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Budget Committee

Minutes - December 19, 2016 (Draft, subject to correction)

 

Chair Robin Veysey called the meeting to order at 6:31 PM.

Present were:  Budget Committee members Cece Ohmart, Marion McDevitt, Merle Bragdon, Robin Veysey; Secretary Stu Marckoon, Selectman Jo Cooper, Downeast Family YMCA Executive Director Peter Farragher, Ellsworth Library Trustee Ronald Fortier and Ellsworth Library Director Amy Wisehart.  Budget Committee member Connie Bender had informed the board she was not able to attend.

Minutes – November 28, 2016 – Merle moved to approve the minutes as distributed. Robin 2nd.  Vote in favor was 4-0.

Budget Requests Ellsworth Public Library – Ronald Fortier said the request this year was for $8,397.00 which represents 311 card holders in Lamoine at $27.00 each.  He presented statistics about how much use there is from Lamoine in the library, as well as the library’s operating hours.  He said the library has a $650,000 operating budget and tries to raise $40,000 from non-resident card holder towns.  Mr. Fortier introduced the new library director, Amy Wisehart, who started on the job just a couple of weeks ago.

Merle said he considers the library an enormous value, noting that about 18% of the town holds a card and uses the facility.  He said the figures from Mr. Fortier probably do not include info-net use.  There was a brief discussion about internet use at the library. 

Stu asked if the $27/card figure was up from previous requests.  Mr. Fortier said it was, and explained that the non-resident communities help to fund a staff position at the library.  Cece asked whether people could donate books to the library.  Ms. Wisehart said they accept some donations, and the ones they can’t accept are given to the Friends of the Library for book sales or are sent to area schools.

Downeast Family YMCA – Peter Farragher handed out the YMCA’s brochure and latest newsletter.  He said the request is the same as it has been for many years, $3,000.00.  He said there are 219-members from Lamoine that save $8,900 on membership fees and that there is free “Y” league participation for Lamoine sports teams.  He said there seems to be a growing number of teams in town.  He said the “Y” runs the after school program at the Lamoine Consolidated School, and all residents can use the “Y” for free on the weekend.  

Stu remarked that he was impressed at how much the facility has and asked about the extent of coordination with the town’s new recreation committee.  Mr. Farragher said there is some collaboration with the “Y”.

Friends in Action – Cece said the Senior Center in Ellsworth is the talk of the town.  Merle said it’s a great facility.  Jo Cooper, who is the executive director of Friends in Action, says they help seniors in a lot of situations, but mostly with transportation.  She said the organization is not as visible as the senior center.  She said they would like to foster similar programs in other communities, and noted they are not funded by the City of Ellsworth.  Cece asked about how many people utilize the meals program.  Jo said about 40.   Cece said people seem to enjoy the exercise options too. 

Stu noted that a couple of organizations had submitted proposals in excess of the maximum amount the Budget Committee can recommend, and that’s reflected in the current spreadsheet, but will be adjusted after recommendations.

There were brief discussions about the Eastern Agency on Aging and the Downeast AIDS Network which is now the Health Equity Alliance.

Revenues – Stu reported the Selectmen have added $20,000.00 each in revenue use from the Undesignated Fund Balance and the Roads Fund.  He said the audit has not yet been completed, but was confident that both accounts should be healthy.

Recommendations – The following budget recommendations were made by the committee: 

Budget

Amount

Moved

2nd

Vote in Favor

Administration

$222,740.01

Merle

Cece

4-0

Social Services

$10,298.00

Merle

Cece

4-0

Library

$8,397.00

Cece

Marion

4-0

Public Safety

$88,018.00

Merle

Cece

4-0

Waste Disposal

$118,150.00

Cece

Merle

4-0

Code Enforcement/Planning

$19,200.00

Merle

Marion

4-0

Road Maintenance

$181,650.00

Cece

Marion

4-0

Major Road Projects

$118,000.00

Marion

Cece

4-0

Parks, Recreation, Cemeteries

$20,270.00

Cece

Merle

4-0

Shellfish Enforcement

$3,000.00

Merle

Cece

4-0

Capital Projects*

$101,756.16

Merle

Cece

4-0

Revenues

$563,000.00

Merle

Cece

4-0

*Marion inquired about fire department turnout gear.  It was noted that gear has been ordered this year and the fire department will pay for some of it, and more gear is included in the operating budget.

It was noted that the projected increase in municipal taxation is approximately 1.7%. 

Stu reported that the town will likely be asked to accept a property at Marlboro Beach and possibly use funds from the land conservation fund for purchase.  He also reported the Selectmen will put a referendum question to voters in regard to marijuana retail sales and social clubs.

There being no further business, the committee was thanked for its work.  Stu said the school budget will likely be ready for review sometime in April.

The meeting adjourned at 7:28 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Secretary