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Budget Committee

Minutes - November 28, 2016


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

Present were:  Budget Committee members Merle Bragdon, Robin Veysey, Connie Bender; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Fire Chief George “Skip” Smith.  Budget Committee member Marion McDevitt had informed the committee she would not be able to attend.

Minutes – November 14, 2016 – Merle noted one spelling error and moved to approve the minutes as corrected.  Connie 2nd.  Vote in favor was 3-0.

Budget Reviews

Fire Department – Merle noted that $6,200 was added to the current year budget after a special town meeting approved repairs to a catastrophic pump failure.  He asked Fire Chief George Smith if the pumps are routinely rebuilt.  Chief Smith said they are not, the department has work done as needed.  He detailed the pump failure, saying the department is unable to anticipate such events. 

Chief Smith said truck maintenance costs are up this year as new tires have gone onto both pumper trucks, and it’s been an expensive year for repairs.  Other discussions followed in regard to radio and pager maintenance, purchase of a portable radio, and receiving calls via cell-phone text.

Robin asked about new volunteers.  Chief Smith said there are three members that will attend the Hancock County Firefighters’ Association Academy this winter, and they will need new turnout gear.  He said the gear has a statutory life of about 10-years.  Merle asked about station maintenance and repairs.  Chief Smith said they plan to seal the personnel doors instead of purchasing expensive new doors. 

Merle asked if the proposed replacement of two air packs is enough.  Chief Smith said no, but to replace all of them would be cost prohibitive.  He said the price for a new air pack does not include new bottles, as there is some life left on the current bottle inventory. 

A brief discussion followed on personnel stipends/expense reimbursements.  Robin said the fire department budget looked reasonable.

Code Enforcement/Planning/Appeals Board – Stu explained the salary structure the Selectmen have set with the current Code Enforcement Officer and Local Plumbing Inspector is a combination of a salary for a set number of hours with a budget for extra hours as needed.  He said the Planning Board has requested more code enforcement hours.  He said the current structure allows for the CEO to perform tasks that the Planning Board might need accomplished.

Capital Projects – The Committee reviewed the capital needs spread sheet.  There was a lengthy discussion about a community center concept and whether money set aside for new steps and foundation for the existing town hall would be used.  Stu said the Board of Selectmen started discussion on the community center at their previous meeting, and that the concept was universally favored during a Comprehensive Planning Forum earlier in the year. 

The Committee also discussed a proposed electronic sign for the town hall, and the status of the Comprehensive Plan.

Parks/Recreation/Cemeteries – Stu reported that in addition to the budget print out before the board, the Recreation Committee had proposed the same expenditure budget for the coming year.  There was a brief discussion about increased cemetery maintenance costs, and the increased budget accuracy now that the town has entered contracts with the two largest cemeteries in town in regard to maintenance of veterans’ graves.

Shellfish – Stu reported the town’s representative to the joint municipal board reported the contribution for the next year would remain at $3,000. 

Other Matters – The committee asked about the Ellsworth Library budget.  Stu reported the request came in a while ago and it’s up.  He said they should be at the next meeting.

There was a brief discussion about utilization of the town’s Facebook page and last week’s water loss by the Cold Spring Water Company which has since been fixed.

Next Meeting – The Budget Committee will meet next on December 12, 2016 at 6:30 PM, with a potential recommendation wrap up on December 19, 2016.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:23 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Secretary