Meeting Minutes

7/8/03, 7:05 PM at the Town Hall



Those Present:  Committee Members: Ken Smith, Reggie McDevitt, Jay Fowler, Dennis Ford, Duane Crawford and Chris Tadema-Wielandt.  No non-Committee members were present.


·        The minutes of the April 14 meeting were reviewed.  Reggie moved to accept them as written, Jay seconded the motion and all were in favor.


·        Ken reported on his May 8 meeting with the selectmen.  He provided the selectmen with an updated status of the land search, which included the following highlights:


·        Ken indicated that the letter and questionnaire were modified to reflect the selectmen’s comments.  He provided the Committee with a sample of what was sent to the selected landowners.


·        Ken reviewed the methodology used to develop the mailing list for the letter/questionnaire and the results obtained to date.  At Ken’s request, Stu ran a specialized search of the computerized tax records database to identify all parcels of 20 acres or more, of which there were 138.  Ken then reviewed each one and eliminated those that were: town or state-owned; located on the aquifer or in the “residential” zone; held in a conservation easement or in tree growth; located in remote portions of the town; shaped irregularly or very narrow; known to be wet; previously evaluated and determined to be unsuitable; or already known to be unavailable based on conversations with the owners.  This reduced the number of parcels to 64.  Some of these were owned by the same individual, so 59 packages were mailed on June 3.  By the meeting date (July 8), responses had been received on 24 parcels, which reflected a parcel response rate of 38% (as of October 31, 28 responses had been received, or 44%).  The breakdown was as follows:

            Possible interest within the next year:       5 (6 as of 10/31)

            Maybe at some point in one to five years:            7

            No interest at any time:                         12 (15 as of 10/31)


·        Ken advised that he would do a preliminary on-site screening of those sites that might be available for sale to the Town within five years.  Dennis suggested that we look at population density as another site evaluation criteria, both for these sites and to identify other potential sites for consideration if none of these are determined to be suitable.  For those sites that appear to have potential, Ken will solicit others to walk the sites with him.  Action: Ken to conduct a preliminary on-site screening.


·        Ken noted that one of the responses was from Tim Gott.  Tim expressed interest in trading land with the Town rather than outright purchase by the Town.  Reggie indicated that he was finally able to reach Doug Gott yesterday and talked with him again today as well.  Doug mentioned the swap, but wasn’t able to provide any details –Tim’s handling it.  Jay reminded the group that there’s ledge on the site, but there should be sufficient areas suitable for a septic system.  Moreover, it would be desirable to construct the building on ledge.  Ken suggested that it would be best for him not to be involved in the discussions with Tim Gott until the stump grinding project is approved or rejected.  There were no other volunteers to meet with Doug and/or Tim, so Reggie agreed to continue his discussions with Doug to establish what Tim has in mind.  Reggie wanted to be sure that the Committee didn’t expect him to negotiate with Gott, since that should be the prerogative of the selectmen.  Everyone agreed that we’re only trying to find out what Tim has in mind so that we can propose something to the selectmen for their consideration.  Action: Reggie will talk further with Doug and/or Tim Gott.  Ken will work through Stu to obtain a reduced size copy of the development map used at the town meeting and provide it and a blank copy of the aquifer map to Reggie.


·        Ken provided an update on the Zerrien parcel.  He talked with Steve Joy of the Katsiaficas Agency, who represents the Zerriens, on May 19 regarding the Committee’s desire to dig test pits on the property.  Steve checked with the Zerriens and they agreed to allow us to dig them, provided that the digging be witnessed by a licensed soil scientist and that the Zerriens receive a copy of the report.  They need to utilize this approach, because they recognize that the soils are marginal.  Then, if there’s an unacceptable report, they will at least have the comfort that it was prepared by a qualified soil scientist since it could be detrimental to the sale of the property.  After talking with Stu, Ken advised Steve that we would hold off until we receive the responses to our questionnaire to Lamoine landowners and conduct preliminary evaluations of those sites that the owners have an interest in selling to the Town.  Then we would be in a position to have test pits on potentially suitable parcels dug and witnessed by a qualified soil scientist in one day.  I also told Steve that he would be getting a letter and questionnaire, which he did, and he returned it indicating a possible interest in selling to the Town in one to five years. 

·        Ken informed the group that John Holdsworth had heard rumors that the Bangor Hydro complex on Jordan River Road may be abandoned as a result of the acquisition of Bangor Hydro by a New Brunswick company and the expected consolidation of their operations.  Ken contacted the Bangor Hydro property manager who advised that, “to the best of his knowledge,” there are no plans whatsoever to close and dispose of the Lamoine property.  However, he suggested that we do what other communities have done, which is to send a letter expressing interest in a particular piece of property if it ever becomes available.  He maintains a file folder of such letters for each of their sites.  Ken advised him that such a letter would have to come from the selectmen or the town administrator.  Ken talked with Stu, and agreed to prepare a draft letter for the selectmen.  Action: Ken to draft a letter and provide it to Stu.


Next Committee Meeting:  It was agreed that the next meeting will be scheduled after Ken has conducted the preliminary site evaluations of the “questionnaire sites.”


The meeting adjourned at approximately 8:30 PM.


Respectfully submitted,


Ken Smith