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Budget & School Committee

Minutes, June 3, 2020 (Draft, subject to correction)

 

This meeting was held via zoom, with the following participants:

 

Budget Committee members: Merle Bragdon, Robin Veysey (at Lamoine School), Mark Harris, Gregory Hiltz, and Tiffany McMullen; School Committee members Brett Jones (at Lamoine School), Robert Pulver, Matthew Montgomery and Gordon Donaldson; Selectman Jo Cooper, Superintendent of Schools Katrina Kane (at Lamoine School), Principal Dawn McPhail, Special Education coordinator Adam Rabasca, and Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon (at Lamoine Town Hall)

 

Budget Committee chair Robin Veysey called the meeting to order at approximately 6:39 PM.   Stu introduced the participants

 

Minutes of December 16, 2020 – Merle moved to approve the minutes as distributed.  Tiffany 2nd.  Roll Call vote in favor was unanimous.

 

Education Budget – Superintendent Katrina Kane reviewed the budget proposed by the School Committee.   She thanked the School Committee for their budget work during the state of emergency.  She thanked the staff for its work and said she could not be more proud of the school staff to finish the last 2-3 months, provide meals to students, and remote learning, and looking ahead to the next school year which will present unknown challenges. She said this is the 4th draft budget they’ve worked on. 

 

Regular Instruction – Mrs. Kane said they have increases in grades K-2 and 3-8 due to a 6% health insurance increase and salary increases in order to reach the minimum required state salary.  She said the staff is very high performing.  She said the budget is up for 3 additional students in high school for the coming school year, and that was the bulk of the increase.   Merle asked why K-2 was up 14%.  Mrs. Kane said it was because some teachers change classrooms and reassigned salaries.

 

Special Education – Mrs. Kane said there is a decrease on the expenditure side, but revenues are also down.  She said the shared life-skills program with Hancock had enrollment and placement changes.  She said the program was discontinued last September.

 

Other Instruction – Mrs. Kane said there increases in extracurricular and co-curricular stipends, including Skills USA. 

 

Student & Staff Services – Mrs. Kane said there is out of state math training included for a new program they started a year ago.  She said they are working with Hancock on the program.  She said there are advanced degree course requests which are required by contract and which is encouraged.  She said the new math program requires licensing for software.

 

System Administration – Mrs. Kane noted they share businesses services with Hancock.  She said there are increases in liability insurance and advertising.

 

School Administration – Mrs. Kane said there are some salary increases

 

Student Transportation – Mrs. Kane said there is an increased cost and they are running two buses.  Stu Marckoon asked if there had been any kind of decrease during the state of emergency.  Mrs. Kane said there had not as they agreed to keep paying the bus drivers who have been delivering meals and supplies and utilized in other ways.

 

Facilities Maintenance – Mrs. Kane said they wanted to plan for changes in facility cleaning and things to create distance between students if needed, which added $6,000.00 for cleaning supplies.  She said the front doors were going to be replaced now instead of next year. She said there is an overall reduction, but it will be clean and safe.

 

Food Services – Mrs. Kane said they anticipate a revenue decrease and food cost increase. 

 

Mrs. Kane said the overall increase was 2.83%.

 

Revenues – Mrs. Kane said the state EPS share will increase by more than $51,000.  She said they plan to use an additional $15,000 in balance forward to reduce the local share.  She said other revenue is down as tuition from other school units as the program shared with Hancock is eliminated.  

 

Mrs. Kane said the local share will have to increase 2.21% or a little more than $58,000 if adopted.

 

There were no questions or comments from the Budget Committee.  Merle moved to approve the school budget as presented.  Mark 2nd. Greg noted that he’s not been sworn in yet.  Stu said it should not be critical for this purpose.   Roll call vote in favor was unanimous. 

 

Reconsideration of Social Services Budget – Stu said Downeast Community Partners thought they had mailed their $700 request, but it never came to the town office.  He said the agency has provided valuable services during the pandemic.  He said plan had been to amend the article at the town meeting that has since been adjourned.  He said the additional $700 would make no difference in the tax rate.  Merle moved to include the $700 in the social services budget.  Tiffany 2nd.  Roll call vote in favor was unanimous. 

 

Town Meeting Plan – Stu said the town meeting originally on March 18th was the same day the Governor limited gatherings to no more than 10-people.  He said the Selectmen recessed the meeting until May 26, and the limit did not change.  He said two Selectmen gathered and adjourned without action.  The new plan is to hold the town meeting on June 24th at the school gym.  Superintendent Kane said she and school board chair measured the space and determined 50-people can fit in the gym.  She said the layout will be different than normal.  She said there would be a second classroom set up for overflow if more than 50 attend, and the rooms can be linked electronically. 

 

Mrs. Kane said she would finalize the warrant articles.  She said there would be an additional article to authorize transfer of more than 5% between cost centers if needed.

 

Stu said the Selectmen meet tomorrow evening to sign a warrant. 

 

Other – Committee members wished each other well. 

 

There being no further business, Merle moved to adjourn at 7:13 PM.  A rollcall vote in favor was unanimous. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen