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Community Center Feasibility Study Committee

Minutes - February 28, 2019


Deputy Town Clerk Stu Marckoon called the meeting to order at 6:35 PM.

Present were: Committee members Brett Jones (alternate), Paul Howaniec, Hancock Griff Fenton, Iris Simon, Larissa Thomas, Ginger Madore, Bob Pulver; Auxiliary members Allison Howaniec, Lynn Tscheiller, Georgianna Pulver; Selectman Kathleen Rybarz, and Deputy Town Clerk Stu Marckoon.

Stu reported that appointee Jane Fowler has reconsidered and has chosen not to serve on the committee.

Stu swore in those committee members who had not yet signed their oaths.

Each committee member introduced themselves and gave a very brief outline of why they are interested in serving. 

Officers – Brett moved to appoint Paul Howaniec as chair.  Griff 2nd.  It was so voted

Ginger moved to appoint Griff as vice chair. Iris 2nd.  It was so voted.

After much discussion, Griff moved to appoint Allison Howaniec as the Secretary.  Brett 2nd.  It was so voted.

Mission Statement – Members reviewed the mission statement prepared by the Board of Selectmen.  Brett said it looked pretty straightforward.  He said it would be easy enough to come up with a list of municipally owned land.

Brett said the school plans to consult with the teachers to see what the educational building needs are.  He said there are fewer students than at the peak in the mid 1990s, but the building space is utilized differently, and there are building needs.  He said the school department is looking at either renovations or an addition.  He said the gym is too small, and there is no space for performing arts.  He said there is some desire to have a stage with the gym. 

Brett said the fire department has some space desires.  Lengthy discussions followed regarding the fire station and portable classrooms at the school.  Griff asked about building a junior high school.  A discussion followed regarding school funding, and the likelihood that Lamoine would not qualify for much help with a school project.

Survey – Griff suggested that an inventory of present facilities should be done, then a discussion on what needs there might be, and then present something in a questionnaire.  Brett said the Comprehensive Planning Committee did some work on a community center.  Stu said he has a memo from Comp Plan chair Fred Stocking that he could e-mail around.

Larissa said that any survey should be informed from gathering information first.  Lynn Tscheiller said it should encompass needs for all, and not be just attached to the school. Bob Pulver said surveys reach only a small part of the town.  Griff said it should be a responsibility of the committee to contact as many people as possible.  He recalled a survey in the past that reached 96% of the residents.  He said any project will need community backing.  Iris said that will involve some leg work.

Larissa said any survey the committee develops needs to be an informed survey.  Brett said the committee should identify groups in town to contact.  Allison suggested that a needs assessment be developed prior to conducting a survey.  A discussion followed on methods of surveying the community, and the committee not becoming a slave to the survey.

There was a discussion about what groups to contact in regards to space needs.  Allison said the school community and the municipal community could develop lists.  Bob said the Comprehensive Planning Committee did that.  Stu said he would be happy to e-mail the sections of the Comprehensive Plan that mention a community center, as chair Fred Stocking had prepared a memo to that effect a while back. 

Lynn suggested contacting other communities with community centers.  Ginger Madore said she’d checked some communities on line.  She said some rent out their centers.  Stu said it would be helpful for those folks the committee plans to ask for assessment purposes to know what information this committee is seeking.  Allison said to develop a needs assessment one person should come up with a proposal for the next meeting to get the ball rolling. Larissa said she would be happy to take a crack at a needs assessment draft. 

Paul said a list of groups that have needs and also what summer residents might need or desire would be helpful.  Stu said he would try to come up with a list of groups with needs.  Ginger said she would continue to scout out different places on the Internet.

Paul said for the next meeting it would be good to have the following:

Stu cautioned the group that communicating with each other is a violation of the Freedom of Access act as this is a public committee and such communication constitutes a “meeting” and must be properly noticed.

Brett noted that a public sheltering facility is a potential use.

Appointment – Larissa noted that a replacement for Jane Fowler is needed.   Griff moved to recommend to the Board of Selectmen that Brett Jones be appointed as a full member and that Allison Howaniec be appointed as an Alternate member.  Bob 2nd the motion.  Vote in favor was 6-0 (Jones abstained). 

Next Meeting Date – After a discussion about establishing a regular meeting time, the committee settled on the next meeting to be March 18, 2019 at 6:30 PM at the Town Hall. 

Selectman Kathleen Rybarz asked when the tax bills are mailed out.  Stu said they go out in mid-July.  Kathleen suggested that some sort of mailing could go with the tax bills and possibly something could be ready for distribution at the School Budget town meeting.

The committee expressed a desire to have an inventory of town owned land.  Stu said he could do that pretty quickly. 

Larissa offered to draft an article for the April 2019 Lamoine Quarterly.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:54 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Deputy Town Clerk