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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

 

(l-r ) Gary McFarland, Richard Fennelly Jr., Jo Cooper, Cynthia Donaldson
Minutes of December 6, 2012

Chair Jo Cooper called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM.

Present were: Selectmen Cynthia Donaldson, S. Josephine Cooper, Richard Fennelly Jr., Gary McFarland; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Code Enforcement Officer Michael Jordan

Agenda Review – Stu reported he had a returnable request from the 8 th grade and the contract for the Small Animal Clinic to add to the agenda.

Minutes of November 15, 2012 – Richard and Cynthia submitted written corrections that were minor in nature. Jo moved to approve the minutes as corrected. Richard 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

Expenditure Warrant 11 – Selectmen signed the warrant in the amount of $65,170.45. Stu noted $37-thousand was for two settlements approved by the Board of Assessors in regard to tree growth penalties.

Cash & Budget Report – Richard asked about the legal expenses line and whether there were any more legal expenses expected. Stu said the Old Point Inc. valuation case is still active but he wasn't sure when that might go before the County Commissioners. Mike Jordan noted the Gott appeal on the denied gravel extraction permit is still in the court system.

Richard asked if the RSU withdrawal expenses were accurate. Gary said they've spent very little thus far on the process. He said the town is sharing an attorney with Ellsworth and Hancock and that has helped to hold down expenses. He said the withdrawal committee has not met with attorney Bearor in about 6-weeks.

Checking Account Reconciliation – Selectmen signed the state expressing satisfaction with the review of the checking account reconciliation that had been e-mailed to them prior to the meeting.

Foreclosure Status – Stu noted that two parties had paid the 2010/11 tax liens since he printed the list for the board a few days ago. The automatic foreclosure date is December 17, 2012.

Appointment of Registrar of Voters – Jo moved to appoint Jennifer Kovacs as the Registrar of Voters for a 2-year term, and to appoint Stuart Marckoon as Deputy Registrar for the same term. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0. Selectmen signed the appointment papers as the meeting was ending.

RSU 24 Withdrawal Update – Gary reported that the withdrawal committee is making progress on an agreement, and it's down to 2-and-a-half sticking points. He said Hancock is in about the same spot, and the Lamoine committee hopes to have a joint meeting with Hancock in about a week. He said he remains hopeful that the RSU will accept the agreement. He said they will likely need to bring in the attorney to work up the final language. He said if things go well, an agreement could be possible in late December or in January. He said if the RSU does not accept the agreement, it could drag on.

Gary said if the agreement is reached, the next task is to formulate a budget to figure out how much it will cost to run the school. He said the Lamoine committee had hoped for a possible vote in either February or March, but Hancock would not be ready to vote then. He said the Education Commissioner sets the voting date. He said it might happen in June.

Gary said if the approval referendum goes into the next fiscal year, it could cost a lot more money. He said the committee is trying to convince the RSU to allow the agreement to be retroactive if it is voted on during the new fiscal year.

Richard asked when it might be known how much it would cost to run the school. Gary said he hopes it would be well before the public vote so there is plenty of information available. He said the committee has not started the budget, but they do have some figures. He said once the school audit is completed, that will be helpful. He said food services, transportation, information technology and special education are some key areas and they are trying to obtain figures for those cost centers.

Gary said the meeting minutes have finally been produced. Stu said he'd received them via e-mail earlier in the day and they are now posted on line, too. He said he also sent out an e-mail to the committee in his capacity as the Freedom of Access Officer reminding the committee that meeting dates and locations need to be posted. Gary said the committee hopes to keep up to date on the minutes, and that the meetings will end soon.

Gary said the administrative budget could have Lamoine paying for services that are not received because contracts are involved. He said there has been some pretty heavy discussion about that. He said the Lamoine withdrawal committee has not negotiated for Superintendant services.

Deed with RSU 24 – Stu reported that attorney Anthony Beardsley e-mailed the deed late this afternoon and it was waiting for him when he arrived before the meeting tonight. Jo moved to sign the deed. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0; Selectmen signed the deed of four parcels to the school department.

Town Meeting – Stu noted that nomination papers for the two Selectmen seats and one Assessor set will be available on December 17th . Jo asked whose seat was up. Stu said it was Richard. Richard said he was thinking of not running again.

Warrant Draft – Selectmen reviewed a very rough draft of the town meeting warrant, and suggested some changes in article order. There were discussions about the cost of a new fire truck, billing from East Lamoine Cemetery, and the donation request. Richard asked if there was any sense of the budget impact in light of the federal “fiscal cliff” situation. Stu said it looks like the municipal budget would require about the same amount of property tax as the year previous.

Town Report – There was a brief discussion about what to use for a cover photo, as well as to whom to dedicate the report. The discussion evolved into a review of the Lamoine Historical Society calendars and ways to encourage sales of them.

Town Meeting Publicity – Jo noted there was concern about getting the word out about town meeting. Ideas included sending word home with school students, and possibly posting campaign style signs at key intersections around town.

Holiday Hours – Stu said the tentative plan is for the transfer station to be open all day on the Friday after Christmas, though he had not run that by the transfer station manager. He said the town office usually closes at noon on Christmas Eve and 2PM on New Year's Eve. The board had no objection.

Lamoine Quarterly – Stu said the Board won't meet again until January 3rd , so he would like to have a final draft ready for approval at that meeting. There was no objection.

Planning Board/Gravel Pit Expansion – Stu said the Planning Board chair had planned to attend, but was not here this evening. He updated the board on the process of the proposed expansion by Harold MacQuinn, Inc. He said the Planning Board had found the application complete and that a public hearing is scheduled for January 8, 2013 at 6:30 PM, either at the town hall, or if there is enough interest, at the school.

Assessors/Tree Growth Settlement – Stu reported the Board of Assessors had reached a settlement with two parties that had appealed tree growth penalties that were imposed several years go. The case was supposed to be heard by the Board of Property Tax Review a week ago, but the attorneys for both sides came up with a settlement that both sides agreed to which involved refunding half of the penalties to the parties without interest, and leaving the property unenrolled in the tree growth program. He noted that the refunds to the parties were on the warrant signed earlier.

House Numbering Program – Stu reported that he and Iris Simon developed an idea to have the fire department run a program where folks could order a reflective number sign to post at their driveway. He said the Penobscot County Sheriff's Department manufactures the signs, and there are flyers that would be publicized in the next Lamoine Quarterly and on the town's website. He said Mrs. Simon would also help spread the word. Jo moved to proceed with the program. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

December 29, 2012 – Stu reported this is the day that same sex marriage licenses legally become available and Lamoine is one of a very few town offices open on that date. He said it's Town Clerk Jennifer Kovacs' turn to work, but he planned to be on hand from 8am to 11am to assist with a possible heavy demand for marriage licenses. He asked about doing a press release to explain what hours the office will be open and what folks will need to bring to expedite the marriage license application process. Selectmen felt that would be a good idea. Richard suggested posting the hours on the outside sign for that day, and holding firm to the opening and closing times.

Additional Insurance – Volunteer Firefighters – Stu reported Maine Municipal is once again offering additional insurance for volunteer firefighters. He said the cost is $40/firefighter, but no money has been budgeted for this insurance. He said there has been no inquiry from the fire department about obtaining insurance beyond Workers' Compensation. Jo said she was not eager to add to the insurance costs of the town.

Returnables Request – Jo moved to approve the next available month for Lamoine's 8th Grade Class. Richard 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0.

Small Animal Clinic Sheltering Contract – Stu read the new policy statement from the Small Animal Clinic in regard to sheltering stray cats and dogs. Jo moved to sign the contract. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 4-0. Selectmen signed the contract.

Next Meetings – There will be no formal meeting on December 20th . Stu said he would have expenditure warrant 12 ready to sign on that date, and will leave it on the table by his office for Selectmen to sign at their convenience. He said it would also be posted on the town's website and encouraged Selectmen to call if there are any questions.

Jo read the rest of the schedule which includes the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month from January through March, with the annual town meeting on March 12 th and 13 th .

Executive Session – Cynthia moved to enter executive session pursuant to 1MRSA §405 (6)(a) to review the Code Enforcement Officer's job performance pursuant to his probationary contract. Gary 2nd . Vote in Favor was 4-0 at 7:55 PM. Out at 8:10 PM.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Administrative Assistant to the Selectmen