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Lamoine Comprehensive Plan Planning Committee

Minutes of September 12, 2013 (Draft, subject to correction)

Chairman Fred Stocking called the meeting to order at 4:02 PM

Present were: Committee members Joseph Young Jr., Fred Stocking, Amy-Lynn Duym, Perry Fowler, Kathy Gaianguest, Valerie Sprague; Secretary Stu Marckoon. Committee member Merle Bragdon had informed the committee he would be unable to attend due to a work conflict.

Minutes of August 7, 2013 Joe moved to approve the minutes with one minor spelling correction. Kathy 2 nd . Vote in favor was 5-0 (Fowler abstained).

Committee Work Plan Fred said the board had an opportunity to review the material from the State of Maine and a draft consultation contract from the Hancock County Planning Commission (HCPC). He asked what should be done with the information. Joe said the state mentioned that they pay the HCPC to provide services to towns, whether they are a member or not. He said it would be good to know where the line of service is. Fred reviewed that draft and said some services are free, some would require discussion and having HCPC write the text is within the realm of a potential budget.

Fred said he liked the idea of talking with town committees about the old Comprehensive Plan He said he prepared a time line based on town meeting time, and figured it would be about a 2-and-a-half year process. He said the first year wouldn't cost all that much, but as the town gets further into a plan, money would be spent on a consultant. He estimated that about $6,000 per year be budgeted for two years after the next town meeting. Amy asked about money for the first year. Fred said the cost would be minimal. A lengthy discussion followed on funding amounts.

The committee also held a discussion about meeting with various town constituencies. Kathy said having community projects to conceptualize what visions exist for the town would be a good way to engage the community. She said the budget should include costs for community engagement, and suggested going to the schools to bring students in on the process. She said there should be a budget for the first year to do that. She asked about using a consultant during that process and when it ought to take place. Joe said he feels it's important for various boards to be involved. He said the more town volunteers and staff can do, the less reliance there would be on a consultant. He said if the town does some of the work itself, it would save money and give the town ownership of its plan.

Valerie said she agreed with keeping ownership of the plan and with asking various town groups for input on a community plan. Amy said gathering from a wide demographic is important. She said asking volunteers to adhere to a deadline is difficult. Perry asked about an art project offered by Kathy. Kathy said she envisioned a couple of art shows that would lay out visions of Lamoine with potential prizes as a good way to capture some ideas.

Perry said the biggest part for a consultant is to make sure that each part of the plan is addressed. He said the comprehensive plan would not want to miss some big thing. Valerie asked if the state would do any of that. Fred answered no. He said the HCPC included facilitation of a couple of public meetings, but he wasn't very keen on such meetings. He said he does like the idea of having a consultant to hold a committee's feet to the ire to identify the issues to grapple with, and to write policy proposals. He said some of the plan is likely to be very cookie cutter like, and he would hope the town could demand more. He said asking someone to do it in their spare time is asking a lot, and offered his experience with the open space report as an example.

Fred said if there is a lot of outreach, it could gauge a Comprehensive Planning Committee's capabilities. He remarked that committee member Merle Bragdon had suggested this committee's work was nearly done. He said he liked Scarborough's idea of who ought to be on a committee, and the committee has gathered a draft proposal from HCPC and a sense of the requirements of a plan.

Kathy noted that Burlington VT's process was creative and could be used for budget justification. She noted that Burlington used a web tool for conversations. A discussion followed on using Facebook and/or a blog for such a resource. Kathy asked who would put together notes and minutes from such outreach. Discussion followed about volunteer commitment.

Perry asked if there was a size limit on a committee. Stu said more than 7-members gets unwieldy. Fred suggested shooting for 12 and allowing that some would be lost through attrition. A discussion followed on potential committee size.

Fred noted the HCPC proposal would cost $12,000. He asked what more the town meeting would need than a recommendation and a budget. Joe said if more money was needed at a future date, the town meeting could be asked. Perry said he has no idea what kind of money would be needed. He asked if it would be helpful if the committee hired a secretary.

Kathy asked whether the process would take place over 2-years or 3-years. A discussion followed. There was a discussion about the high cost of printing, and whether having documents done electronically would work better. She said she would prefer $7,500/year over a 2-year period, and the money would be in place for 3-years if needed.

Next Meeting - Fred suggested that there should be a final meeting and Merle might be able to attend. He said committee members should send thoughts and ideas through Stu via e-mail in advance of the meeting in order to float ideas around. The committee set Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 4PM for the next meeting. Fred said he would draft a proposed report for the meeting.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Secretary