Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Board of Selectmen
|Minutes of the Special Meeting of December 26, 2013|
Chair Jo Cooper called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM at the Lamoine Fire Station. This was an emergency special meeting called due to the ice storm that hit the region beginning on Saturday, December 21, 2013.
Present were: Selectmen Bernie Johnson, S. Josephine Cooper, Gary McFarland, Cynthia Donaldson, Nathan Mason; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, fire department members Joseph Reynolds, Michael Jordan, George Skip Smith, Christopher Bean, Douglas Jones, Frederick Cahn, Brett Jones, Joseph Young Jr., and plowing contractor Richard McMullen.
Expenditure Warrant 11 Selectmen signed warrant 11 in the amount of $35,049.22.
Ice Storm Jo said she was really impressed with the job that Richard McMullen's crew had done during the storm. She said winter has been a challenge, and it's not even January. She said the town would reimburse McMullen's company for all the tree cutting it had to do. She also thanked the members of the Lamoine Volunteer Fire Department who were present for responding to numerous calls and asked to hear about what's been going on.
Chief George Smith said the fire department has been out almost continually beginning Saturday morning December 21, 2013, doing what the department always does take care of problems. He said it's a volunteer force, and sometimes it's hard to keep going. Jo said the town relies on the volunteers. She said she was concerned about the elderly and the town needs to understand that we rely on volunteers and a lot of good neighbors. There was a brief discussion about the dangers of using candles during extended power outages.
Jo said the town need to talk about what has been done, what needs to be done, and specific needs such as where to get water. Gary asked if the Cold Spring Water Company had generator power. Doug Jones said he has been running it sporadically with a portable generator from the fire department. He said they got power back yesterday, but it went out again this evening. (The fire station was being powered by its generator during the meeting due to an outage). A discussion followed about the power being out tonight as well as the snowfall from the storm this evening.
Chief Smith said the fire department was running on car accidents and downed power line calls for the most part. He said there is little the fire department can do in regard to downed lines other than to mark the hazard with traffic cones. Jo asked if members of the fire department were away for the Christmas holiday. Chief Smith said not a lot were, and the regular crew has been around to respond. Joe Reynolds noted that while the fire department puts up barricades, people often move them to go around the hazard.
Jo noted the power and road problems would have been a lot worse if Bangor Hydro and the town had not performed tree trimming recently. Chief Smith noted the department has generators on board most of the trucks and could take them around if needed. He said that happened in 1998 but it has not yet happened this year. He said the power had been on and off enough for most folks to get some heat. He said the department has not received any calls for help from people who've been off for an extended period of time. Jo said it might be helpful for the fire department to provide basic training just for volunteers to check on people.
Brett Jones noted the cell phone network functioned through the entire storm. Cynthia noted that she has a rotary phone hooked to the copper phone lines in her home. Doug Jones said there didn't seem to be a central place for folks to call if they needed some help. There was discussion about publishing a number in the Lamoine Quarterly and whether a dedicated hard wired line should be installed at the town office. Stu noted that if there is no power, the phones, which are on a Cable TV line modem, do not work. A discussion followed about a centralized phone and publicizing a contact number. Chief Smith suggested having a generator to power the town hall. There was a discussion about disseminating information about various things associated with the emergency, including safe generator use.
The discussion turned to the road situation where many trees are encroaching the shoulders and travel lanes. Chief Smith suggested that the immediate need is to get the low hanging trees and branches removed and chipped and a bigger cleanup once the snow is gone. Richard McMullen said he has the tools and the crew that can handle that once they're done plowing, but he would have to rent a chipper. Jo moved to hire the crew from McMullen Landscaping to do the tree removal and chipping as needed. Gary 2nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Further discussion followed about an informational flyer about where to find resources such as water (the town hall and fire station), and a tip sheet for various issues surrounding extended power outages.
There was a brief discussion about how to fund a generator for the town hall Stu suggested that the Cable TV fund could be used.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:40 PM.
Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen