Town of Lamoine, Maine
The Official Website of Lamoine's Town Government
Lamoine Board of Selectmen
Minutes of September 16, 2010
Chair Jo Cooper called the meeting to order at 7:04 PM
Present were: Selectmen Gary McFarland, William Brann, S. Josephine Cooper; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon; Budget Committee members Kathleen DeFusco, Hubene Brodie, Henry Ashmore, Merle Bragdon, Robin Veysey; Shellfish Warden Mike Hall, and Lawrence Libby (Selectmen Fennelly and Donaldson had informed the Board they would not be able to attend).
Agenda Review – There were no changes to the printed agenda. Jo noted there were some addendum items.
Minutes of September 2, 2010 – Jo moved to approve the minutes as presented. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 3-0.
Expenditure Warrant 6 – Selectmen signed expenditure warrant 6 for $198,696.09. Stu noted that the largest bill was the monthly school bill, with trash disposal and transport. He noted that he purchased the new computer as authorized at the previous meeting.
Cash & Budget – There was a question about road maintenance. Stu reported that much of the work that is being done over the summer was encumbered, so the expense was booked in the previous fiscal year.
Balance Sheet 6/30/10 – Stu noted that the surplus balance at the end of the previous fiscal year, before the audit, appears to be about $320,000.
Investment Management Report – There were no questions about the written report.
Meeting with Budget Committee – Jo noted the Budget Committee met just prior to the Selectmen's meeting. She asked what the prognosis was for the coming year. Chair Henry Ashmore said they have scheduled meetings on October 18, November 8, November 29 and December 13 at 6:30 PM each night. He said that should be sufficient to handle the town portion of the budget.
Dr. Ashmore said the committee talked in generalities about goals, but there were no conclusions drawn. He said the committee wanted to hear from the Selectmen. He said the committee feels good that the town departments submit well thought-out budgets. He said the overall budget this year brought the mill rate down, and that's a good sign. He said everyone has felt the impact of the current economy. He said the more the town can lessen the burden on taxpayers, the better.
Jo agreed the economy has affected everyone. Dr. Ashmore said the town has needs, and the budget committee will try to keep the operational level of the town sound. Jo said there are hard choices ahead. She said the Selectmen have not had the budget conversation yet. She said the Selectmen want to increase revenues and they've talked about business development. She said that is going to take some time, especially if the town has to deal with zoning.
Gary said the Selectmen are trying to be business friendly. He said the town has done an excellent job to keep the budgets bare bones. Jo said they hope to have more projects like the cell phone tower to generate some income. A brief discussion followed on the cell tower.
William said there appear to be two budgets – the one the budget committee recommends and the one that comes out of town meeting. Dr. Ashmore said the amounts recommended are often increased by the town meeting. He said he is a strong proponent of open town meeting and doesn't like the idea of a referendum format. He said the issues for the budget committee are issues outside of the town's umbrella, such as the library, the YMCA, and the ambulance contract. William asked about the overall budget. Dr. Ashmore said it appears to be about $2.9 million dollars, with $2.1 million for the school. He said the town budget is about $669,000. He asked whether the allocation for debt service to MDI High School was part of the town or the education budget. Stu said it should be education, as that was included in the bill from RSU 24. William said it appears the budget that the committee and Selectmen have an influence on is about $627,000. A discussion followed on cutting small amounts from various lines.
Dr. Ashmore said the Budget Committee will try to balance wants and needs. William said he was pleased to see the snow plowing contract reduced thanks to the bidding process. Robin Veysey asked if there was anything new in the upcoming budget. Stu said the clerk's position is now full time, with benefits.
William asked Dr. Ashmore about his preference for open town meeting and a comment that a referendum process would make the budget approval process more difficult. Dr. Ashmore said if people vote on 20-articles and vote no on, for example, the administration budget, what happens then. He said you would have to go through the whole process again. He said it does happen in Lamoine, as the school budget went through it, and it's expensive. He said hearings on special town meetings are not well attended, so people are voting blind. He said there is reasonably good attendance at the open town meeting for the past several years, and if people are really concerned about the operation of the town, they will come to town meeting.
Merle Bragdon said he didn't think the fees for Code Enforcement permits reflect the costs to the town. Jo said the Selectmen hope to meet with the Planning Board to look at that, and some future ordinance changes. There was a brief discussion about ordinance changes and the building inspection requirements.
Meeting with Shellfish Warden – Jo said the town is excited to have enacted the Shellfish Management Ordinance. Warden Michael Hall said there has been no drama thus far. He said the ordinance has put a stop to people coming from outside the region, and he's working on rounding up a couple of violators. He said the clammers and the residents have been phenomenal. Jo said there is a lot of positive feeling about the program.
Warden Hall said he lives in Gouldsboro and is the shellfish warden there. He said he was a builder but dug clams and worms and was familiar with the flats and his fellow diggers. He said he wrote 8-to-9 summonses the first couple of weeks, so people knew he was not fooling around. He said the recreational diggers are not familiar with the rules. Jo said the ordinance and enforcement will make a big difference. Warden Hall said it should have a big impact on the amount of money the local diggers are making. A short discussion followed.
Warden Hall said there are 100+ licensed diggers, with 65-to-70 being commercial diggers. Gary said it's really a small business for each digger. Warden Hall encouraged folks to call his cell phone any time with ordinance concerns. He said the response has been positive, and his work experience in Gouldsboro has proven helpful.
Jo said it sounds like the program is off to a good start. Warden Hall said it will depend on the time of the year. He said Lamoine seems to have a lot more clams than other areas of the region. He said he has been putting in a lot of hours – he hasn't worked a week of under 50-hours so far. There was a discussion about the time of year and the amount of activity, and the fine money coming back to the towns. Jo said the ordinance will get more support from diggers if it is well regulated. Warden Hall said there is a younger generation of diggers that do not seem to respect private property owners. He said there was an incident on the Seal Point Road. He said he also checks property when he is out patrolling the flats.
Warden Hall said the best way to contact him is to use his cell phone (400-6183) or to call Ellsworth Police (667-2133). Stu asked if it would be OK to publicize the numbers in the Lamoine Quarterly and on the website. Warden Hall said it would. There was a brief discussion about donations to the program and enforcement at Lamoine State Park, which apparently is exempt from the ordinance.
Out Of Town Trash Complaint – Stu reported that Rusty Boynton would not be present this evening – a friend of Mr. Boynton had stopped by earlier in the day to let him know. Jo said she would like to resolve the issue. She asked about the communications from the transfer station manager Bill Fennelly being delivered directly to William, who said he normally makes his dump run on Saturday, and Mr. Fennelly gave it to him on Saturday instead of waiting until Monday. Jo said there are other ways to communicate these problems. William said he presumes that Mr. Fennelly writes them up at the transfer station.
Jo asked if Stu had any ideas on how to resolve this. Stu said he had requested information on how much trash might be involved with an idea of calculating what the disposal cost was and calculating a fine based on that, plus a bit of a penalty. He said cutting off Mr. Boynton from the transfer station really puts the residents of town in a pickle if they can't get rid of their trash. He said he could meet one on one with Mr. Boynton and draft up a settlement to bring back before the Selectmen for final approval.
William asked what happened the previous time – was it true Mr. Boynton was banned for a six month period. Stu said he believed it was 90-days and it happened in 1999. There was a brief discussion about trash disposal policies in other towns.
Stu restated the plan – that he speak with Mr. Boynton, come up with a reasonable number and come back to the Selectmen with a proposed settlement. Selectmen agreed that was correct.
Local School Advisory Committee Appointment – Jo moved to appoint Nathan Mason to the Local School Advisory Committee. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 3-0.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Jo moved to proclaim October as Domestic Violence Awareness month. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 3-0, Selectmen present signed the proclamation.
Town Meeting Warrant – The Selectmen present reviewed the wording of the town meeting warrant for November 2, 2010 and signed several copies of the warrant.
Parks – Kiosk – Stu reported that Kermit Theall has offered to build the two kiosks for the parks for $1,000 plus labor. He said the Parks Commission would like permission to draw down some of parks fund for completion of that project. Jo moved to approve, Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 3-0.
Vital Records – Stu reported the Legislature increased the fees for vital records significantly and the town office has started charging the new rates. He said part of that increase will be going back to the state, but for now no mechanism has been devised and delivered to do that. He said the payment would be due retroactively.
Municipal Review Committee Candidates – There was no interest in becoming an MRC representative.
Safety Works – Stu reported the inspection from Safety Works took place the previous day, and there is a lot of work to do in the next six months. He said a formal report from the Bureau of Labor Standards will be forthcoming.
Speed Trailer – Stu reported the MDOT speed trailer is working and is set up presently near the town office. He said there was an accident on the way to Lamoine from Blue Hill because the cotter pin on the trailer hitch was not installed, and the trailer fell off. He said he's been in touch with MDOT about it.
RCC / PSAP – Jo moved to authorize Stu to post comments regarding Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) consolidation to the Public Utilities Commission that have the Hancock County Regional Communication Center (RCC) retain its status as a PSAP. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 3-0, Selectmen signed the letter.
Fund Transfers – There was no objection to a set of inter-fund transfers within the investment management accounts to reflect the year end balances.
Planners – 2011 – Stu showed a couple of examples of planners for 2011. Selectmen said they liked the larger version and authorized Stu to order them.
Street Signs – William noted that the replacements for stolen street signs had arrived. Stu said he hoped the Road Commissioner would get around to installing them next week.
Next Meeting – The next regular meeting of the board will be October 7, 2010.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:18 PM
Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst.