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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

Minutes of November 19, 2009

Chairman Jo Cooper called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM

Present were: Selectmen S. Josephine Cooper, Kermit Theall, Richard Fennelly Jr., Gary McFarland; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Road Commissioner Michael Jordan. Selectman Cynthia Donaldson was absent due to the birth of a grandchild.

Agenda – No changes were proposed to the printed agenda and addendum.

Minutes – Jo moved to approve the minutes of November 5, 2009 with one minor correction. Richard 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

Expenditure warrant 10 – Selectmen signed warrant 10 for $201,729.98. Stu noted that the check numbers for a few checks generated late in the warrant process did not appear on page two. He said he would put those in. Stu noted that both bills for John Goodwin Jr. are included.

Cash & Budget Report – Richard asked about the major road project line. Stu said the project, paving Buttermilk Road, was complete and there should be no more expenditure. Gary asked if that included grading the shoulders. Stu said that's in the normal maintenance line.

Stu noted that excise tax has started to drop off. He said it was very slow for the first half of November.

Checking Account Reconciliation – Selectmen signed the statement expressing satisfaction with the checking account reconciliation.

Audit – Stu said the audit is in the last year of its contract. He said the Budget Committee had recommended seeking a price on a renewal with Jim Wadman, CPA. Richard moved to do so. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

Fire Truck Update – Stu reported the new fire truck would likely arrive next week.

Road Update – Michael Jordan reported both new culverts are installed on Needles Eye Road. Stu noted that he drove by the area on Sunday after the heavy rains, and the culverts appear to be working well.

Snow Removal – Stu asked if the town should be billing RSU #24 for the plowing of the school yard. Selectmen said that was OK with them.

Sculpture – Stu reported the sculpture from the Schoodic Sculpture Symposium was installed at Lamoine State Park on Veterans' Day. Kermit noted there was a nice write-up in the Ellsworth American about it.

Junkyard Application – Selectmen reviewed the draft application and suggested a few changes to the form. There were brief discussions about screening by trees, minimum height, whether the applicant is required to be present at the public hearing, and inspection by the Code Enforcement Officer.

Business Development – Stu reported he had sent an e-mail to Janet Toth, but had not heard back. Kermit said he met with Ms. Toth earlier in the day and she indicated that she would get back to Stu, and that Roxanne Jobe would likely be the next step in the process.

Shellfishing Ordinance – Richard said he'd not had any communications from the committee developing the ordinance since last meeting, but his e-mail address had changed since then. Several board members and Stu said they'd not received any communications either. There was a discussion about telling the budget committee that this is on the horizon, but the startup cost is not known. There was a discussion about what town meeting action would be required; i.e. ordinance approval, inter-local agreement approval and budget approval. The Board requested that the Budget Committee be given a heads up. Stu noted that one of the Selectmen in Sullivan did a radio interview and noted that this is intended to create 50-jobs in the area. Richard said if a single town took this on, the cost would be very high.

Single Stream Recycling – Stu said he put an e-mail thread about the idea of single stream recycling in the Selectmen's packets. He asked if there was any interest. Jo said she'd like to hear about the idea. There was a brief discussion about the cost potential. Selectmen said there was no harm in getting more information.

Letter to MDOT – Selectmen signed a letter to the Maine Department of Transportation thanking them for following up with some work on Route 204. Stu reported that he met with Joe Lacerda earlier in the day, and they will not be able to shim Mud Creek Road as the paving plant will shut down this week. He said Mud Creek Road was on the paving list for next summer.

Returnables – Jo moved to approve a request from the Parks Commission to have the returnable proceeds put into the parks fund at the next available month. Richard 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.

Municipal Review Committee Board – There was a brief discussion of the candidates for the election – none on the board was familiar with any of them. Jo moved to cast Lamoine's vote for John Chisholm of Levant. Richard 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

Town Report Cover – Stu showed the Board a picture of the newly installed sculpture as the proposed cover to the 2009 Town Report. There was no objection.

Budget Matters – Stu gave a synopsis of the Budget Committee discussion on the social service funding requests. He said there was no clear consensus on what the Budget Committee was recommending to the Selectmen, though several areas were under discussion. Richard asked how other towns handle the requests. Jo said some require petitions, some have no policy. She said Lamoine was unique with having a recommendation cap. There was a brief discussion about how the ordinance with the cap came about. Jo said this is always a contentious issue in any town, and the ordinance made it less so. A lengthy discussion followed.

Jo said she could see the attraction of a program like the Town of Rockport started using which places a flyer with the tax bill and offers to distribute donations to agencies. She said it offers the town kind of an “out” from the process, but support for agencies is diminished. She said the administrative staff would have to deal with the donation paperwork. Richard questioned how much extra time and cost that might take. He said he knows there is a strong sentiment to fund various nonprofit agencies. He said that's wonderful in a time when there is a lot of money, but now it's difficult to squeeze any tax dollars out. He said maybe the maximum recommendation should be cut, and the town could provide a Rockport-like opportunity to donate.

Jo said she kind of liked the combination idea. She said the town ought to support those agencies that support services that citizens need. There was a brief discussion about nonprofits and stimulus funding. Richard said he thinks there ought to be a reduction, not a cut all together. Gary said the feedback he gets from people is that they might donate to some agency that they like and not to an agency they dislike, but he would not favor cutting it out completely. Jo said nonprofits are also getting squeezed from all directions. Gary said some say they feel like they're being forced to donate. Jo said that's the reason that she, in her role as a nonprofit director, doesn't go to many towns to ask for funding – it's not worth her time.

Richard said state funding cuts to schools could lead to a further tax squeeze. Jo said nonprofits are trying to survive – donations are down. There was a discussion about providing more information about nonprofits at town meeting. Kermit said he thinks the board consensus is to knock down the maximum recommendation and offer the Rockport idea in addition. Stu said he would try to draft up some ordinance changes. He said they would not be in effect until the town meeting in 2011.

Budget Workshop – The submitted parks and planning budgets were OK with the Selectmen. Stu said he expected the fire chief to drop off the fire budget on Friday. He said he'd like to get that before the budget committee on Monday, but make clear to the Budget Committee that the Selectmen have not reviewed it, and they would like to. There was a discussion about grants for fire radios, including an article in the Maine Townsman about potential funding.

Local School Advisory Committee – Conflict – Stu reported his wife, Bonnie, had taken the JV Cheering Coach position at Ellsworth High School, and that possibly caused a conflict under the local school advisory committee ordinance. He said a review of the ordinance by the Advisory Committee determined that she was not in conflict as she is not supervised by the Superintendent, the building administrator or any of their direct subordinates. The Board of Selectmen said they had no problem with Bonnie continuing to serve on the Local Advisory Committee.

Planning Board/CEO Understanding – Stu reported he'd received an updated list from the Planning Board regarding their understanding from the recent meeting with the Selectmen in the relationship with the Code Enforcement Officer. Selectmen had no objection to the changes.

RCC Advisory Board – Stu reported the Hancock County Regional Communications Center (RCC) Board of Directors had been disbanded by the County Commissioners. He said the Commissioners are putting together a technical advisory board, and if the Selectmen were interested in nominating, he would be interested in serving. Selectmen said that would be fine.

Next Meeting – The next Selectmen's meeting is December 3, 2009

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:56 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen