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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

 
 
Jo Cooper
Gary McFarland
Bernie Johnson
Nathan Mason
Heather Fowler
 
 Minutes - March 26, 2015

Chairman Gary McFarland called the meeting to order at 7:01 PM.

Present were:  Selectmen Gary McFarland, Nathan Mason, Heather Fowler, Bernie Johnson (arrived 7:40 PM); Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Scott Parsons (County Ambulance), Carter Newell, Kathleen Rybarz, Code Enforcement Officer Michael Jordan, Harbor Master David Herrick, Catherine deTuede, Recreation Committee member Tim Jordan, and State Representative Brian Hubbell.  Selectman Jo Cooper was unable to attend.

Agenda Review – No change to the printed agenda or addendum was proposed.

Minutes – March 12, 2015 – Heather moved to approve the minutes of March 12, 2015 as written.  Nathan 2nd.  Vote in favor was 3-0.

Expenditure Warrant 19 – Selectmen signed the warrant in the amount of $101,191.05.  Nathan asked whether this was the last month of the plow bill.  Stu reported there should be one more bill for April, but he would check the contract.

Cash & Budget Reports – There were no questions regarding the printed reports.

Debt Service – Stu explained the error on the town meeting warrant overstated the total debt because he apparently hit the addition button twice when adding the proposed loan for the rescue boat, thus overstating the debt amount by $75,000.

Tax Acquired Property – Stu reported that the DesIsles family has paid all back taxes, fees and interest on Map 2 Lots 25 and 25-1 in full.  He recommended the Selectmen execute a quitclaim deed as per town meeting vote.  Heather moved to sell the property back to the Estate of Doris DesIsles.  Nathan 2nd.  Vote in favor was 3-0, Selectmen signed the quitclaim deeds.  (Note, Selectman Johnson signed following his arrival, Selectman Cooper signed on Monday, March 30, 2015).

Cell Tower Sale – Gary said American Tower Company has purchased the cell phone tower from Verizon Wireless, and that no action is needed.  Stu said he had not spoken with American Tower, but the town gets about a letter a week from speculators looking to buy the lease for pennies on the dollar.

Hodgkins Scholarship – Stu reported there will be about $27,000 available to distribute.  Gary, Nathan and Heather agreed to serve as the award committee.

County Ambulance Contract – Gary noted the letter from County Ambulance referred to the Town of Surry, but the contract says Lamoine.  Scott Parsons said that was a clerical error.  Nathan asked about the rate increase.  Mr. Parsons said the first year of the contract is the same as the current year, the 2nd and 3rd years increase.  Stu asked what the contact covers.  Mr. Parson says there is 24/7 ambulance coverage, and they cover town events such as the Flat Top 5K and respond to structure fires and training burns without charge.  He said they replace first aid equipment.  He said if there is no transport, there is no charge to the patient.  He said County Ambulance responded to 101 calls in Lamoine, and 26 of those resulted in no transport.  He said there were 3 cardiac arrest incidents in 2015, and those cost them $500 to $600 in supplies per call.  Stu asked about staffing.  Mr. Parsons said they’ve added another person at night so there are two full crews on duty.  He said they have changed their dispatching procedure to a paging system and that has been successful.

Nathan moved to approve the contract.  Heather 2nd.  Vote in favor was 3-0, Selectmen present signed the contract.

Commercial Fishing Pier Proposal – Carter Newell, a commercial mussel farmer, gave a brief history of Lamoine State Park.  He said he would be talking about a pier structure on the eastern side of the waterfront.

Mr. Newell said commercial fishermen have used the beach at the state park for a long time.  He said there are no good piers on Frenchman Bay that are suitable for commercial operations, and he would like to see a deep water pier developed. He said it is tough to operate at low tide with a couple of tons of mussels.  He said the old pier is in pretty good shape.

Mr. Newell said he has worked with Brian Mulligan and Jamie Logan at the Department of Economic and Community Development and there may be funds to fix up the pier.  He said because the state cannot grant money to itself, the town could purchase the area and apply for the grant.  He said the Harbor Master supports the idea, but the Bureau of Parks and Lands does not.  He said the town would have to get behind the project and it could generate some revenue through pier use stickers. 

Mr. Newell said he would be willing to put in the effort to get this going, and the commercial fishermen would also be willing to put in the effort.  He said the cruise ship traffic has essentially closed off the pier in Bar Harbor to commercial fishermen.  Harbor Master David Herrick said it would be a great help if there was a working pier.  Gary asked if the idea was to accommodate only the commercial fishermen.  A discussion and review of pictures and possible operations followed.

Mr. Newell said the Bureau of Parks and Lands owns the property and they would have to sell it to the town.  Gary said the town would have to gauge whether the state is willing to sell a portion of the park.  State Representative Brian Hubbell who arrived during the discussion said he has no idea how to do it as he knows of no previous negotiation to transfer a state park to a town.  There was a brief discussion of park uses.

Nathan said this is something interesting to look at down the road.  Heather said she would like to see if play out.  Gary said he was for the idea.  A brief discussion followed on the history of fishing in Lamoine.  Nathan said the infrastructure needs will have to be determined.  Code Enforcement Officer Michael Jordan said any transfer would have to include enough land to fit the ordinances.  He said the Planning Board is in the process of seeing what the State Park has planned. 

Mr. Newell said he was looking to get a thumbs up to proceed from the Board of Selectmen.  Gary said no one has made a motion.  Stu said the Board probably needs to know what the next step will be, and perhaps State Rep. Hubbell could play a role.  Mr. Hubbell said he would help find out what he could.    Mr. Newell said he would look into raising funds and helping out with grant proposals. 

Heather moved to begin the research into possible commercial fish pier development at the State Park property.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 3-0.

Cemetery Contract – Gary said Forest Hill Cemetery has not given a reason why they reject the town’s contract offer.  He said he would like to speak with a representative to find out why.  Stu said he would see if the cemetery corporation would allow their attorney to contact him.  There was no objection from the Selectmen.

Copier Request for Proposals – Selectmen reviewed the bid specifications for a new photocopier.  There was no objection to advertising for proposals.

Possible Land Purchase – Stu asked how the Selectmen wished to approach the matter.  Gary said the board ought to know whether it’s possible to build on the parcel which is across the road from the current town hall.  Nathan said he would like to know what possible uses there are for the land.  Heather said if it proves to be unbuildable, why that would be.  Nathan asked if there has been a percolation test. Gary said he’s been told there is not much buildable acreage. 

Catherine deTuede suggested the board speak with Albert Frick regarding septic systems and perhaps he could spec one out.  Bernie arrived during the discussion and asked about the well that exists.  Stu said that serves the home across Pinkhams’ Flats from the Town Hall and the owner was very much in favor having the town purchase the land.  Bernie said if nothing else, this could remain a green space.  Gary said he’s not opposed to a purchase, but he’s not sure what could be done with the land if it cannot be built upon. 

Stu said in his mind, the next step would be to get permission from the landowner to conduct a soils test.  Selectmen had no objection to having Stu contact the realtor to begin talks. 

School Budget – Stu reported the Superintendent of Schools will meet with the Budget Committee on April 13, 2015 to review the proposed school budget.  He said the plan is for an open town meeting on May 20, 2015 with possibly a validation vote on June 9, 2015.  Selectmen would sign a warrant on April 30, 2015 for the school budget.  He said the school board chair indicated there might be a slight decrease this year in the school budget.  State Representative Hubbell said there could be increased funding from the state.

Recreation Committee – Tim Jordan said the Recreation Committee has started to offer an indoor soccer program, and 35-kids have signed up.  He said they’re looking at karate and Nathan has offered to instruct that.  He said the next big thing is likely to be outdoor soccer.   

Mr. Jordan said the committee has been meeting on Saturday mornings.  He said it’s been difficult, because they haven’t been able to get outdoors to offer anything because of the snow. He said they might look into softball, baseball or even basketball on the outdoor court.  He said there is a lot of interest in ultimate Frisbee too.  Heather said the school is not offering baseball or softball this spring.  Mr. Jordan said those Lamoine students interested in softball and baseball have been welcomed to play for Trenton or Hancock.  A brief discussion followed on baseball, and getting more of the population involved in recreation, and attracting coaches.  Mr. Jordan said more parents need to be involved.

Nathan noted the committee does not have any alternate members, and it might be good to have one, as there has been trouble recently having a quorum to meet.  He said the decision making process has proven a bit difficult as the committee is supposed to propose a program to the Selectmen for final approval, and that could take 3-to-4 weeks.   Mr. Jordan said he was aware of the process with indoor soccer, but they went ahead and started it anyway.  Nathan said he would do the karate offering and donate the participation fee to the rec committee.  He said he couldn’t do that as a town recreation program until it was approved by the Selectmen.  Stu said the process was designed to encourage more long term planning. 

Nathan noted that the committee needed to provide public notice for meetings instead of deciding matters via e-mail.  Heather suggested that two alternate members be added to the committee.  A brief discussion followed on public notice. Nathan moved to add two alternative recreation committee members.  Heather 2nd.  Vote in favor was 4-0.  Stu said he would try to advertise the openings, adding that personal requests work better.

Hancock County Planning Commission Representative – Stu reported the Planning Commission has no one from Lamoine on the Board of Directors and has requested someone.  Selectmen asked that it be advertised to the public.

Lamoine Quarterly - Stu reported he’s got a good jump on the paper, and that he would have a draft ready for review next week.  He asked that Selectmen review it and get back to him with corrections or changes.

Gravel Ordinance – Stu reported that he has been working on the next draft of the ordinance with input from John Holt and Gordon Donaldson.  He said it’s not ready for a workshop at this point. 

Commercial Trash – out of town rate – Stu reported that he has updated the formula for out of town trash brought by commercial haulers, basing it on EPA estimated per person figures.  Nathan asked if that was how it has been handled before.  Stu said that’s how the original fee was calculated, and the figure from the EPA has apparently dropped.   Bernie asked if recycling has any impact on the charge.  Stu said he has no idea.  Bernie moved to go with the new rate for commercial trash haulers bringing in out of town refuse.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 4-0.

Building & Land Use Ordinance Amendment - Stu said the Selectmen received, earlier in the day, a proposed amendment to the Building and Land Use Ordinance from attorney Ed Bearor.  He said that he told Mr. Bearor the Selectmen would not likely be in a position to discuss the merits of the proposal at this meeting because they hadn’t seen the proposal, but it could be on the agenda for April 9, 2015.  He said the plan was to invite Mr. Bearor and the Planning Board to that meeting.

Kathleen Rybarz asked for a copy of the proposed amendment on behalf of a group calling itself Friends of Lamoine.  Gary said Stu would supply that.  (Note – a copy was made immediately following adjournment).

Next Meeting Dates – The Board will meet again on April 9, April 30, May 14 and 28, and June 11 and 25.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:18 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen