Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Board of Selectmen
Minutes - January 11, 2007
Chairman Jo Cooper called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM
Present were: Selectmen Josephine Cooper, Brett Jones, Richard Fennelly Jr., Perry Fowler, Cynthia Donaldson; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Asst. Town Clerk Kathleen DeFusco, members of the public Ed Miller, Chris Tadema-Wielandt , and Merle Bragdon.
The meeting was televised and recorded by Lamoine CTV
Agenda Review – No changes to the meeting order were requested. Three items were placed on the agenda addendum.
Minutes – Richard said he felt it would be useful to have a better representation of the discussion of state education funding in the December 21, 2006 minutes. He said he thought it important to understand the impact of growth on the General Purpose Aid to Education formula. He noted the town's average growth is about 15%. Brett moved to review the notes and the recording and present a revision at the next meeting.
Jo said she'd like to think about that. She said the minutes contain a lot of detail but not a transcript. She said the recording of the meeting has the detail if needed. She asked where the line is drawn. Richard said he agreed there are lots of details in the minutes, but this issue was very short. Cynthia said she thought the notes are lengthier than they need to be. Brett said the minutes are the official town record. Jo said she agreed that people do look at the minutes. Richard said the recordings are also an official record. A discussion about the detail needed in the minutes followed. Richard asked if there was any reason that the facts he requested shouldn't come out. Jo said no, she was just asking where the line is drawn. Richard said he would be fine recognizing in the minutes of this meeting that the topic of the last meeting was not in the minutes. A short discussion followed. Brett restated his motion. Perry 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0, Fennelly abstained.
Cynthia said she thinks the issues in the minutes are important, but it's not always necessary to have so much detail. There was a lengthy discussion about the availability of information from the town. Cynthia suggested noting that a recording of the meeting is available for the public to review. Chris Tadema-Wielandt asked if the recording of the meeting could be put on the website. Stu said it's possible but there is not enough staff time to be able to accomplish that. Brett said he doubted Time Warner would allow enough bandwidth for that to happen.
Resignation of William Fennelly – Cynthia moved to accept the resignation of William Fennelly from the Parks Commission with regret. Perry 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0. Jo signed a letter to Mr. Fennelly accepting his resignation.
Opening on Parks Commission – It was asked if anyone was interested in serving. Stu reported Julie Herrick had reported interest. Selectmen asked that the opening be advertised and interest be expressed by next meeting.
Harbor Ordinance – Stu reported that after consulting with Maine Municipal Association he had changed the wording of the draft ordinance to allow minors to hold a permit with parental permission. Merle Bragdon asked what would happen if a mooring slipped, and if a minor could be held liable. Stu said the parental permission statement should address that, but he could call the Marine Patrol if needed. Selectmen indicated they would prefer to see the wording changed so that anyone under 18 must have parental permission. Jo asked if this would be enacted at the town meeting. Stu said it would have to. Cynthia asked if there were no age limits now. Stu said that was correct. Brett said there should be no age limit.
Warrant 13 – Selectmen signed expenditure warrant 13 for $174,001.68. Stu noted $130,000 was in school expenses. He said the bill for the road work came in for less than the bid price.
Cash & Budget Report – There were no questions
Checking Account – Selectmen signed the statement expressing satisfaction with the review of the checking account reconciliation.
Foreclosed Property – Stu reported one tax lien filed in 2005 had foreclosed. He said he searched for the owner on line to make sure she still existed and there was no obituary and there was a feature article about her in the Bangor Daily News a while back. He noted that the 2005/06 taxes were paid, but the 2004/05 and 2006/07 were not. He said he drafted a letter for Jo to sign offering the property back to the owner for all back taxes and fees.
Mr. Tadema-Wielandt asked if the payment of a property tax should be applied to the oldest tax. Stu said normally it would unless it was clearly specified what the payment was to be applied to. He said the 2005/06 tax payment clearly was for that tax as it was the 30-day notice amount and would not have completely paid the 04/05 tax lien.
Jo signed the letter to Jane Kimball offering to sell back the property.
Excise Tax Report – A short discussion on the excise tax report ensued noting the similarity of the amount reported for 2006 being similar to the 2005 amount. Stu noted the Rapid Renewal amounts are not included. Selectmen said it would be good to include those amounts.
Town Meeting Warrant – Stu said articles 9-to-19 are different from last year's warrant. Cynthia asked about the specifics of the overdraft articles.
There was a discussion of the Jina's Gym fund, and who controls it. Stu said he would ask David Bridgham. Merle Bragdon asked that instead of using the $200,000 from gravel sales to lower the bond amount, why not set it aside to use for the school project to supplement a possible overdraft, then if there is any left over, have it appropriated to help offset the property tax. Discussion followed on interest earnings vs. the pay down savings. The Selectmen said they'd like to see this put on the budget committee agenda. A lengthy discussion followed on the merits of lowering the initial bond principal vs. using the money to apply to future payments or design changes/overruns.
Ed Miller asked why the budget committee was not involved in the process. He said it's possible the committee could have asked the town to float a bigger bond. Jo said there was no intent to bypass the budget committee. She explained the timing of the process and there was no dollar figure until early December. She said the Budget Committee did discuss the project, though they were not officially asked. She said the Budget Committee is an advisory committee and it would make sense that they weigh in on the matter. She said the Selectmen, Budget Committee, and School Committee have agreed on the budget for the past several years, and she credited good budgeting practices for that. She said she was uncomfortable that someone was left out, but it was purely a timing issue because of the deadline to approve the renovation project. She said she would like to look at how the Budget Committee functions at some point. She said the committees have done a much better job of communicating. A short discussion followed on the budget committee's role and the bonding issues noted above. Cynthia said a mechanism to ensure the budget committee is involved is needed.
Selectmen said they'd like to discuss the Budget Committee issue further at the January 25 th meeting.
Other – Kathy DeFusco asked if there was any progress on voting on money matters by referendum ballot. Selectmen briefly discussed it and said the issue had withered on the vine.
Consent Agreement – Stu reported that town attorney Tony Beardsley had drafted the agreement. Jo said she'd like to read it over. Stu said if there are any glaring errors to get them to him prior to the next meeting. He said he gave a copy to the Belches and the DEP and awaited final wording approval from Mr. Beardsley.
Selectmen's Report in Town Report – Selectmen said they'd like to read it over.
Plow Contract – Stu said he called the Town of Hancock , and their contract with Nankervis runs out after the 2009 season. Selectmen said they didn't have any interest in sharing contracts with other towns. Stu asked whether a salt priority program would be preferred. Cynthia said we want to be clear about what we bid on. Perry said there is no real benefit to the town from the salt priority program. He said the town should bid the way it always has, and avoid a re-bid. He said the salt priority program is a bigger benefit to the person with the contract to do. He asked about removing the performance bond requirement. Selectmen said the contract should be bid with and without a bond.
There was a discussion on whether the bid ought to include a town provided storage shed. Selectmen said to add that as an option to the bid. Stu said he would draft up a bid package for the next meeting.
Next Meeting – The next regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen will be January 25, 2007.
There was a brief discussion of past efforts on analyzing the feasibility of a public works department.
Being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:35 PM
Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst.