606 Douglas Highway
Lamoine, Me 04605
Minutes of the Meeting of September 10, 2003
The meeting started at 7:15 p.m.
Commission members present :
Fred Stocking (chair), Nancy Pochan, Donna Theall, Carol Korty, Raymonde Dumont (secretary).
Associate members present: Joan Bragdon
Others Attending : Jo Cooper, Lucia Kowaluk, Beverly Hartline, Peter Hartline.
Minutes of the Previous Meeting : Minutes of July and August, 2003 were reviewed and approved by a vote of 5-0.
Concerns of those attending: The Hartline family corporation has placed its land in a conservation easement. They expressed being pleased that Lamoine now has a conservation commission.
Concerns of the Planning Board: The debate around the Pettigrew’s business expansion continues. The aspects pertaining to shoreland regulations were deferred. The property was not viewed as industrial, merely as a business. Under dispute is whether the current business expansion impinges on others in the neighborhood; hard to regulate complaints include the speed of some of the truckdrivers, the time and the noise of the generators for refrigeration. Nancy wondered whether we might encourage a negotiation between the parties, which seem otherwise to be headed for litigation. Rae voiced doubts as to whether this pertains to our mandate regarding conservation; Fred concurred.
Discussion of Gary Friedman’s presentation.
Fred feels that, compared to the achievements of the Bar Harbor Conservation Commission, we are doing well with data gathering, but we have not sufficiently used the “bully pulpit”. We need to do more to educate the residents, and more to go on record. Also, in reviewing what belongs in our mandate, a copy of the Bar Harbor Conservation Commission Ordinance would be useful to review, but could not be located. It was agreed to keep priorities in mind, and balance these with our resources. Issues we tackle should be related to conservation or mandated by the Planning Board.
In Bar Harbor, each commission member also heads a subcommittee. We had intended this, but it has not yet developed, though Nancy has primarily taken an interest in Forestry, and Carol in the Aquifer.
The lessons from Bar Harbor include the fact that open space and water quality are closely interwoven issues. We have begun to explore preservation of open space, such as the area around Mud Creek. Carol Korty suggested that the Rockefeller family, which has for years harvested the hay of Pinkham’s Flats, might be approachable to help protect this valuable meadow. This will deserve further thought.
Planning for October 8, public Panel Discussion on Development :
to be held from 7 to 9 PM at the school gym.
Carol reported that Perry Fowler will represent the Lamoine Planning Board. Ann Kreig, as Planning Director for Bar Harbor, will address issues in BH that may be comparable for Lamoine. Isabel Mancinelli however has not answered Carol’s invitation yet to represent the academic perspective. Ted Koffman, Democratic Representative in Augusta, agreed to be the moderator (he suggested that Ed Bierman, his Republican counterpart, should be contacted as well). He also suggested Ron Beard, of the University of Maine extension, for a future presentation.
To publicize the event, Carol prepared a draft of a poster, which she and Fred will finalize, before placing it in visible locations around town, including churches, grocery stores and laundromats. Donna will invite the press to attend and cover the event. Rae will send her the contacts in the press. Fred will obtain a press release, which Rae will then utilize to advertise the event in the local press. Donna will see about a local cable announcement, and contact WERU.
Beverly Hartline shared her experience with organizing panel discussions. She suggested stating our questions ahead of time for the panel members, and helping them to know the data relevant to our town. Carol and Fred agreed to supply the data to the speakers. The questions we would like addressed relate to the toolkit relevant to shaping development, and to the resources needed to implement a vision for development.
Beverly suggested it is best to restrict each speaker’s time, to follow the presentation immediately with questions from the audience, and to reserve a break till the end. It was agreed to have refreshments available for free-flowing conversation at this time. Carol will contact the Grange about helping with refreshments, and ask the school about the use of their coffee machine.
Finally, Beverly has found that involving the children, through displaying essays or art work on the subject of a Panel Discussion, tends to increase attendance by the adults. Rae proposed to contact the school principal (Val Perkins) and art teacher (Pat Haugh), and if they are interested she will offer to present the topic in the classrooms: “What do you like about Lamoine that you would wish was still there when you’re grown up?”.
Fred agreed to provide an article on the Commission’s work for the Lamoine Quarterly.
GIS update : Fred’s law partner Jim Crotteau agreed to take a 2 hour course on GIS; costs of tuition, and possibly of the software ($2500) or even a computer may need to be covered, with funds yet to be located.
Fundraising for Hydrogeology research: Jo Cooper noted that the Ordinance grants the LCC the power to apply for and receive gifts or grants in the town’s name for conservation purposes. Fred Stocking and Beverly Hartline (a Geophysicist) warned that the cost of a full study can be expected to fall in the $50-100,000 range, as it did in Bar Harbor. Peter Garrett may not be the only candidate to perform the study – alternatives should be explored, such as the consultant used in Bar Harbor. Carol wondered about the Cold Spring Water Company’s willingness to contribute, since they had helped fund the Gerber study. Beverly suggested that we inquire with the relevant disciplines at the University of Maine. She mentioned that Maine is an “EPSCOR state”, referring to its receiving little federal funding for Research and Development, which makes it eligible for special funding through an EPSCOR coordinator (and Scientific Advisor) in the Governor’s office, who could provide links to the Universities. The crux is whether our Aquifer study could be viewed, or constructed as research; and whether in research format, our questions would get answered.
Gravel Pit Reclamation : postponed to a better time.
Parks Ordinance : Final draft presented by Fred, and approved by a vote of 5-0.
Future Programs and Topics : deferred.
Fred shared some data on the increase in subdivision applications in town : from 2.1 per year in the 1990’s, to 14.3 per year since 2000. Building permit applications have not significantly increased. Curiously, the number of school aged children has dropped (including kindergarten aged children) while the subdivisions are increasing. This raises speculations about who is moving into town.
The meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m.
Lamoine Conservation Commission