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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

Minutes of June 3, 2010

Selectman acting chair Richard Fennelly Jr. called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM

Present were: Selectmen William Brann, Gary McFarland, Richard Fennelly Jr., Cynthia Donaldson, S. Josephine Cooper (arrived 7:50 PM); Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Deputy Code Enforcement Officer/Road Commissioner/Assessor Michael Jordan, Fire Chief George Smith, RSU # 24 Superintendent William Webster and Town Clerk/Tax Collector Jennifer Kovacs (arrived 7:40 PM)

Agenda Review The board agreed to switch the order of the agenda to meet with the Fire Chief prior to the meeting with the Superintendent of Schools as he had informed Stu that he would be a little late.

Minutes Richard said he had a few, very minor changes. Gary moved to approve the minutes as corrected, Richard 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0 (Donaldson abstained; the vote was taken after the arrival of Jo.)

Expenditure Warrant 24 Selectmen signed expenditure warrant 24 for $13,397.90. Richard said he was happy with the low number. Stu said the next one will be higher because the school bill will be on it.

Cash & Budget Report Cynthia noted that the revenue report over and under column compares the actual to the expected. Stu said the expected is based on the percentage of the year that has passed.

Checking Reconciliation Review Selectmen signed the form expressing satisfaction with the reconciliation of the checking account.

Meeting with Fire Chief Chief Skip Smith said he wanted to discuss putting in a water tank at the fire station to be filled with clean water. He said the Cold Spring Water Company has given permission, after being reluctant in past years. He said the water from the various ponds around town is acidic and is deteriorating the pumps and the tanks on the trucks. He said water level gauges on the trucks have had to be replaced in the past few years. He said the idea is to put in a tank with fresh, clean water at the station for filling trucks returning after fire calls or training. He said a high volume pump would be hooked to the tank.

Richard asked if there is room for such a tank. Chief Smith said the neighboring property owner has requested to cut the trees, so that would leave some space for a tank. He said there is probably room for a 5,000 gallon tank, though he would prefer a 10,000 gallon tank. Richard asked what the capacity of the trucks is. Chief Smith said about 5,000 gallons. There was a discussion about the refill time for the tank, the configuration, the water company fee and the cost. Chief Smith said they've not yet come up with a cost; he's looking for a used tank.

Chief Smith said the person living next to the fire station would like to see the trees on the boundary line cut down and he's in the process of getting prices. Bill asked if there was any sense of the cost of the fire tank. Chief Smith said possibly in the $10,000 range. He said the intent is to use funds raised by the fire department. He said he would prefer a fiberglass tank. He said the general rule of thumb on tank cost for a cement tank is $1/gallon. Bill asked how many times a year the tank would have to be filled. Chief Smith says he could see using it a lot with the amount of practice the department does. Stu said he estimated once a month. Chief Smith agreed and said the department has permission to refill in Ellsworth as well.

Richard asked if the completion time for the project was two years. Chief Smith said that is close to a reasonable assumption. There was a brief discussion about the tank at the Grange Hall and other dry hydrants in town.

Chief Smith asked if the Selectmen could consider the tree removal costs. There was a brief discussion on where to get the funds, which should not be a problem. There was a brief discussion on which trees would be cut.

Meeting with Superintendent of Schools

Superintendent William Webster reviewed the presentation given at the RSU 24 budget meeting on May 26, 2010. He said there would be no teacher layoffs thanks to retirements and resignations, but 78 stipend positions were cut. There was a discussion about co-curricular positions and salary increases.

Superintendent Webster said the assessment to Lamoine is down approximately $29,000 from the previous year. There was a brief discussion about cash flow for both the town and the RSU. Superintendent Webster said next year could be another tough budget cycle. He said if any decision involves closing a school or moving middle school students, there would be ample time for discussion.

Bill asked how the RSU stacks up against other systems around the state. Superintendent Webster said there are a great variety of systems. He said it's clear the RSU 24 towns support education, but they are being very prudent in how the taxpayers' dollars are spent. He said the budget still needs cutting, but educational programming is still being provided. He said there will be a full time teaching principal in Lamoine, and a combining of two classes.

Bill said when he moved to Lamoine there were two classes per teacher, and he got used to it. Superintendent Webster said teachers will have to be trained for multi-grade classes. He said that would be how small schools can keep operating. Jo asked if all the students from the outlying schools could be placed in Ellsworth. There was a brief discussion about the capacity of the new Ellsworth Elementary/Middle School and about closing schools.

Bill asked whether the No Child Left Behind policy was still in effect. He asked if it would be more difficult for teachers to achieve those goals with multi-grade classes. Superintendent Webster said a good teacher in a multi-grade class can be every bit as effective. There was a discussion about how to measure student achievement.

Lot Transfer Stu asked if any towns in the RSU have officially deeded over property to the RSU. Superintendent Webster said there is one. Stu said there is a problem with Lamoine's as it creates two non-conforming lots from one. Superintendent Webster said many districts have spent a lot of money on the issue. He said if Lamoine wanted to lie low on this until the RSU comes knocking, that should be OK. He said the school is insured, the fire station is insured, and if there are issues, they can be worked out. He noted that the Ellsworth Football League is using the Lamoine field to play this coming season. Richard said letting things be for now is not a bad idea. There was a brief discussion about the new principal.

MDI Debt Service Vote - Jo said she hoped Superintendent Webster could be present at the public hearing on June 14 th . She said the goal is to try to get as much information to voters ahead of the decision on June 29 th . Superintendent Webster said he is limited to what he can say. He said the RSU Board voted on March 16, 2010 that it would not enter into contracts with schools outside the RSU. He said Lamoine's High School choice is written into statute.

Cynthia said it's important that people have information. Jo said the board is not taking sides, only trying to provide information access. She said she hopes people will take advantage of it. Stu asked whether, if the vote passes, the RSU can negotiate the price with MDI High School. A short discussion followed. Superintendent Webster said he could be present on the 14 th as a resource.

Budget Validation Warrants Selectmen signed the warrant for the Budget Validation vote scheduled for June 8, 2010. The signing process started prior to Superintendent Webster's arrival and was completed when Chairman Cooper arrived.

The vote to approve the minutes was taken at this point (see minutes section)

Resignation Jo moved to accept the resignation of Assistant Clerk/Assistant Tax Collector Diane Carter with regret. Bill 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Replacement Plan Assistant Clerk/Assistant Tax Collector Jo said she has been looking over the job description. She said she knows that Stu has recommended that Jennifer Kovacs be hired full time. She asked if there was any particular reason why there are two part time workers. Stu reviewed the history of the assistant clerk position that was created in 2002 when it was clear that two people were needed in the office and the clerk at that time did not wish to work full time.

Jo said she was reviewing the pros and cons of the various options, and one that struck her was the extra set of eyes on transactions that would come with a second part timer. Richard said his preference is one, full time position. Bill said it would add to the employee's stability if the employee were brought on full time. Richard asked Jennifer if she would be more inclined to be a longer term employee if she were offered the position full time. Jennifer said she's been here for 7-years and didn't plan on going anywhere else any time soon.

Cynthia said the Board needs to make the decision based not on who the employee would be but on what would be better for the town. Jo said she could see it both ways. She asked what the timing would be. Stu said Diane's last day is the 15 th . Cynthia said the flexibility has been good with two part time positions. A discussion followed regarding an accrued time off bank.

Stu said he recommends the town clerk/tax collector's job be full time with the possibility that an on-call person be available for fill-ins. Bill said it's important to have good chemistry in the office and a short discussion followed. Jo asked if a probationary time could be built into the full time position. There was a brief discussion and the feeling was that the full time position could be created on a trial basis and evaluated in September. Bill noted that if Jennifer were to decide to leave, if the job were full time, the candidate pool would likely be beefed up. A short discussion followed on applicant pools.

Jo moved to make the town clerk/tax collector/registrar position a full time job as of June 21, 2010 for a trial basis to be evaluated in September. Richard 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.

Hodgkins Scholarship Stu said he had listed all eight applicants and left a blank box next to each one for the Board to determine the scholarship amount. He said he would have no further involvement because of an interest he has in the list. There was a brief discussion about how much was available and how much could be used. The Board opted to process the applications and paper work in executive session.

Resolves Commending Honor Graduates Selectmen signed certificates of commendation for the following who will graduate with honors:


High School

Jennifer Tupper


Rebecca Wakefield


Brittney Robbins


Alicia Lofton


Gabrielle Huebner


William Dickey


Derek Potter


Mackenzie Curtis


Job Description Stu recommended holding off on approval of the updated job description for the clerk/tax collector given the recent development of a full time position. There was no action on the matter.

Shellfishing Ordinance/Licenses Richard reported that the City of Ellsworth is working to create postings for property owners indicating that the new ordinance will be in effect. There was a discussion about laminating the posters and the process for license sales.

Sculpture Celebration Cynthia reported the celebration for the sculpture at Lamoine State Park will be held on August 21 st or 22nd (rain date). She said it would be more party than ceremony.

Survey Distribution Cynthia said she would not be able to distribute surveys after 2PM. Stu said he could try after 2PM.

Next Meeting(s) The Selectmen will meet next on June 17, 2010 for a regular meeting. The public hearing on the June 29, 2010 referendum will be held on June 14, 2010 at 6:30 PM at the school. Stu noted the assessors will meet on June 10, 2010 at 6PM and have invited the Selectmen to that meeting. Several Selectmen said they would try to attend.

Executive Session Jo moved to enter executive session pursuant to 1MRSA §405(6)(a) for the purpose of job performance reviews and to process scholarship applications. Cynthia 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0 at 8:57 PM.

Out at approximately 10:30 PM

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting adjourned at 10:30 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst.