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Budget & School Committee

Minutes, December 14, 2020 (Draft, subject to correction)

 

Chair Merle Bragdon called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM, via Zoom Meetings.

 

Present were: Budget Committee Members Robin Veysey, Mark Harris, Merle Bragdon, Greg Hiltz (member Tiffany McMullen had e-mailed the town office prior to the meeting to say she was unable to attend); Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Parks Commission member Maggie Andros, Sarah Nugent (Downeast Community Partners), Ron Fortier (Ellsworth Public Library), Terri Ouellette & Maureen Bartley (Families First Community Center), Kate O’Halloran (Lifeflight Foundation), Jim Bradley (Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County), Peter Farragher (Downeast Family YMCA) and Jo Cooper (Selectman, Friends In Action).

 

Minutes – November 30, 2020 – Robin and Mark each had one minor correction to the minutes.  Robin moved to approve as corrected, Mark 2nd.  Vote in favor was 4-0

 

Social Services & Other Outside Agencies Budgets – Merle called on each agency representative who was present to give a brief presentation.  Sarah Nugent of Downeast Community Partners thanked the community for its past support.  She noted that because of the pandemic, everything changed, but they never closed the adult day care center, and the LiHEAP crew stayed working and dealt with an increased number of applications.  Stu noted that he referred several people to her agency.

 

Terri Ouellette of Families First Community Center thanked the committee for the town’s previous support.  She said the building is nearly finished and plans to open soon to welcome homeless families with children.  She briefly explained how the agency hopes to work.

 

Kate O’Halloran of the Lifeflight Foundation thanked the town for its past support.  She said the pandemic made it a very challenging year.  She said she is the new Executive Director as of about 3-weeks ago, and this was her very first municipal funding meeting.  She said there were 8 transports from Lamoine out of their 2,267 transports. 

 

Maureen Bartley of Families First Community Center said she is also new and has been on board for about a month as the new executive director.  She said she is currently screening families for the center.

 

Jim Bradley of Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County thanked the town for its support and briefly explained the services offered, including bereavement support.  He said the agency had served 4 households from Lamoine in the past year. 

 

Ronald Fortier represented the Ellsworth Public Library.   He said they had changed the funding formula from last year.  Stu said the request was the same as the previous year.  Mr. Fortier said the past year has been tough on the library.  Merle said he was not sure where the library is headed, but he hopes it remains static.  Mr. Fortier said that was the plan.

 

Jo Cooper of Friends in Action explained the services of the agency.  She said the hope to reopen the senior center after the pandemic.  Merle said the transportation services are a great resource.  Mrs. Cooper said they had a reduced number of people able to volunteer, but they still want to help.

 

Stu reported a $300 request from Yesterday’s Children arrived in the mail today.  He suggested that because of the pandemic the Budget Committee could opt to recommend funding, as the town has done so in the past.  Mark moved to add Yesterday’s Children’s request to the proposed budget.  Robin 2nd.  Vote in favor was 4-0.

 

Parks, Recreation & Cemeteries – Parks Commission member Maggie Andros said the budget is pretty closed to last year.  She said there is a new parcel of public land called Whitcomb Woods.  She said the land donation includes a cash donation and the proposed $1,500 budget would come from that.  Merle remarked that the plan to re-grade the road to Bloomfield Park appears to be the only significant budget change.  He praised the Parks Commission’s work to keep the parks well maintained.

 

Downeast Family YMCA Executive Director Peter Farragher thanked the town for its support of the “Y” as part of its recreation budget.  He said the facility got closed down in March, and they are preparing for re-entry when the pandemic rules are lifted.  He said the request is the same as it has been for many years.  He said there are still 129 members from Lamoine and the funding agreement includes benefits for Lamoine residents.   He said the “Y” had to stop the after school program at the Lamoine Consolidated School but that will be back.  He said there are some sports activities that are starting.

 

Stu said he proposed to the town’s Recreation Committee that the budget remain the same as the current year, and that funding come from the current year, as it’s unlikely that any programs will be offered.  He said the care of veterans’ graves and the utility pole flag program are also included in this budget.

 

Mark asked about the uniform funding of most agencies, despite a disparity of services offered.    Merle explains that an ordinance governs what the Budget Committee can recommend.  Robin noted that there is an overall cap as well.

 

Shellfishing Enforcement – Stu reported that Richard Fennelly had retired as Lamoine’s member of the Joint Municipal Board, and Selectboard Chair Kathleen Rybarz is acting as the interim member.  He said he has not heard of any change in the proposed town funding for enforcement for the coming year. 

 

Fire – SCBA Canisters – Stu said he studied the list supplied by the fire department, and it appears that about 29-bottles will expire in the next two years.  He said at $1,000 each, and dividing the years by two, that would work out to $14,500 in the capital budget for each year.   He said he added the same amount as revenue from surplus to soften the blow.

RevenuesStu said he would like to propose that $5,000 from the Cable TV Fund be used as an offset to the Broadband Expansion Capital Improvement.  He said he’s concerned about the municipal budget increase, and said the Transfer Station project might be able to draw some revenue from that fund, depending on where things stand.  He said the Selectmen might know more on Thursday.

 

Recommendations – The committee made the following recommendations:

 

Budget

Amount

Moved

2nd

Vote

Waste Disposal

$152,650.00

Robin

Mark

4-0

Library

$8,010.00

Robin

Greg

4-0

Administration

$249,162.68

Mark

Robin

4-0

Public Safety

$94,475.00

Robin

Mark

4-0

Capital Projects

$218,000.00

Robin

Mark

4-0

Parks, Recreation & Cemeteries

$25,090.00

Mark

Robin

4-0

Code Enforcement

$37,400.00

Mark

Robin

4-0

Road Maintenance

$200,800.00

Mark

Robin

4-0

Major Road Projects

$135,000.00

Mark

Robin

4-0

Social Services

$9,700.00

Robin

Greg

4-0

Shellfishing Enforcement

$3,000.00

Mark

Robin

4-0

Revenues

$828,770.00

Robin

Mark

4-0

 

Stu thanked the committee for helping to make some serious budget decisions and for their work in other than ideal circumstances.

 

Merle noted the next meeting will be in the spring with the School Department budget. 

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:24 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Stu Marckoon, Secretary