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Budget Committee

Minutes - November 14, 2016

Chair Robin Veysey called the meeting to order at 6:34 PM.

Present were Budget Committee members Merle Bragdon, Marion McDevitt, Connie Bender, Robin Veysey; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon and Selectman Jo Cooper.  Budget Committee member Cece Ohmart had informed the committee prior to the meeting that she was unable to attend.

Minutes – October 17, 2016 – Connie moved to approve the minutes as presented.  Merle 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.

Budget Reviews

Administration – The Committee reviewed the salaries, which are proposed to increase $3,344.01.  Stu noted that major increases are to town office staff per contract. 

The committee reviewed the general expense lines which decreased $570.  Brief discussions included heating fuel, tax map preparation and legal fees.  Stu reported to the committee that one of the two pending lawsuits against the town was settled earlier in the day.

The committee also discussed Workers Compensation insurance costs, accounting software (the town currently uses Peachtree/Sage), and briefly discussed salt and sand application on the roads in the winter.

Public Safety – The committee opted to wait to discuss the fire portion of the budget until the fire chief could attend.  They reviewed dispatch, the ambulance contract, and Animal Control costs.

Solid Waste – The bulk of the solid waste increase is for disposal at PERC.  Stu reported the town voted to stay with PERC and the projected increase in costs is up to $86/ton.  He said he purposely budgeted for a full year at that rate, even though the new contract will not take effect until April 1, 2018, just in case costs are higher than projected.

The board discussed recycling.  Stu reported that when social costs are removed, recycling makes no economic sense the way the town is doing it.  He said shipping all recyclables to PERC would be far more cost effective.  He said the Selectmen have asked Casella waste for a revised zero-sort proposal but have yet to hear from them.  A brief discussion took place in regard to dropping glass from the recycling mix.

Roads – The committee briefly discussed the costs associated with the Route 3/204 traffic light.  Merle suggested writing to Hancock and Franklin requesting assistance with the costs.  Stu said that would likely be ineffective.

The committee reviewed the paving plan, which is both ends of Shore Road and the western end of Mill Road. 

Revenues – Stu reported the Selectmen have asked that an electronic sign be placed at the town hall, so the proposed revenue mix is to utilize some capital expenditure funds, the Hodgkins Fund, and undesignated fund balance to offset that expense (estimated $20,000).  Brief discussions followed on excise tax, interest, agent fees and how credit cards work.  There was an inquiry into the tax base for the town.  Stu reported there has been a fair amount of building activity in the past year. 

Next Meeting – The next Budget Committee meeting will be on Monday, November 28, 2016 and will include the fire department budget, Code Enforcement/Planning, Parks & Recreation and anything else that might be ready by then. 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:27 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Secretary