Minutes of the Lamoine Budget Committee

December 16, 2002

Chairman Henry Ashmore called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

Present were:  Budget Committee members Linda Feury, Reggie McDevitt, Henry Ashmore, Joseph Young; Fire Chief George “Skip” Smith, Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, and Selectmen Jo Cooper.

Minutes – Reggie moved to accept the minutes of December 2, 2002 as presented.  Linda 2nd.  Vote in favor was 4-0.

Public Safety Budget – Henry noted the percentages need to be updated on some lines. 

Personnel Reimbursement – Chief Smith explained it’s a stipend for mileage and clothing and each active member was paid $200 this year.  Henry asked if the firefighters were satisfied with the payment.  Chief Smith said they were pleased.  Linda asked if the Chief set criteria.  Chief Smith said they have to attend meetings, training sessions and fire department functions to qualify for the stipend.

Electricity – There was a brief discussion about a proposed $100 increase in the electricity line.

Phone – Stu reported he plans to look into removal of the emergency phone line once the 9-1-1 system is up and running, and that will reduce the cost of telephone service.

Heating Oil – Henry said the budget has been consistently high on oil, and $500 could be cut on this line.

Truck & Pump Maintenance – There was a brief discussion on truck and pump maintenance.  Chief Smith said it costs approximately $1,000 per year per truck to maintain the fleet.

Rescue Boat Maintenance – Chief Smith agreed that the line could be cut back by $100 to $150.

Radio Maintenance – Linda asked if the new Regional Communications Center would increase costs.  Stu said it shouldn’t, as the radios are already adapted.  Chief Smith said the maintenance line is mostly for pager repairs.

Equipment Maintenance – There was a discussion over what is covered.  Chief Smith said it includes saw, fans, generators, the gas detector and the thermal imaging camera. He said it helps keep that equipment running.  A discussion followed on the various roles the fire department plays, including road clearing and rescue operations.  The potential for a public works department and the history of the fire department were also discussed.

Hand Tools – Chief Smith said there is a potential to cut that back to $100.

First Aid – A brief discussion on first aid supplies took place.  Stu said he would check to see where those got booked last year.

Respiratory Fit Testing – Chief Smith explained the mandatory fit testing program that includes initial screening and follow up checks.

Foam – Henry noted the foam line needs to have the % increase fixed.

Air Pack Maintenance – Chief Smith said that line could be cut by $200 to $600.

Other – There was a brief discussion on this line.  Stu explained he booked food for firefighters on this line.

NFPA Books – There was a discussion about what the NFPA code program does for the fire department and for the town in general, and how it could be combined with code enforcement.

Turnout Gear – Chief Smith said the town and fire department combined to purchase 14-sets of gear last summer.  He said that still leaves quite a few members without new gear, and the amount requested would be used to replace individual pieces of gear.

Airpack Replacement – Chief Smith said the department has one Scott 2-A airpack in service that is about 20-years old, and it should be replaced.

Equipment Purchase – Chief Smith said the department wants to purchase a Holmatro Rescue Tool for $9,180.  He said the department would propose that it split the cost 50/50 with the town much like the turnout gear project.  He said the other $1,000 in the budget line was for the rescue boat for a GPS and fixed radio system and other minor items. 

Linda asked if the fire department had considered any grants.  Chief Smith said they had not; he was unsure what is available. 

General Discussion/Proposed Cuts – Chief Smith said he wasn’t sure how to get the budget down.  He suggested cutting out the airpack and the boat equipment.  Linda asked where the nearest rescue tool is located.  Chief Smith said Ellsworth has one.  He explained that the Lamoine FD was called to an accident last summer where a woman was pinned and was helpless for at least 20-minutes until Ellsworth arrived with their tool. He said Lamoine should be able to help itself.  He said car accidents are about half of the department’s calls now.  He explained a little about how the tool works.   Discussion followed on how the thermal imaging camera was funded.

Henry noted the budget as proposed is up 17% or $5,541.  He said the turnout gear purchase should be included as it was a 1-time deal, and if so, it’s up $10,000.  He said that’s not even looking at the painting and ventilation system.  He said the budget is way up.

Linda asked if the fire department had discussed the rescue tool situation with County Ambulance.  Chief Smith said they had, and County does not carry one any longer and they don’t intend to.

Henry said he would like to see the increase/decrease line back at $0.  He said if the department was not buying the rescue tool, that would make it come out right, and the airpack could still be replaced.  Chief Smith said he would rather wait on the airpack and go for the rescue tool.  Henry asked if the Chief could nip down the budget about $2,000.  The committee and chief agreed on the following reductions to the original proposal:

                        Airpack replacement     $3,626

                        Airpack Maint. $   200

                        Equipment Purch.         $1,000

                        Heating Oil                   $   500

                        Rescue Boat Maint.      $   100

                        Hand Tools                  $   100

                        Radio Maint.                $   100

More discussion followed on the rescue tool.  Stu entered the new numbers into the budget and returned with a printout to show an $85.00 reduction from the current fiscal year budget.

Ambulance Contract – Stu said the town is under contract with County Ambulance.  Chief Smith said the fire department is being asked more and more to help with ambulance calls.  Henry said the FD could send a bill.  Discussion followed on what the County Contract offers.

Dispatching, Animal Control – There were brief discussions about both items.

Fire Truck Reserve – Chief Smith said the town has $15,000 set aside.  He said time is drawing near to replace a truck.  He said the fire department has enough money to buy a chassis for a truck.  He discussed the age of the older trucks.  He said the fire department would like to buy a rescue truck to carry all it’s various pieces of rescue equipment.  Henry asked how much the chassis would cost.  Chief Smith said $44,000.  He said it would be an International chassis a little smaller than the current fire trucks.  Reggie asked if it would be 4-wheel drive.  Chief Smith said no.  He said the department would look into getting a grant from the Stephen King foundation for the box to go onto the chassis.  Henry asked how much for the box.  Chief Smith said about $60,000.  Henry said that’s over $100,000 for the truck!  He said that’s why the chief is talking about an increase in the truck reserve line.  He said he would suggest the chief put $10,000 before the town meeting, even if the budget committee recommends $5,000.  Chief Smith said if the town doesn’t start saving, the money wouldn’t be there to buy a new truck when it’s needed.  He said the money from gravel sales is not an option. 

Road Budget Revisited – Stu said he had cut out some from the individual road costs.  Henry said the cuts tally up to $7,000.  He said that is a good direction.  Reggie suggested lumping the money together to get one big piece done at a time instead of smaller repairs.

Total Town Budget – Henry noted the total town budget is up $76,000 and listed the several contributing components.  There was discussion about the recommendation process.  Stu said he generally prints the budget as recommended in the Town Report, and initial drafts do not go before voters unless there is a difference with the Board of Selectmen.

Next Meeting  - The next meeting is scheduled for January 13, 2003 at 7:00 PM.  Henry and Linda said they would be out of state and unable to attend.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:55 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst.