500 is reasonable.  Connie said that would bring the net budget down to $2,400.  There were brief discussions about donations, budgeting and accounting for rec programming.

Capital Needs Budget – Stu ran down the spreadsheet as proposed.  He said it’s getting to the point that the steps for the town hall are deteriorating and need to be replaced, and the cellar at the town hall is badly in need of an upgrade to accommodate storage and keep the furnace dry.  The committee suggested getting an estimate on the step and ramp replacement, and possibly engineering costs for installing a basement. 

The committee also briefly discussed the upcoming sesquicentennial (in 2020) and the need for a revaluation. 

Roads Budget – Among the items discussed were the future of the plowing contract and whether a salt priority program would be appropriate, paving plans for Raccoon Cove Road and MacQuinn Road, and inclusion of the Trenton traffic light.

School Budget – Merle asked whether the school had communicated about its budget plans.  Stu said the Superintendent plans to have the budget ready for a May meeting, the same as the current year. 

Next Meetings – The next meeting is scheduled for November 30, 2015 at 6:30 PM.  The public safety, Planning & Code Enforcement, and revenue budgets are on the schedule, as is a meeting with the Comprehensive Planning Committee.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Secretary