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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

 
 
Jo Cooper
Gary McFarland
Bernie Johnson
Nathan Mason
Heather Fowler
 
 Minutes - September 24, 2015 (Draft, subject to correction)

Chair Gary McFarland called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

Present were: Selectmen S. Josephine Cooper, Heather Fowler, Nathan Mason, Gary McFarland, Bernie Johnson (arrived 7:14PM); Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, School Committee Chair Brett Jones, Assessor Michael Jordan, Facilities Maintenance Director Rick Gallegos, Comprehensive Planning Committee members Kathie Gaianguest and Valerie Sprague.

Agenda Review – No changes were proposed to the printed agenda or the addendum.

Minutes, September 10, 2015 – Heather moved to approve the minutes as written.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 3-0 (Mason abstained, Johnson not yet present)

Expenditure Warrant 7 – Selectmen signed warrant 7 in the amount of $200,873.90.  Stu reported about $172,000 was for school expenditures.  He said he moved $170,000 from the investment management account to the checking account.

Cash & Budget Report – Stu reported that he had not included interest on the fire boat loan when developing the 2015/16 budget.  He said that will mean the line is over expended and he will propose a warrant article for the 2016 town meeting to appropriate money from undesignated fund balance to cover that expense.

FY 2015 Budget Revision – Stu reported that on the warrant that was just signed was an $83,000 bill to RSU 24 for special education.  He said that he reduced the education fund balance by the bill’s amount as the books had been closed prior to receiving the bill. Brett Jones said the superintendent of schools was involved in some heavy duty negotiation with RSU 24 over the figure.

Gravel Ordinance – Stu reported he repaired one sentence prior to the meeting, and the version in the packets will reflect that.  Nathan asked about what happens to the 1,000 cubic yard limit when a property changes hands.  Gary explained that the threshold is tied to the original parcel.  A brief discussion followed about tracking removal rates.

Heather asked if this had gone before the town attorney.  Stu said it had.  Nathan said the setback change would only apply to those pits previously licensed. Jo moved to approve the ordinance as presented.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 3-0 (Fowler abstained).   Bernie arrived at the meeting. Selectmen signed the approved ordinance copy.

Town meeting warrant – Jo moved to sign the warrant calling for the special town meeting on November 3, 2015.  Nathan 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0 and Selectmen signed the warrant.

Public Hearing Order – October 22, 2015 – Jo moved to sign the order for a public hearing to be held at the school on Thursday, October 22, 2015.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0 and Selectmen signed the order.

Gravel Ordinance Summary – Jo said she would like to read the draft summary of the gravel ordinance change. The Board agreed to review the summary and decide on presenting it at the next regular meeting on October 8, 2015.

General Assistance Ordinance – Gary opened a public hearing a 7:23 PM to consider the annual changes to the General Assistance Ordinance.  Stu briefly explained that the numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services and are adjusted annually.  Kathie Gaianguest said in her role as a Comprehensive Plan Committee Member they were interested in the poverty level.  She said the figures on the town’s website were from 2011 and 2012.  She said there was a decrease in the food plan.  Stu said the figures come from the USDA.  Ms. Gaianguest said food costs 4.7% more in Hancock County.  She asked how many General Assistance cases the town has. Stu said there currently are none, and the town gets just a few applications that qualify per year, and it’s rare that there are repeat cases.  A brief discussion followed as to whether the town could change the figures.  The public hearing closed at 7:32 PM.

Jo moved to adopt the changes to the General Assistance Ordinance.  Nathan 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.  Selectmen signed the ordinance change page.

Returnables – Jo moved to award the proceeds from the returnable containers for February 2016 to Lamoine Community Arts. Heather 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

Roads – Stu recommended the Board accept the proposal from Wilson’s Ground Maintenance to crack Buttermilk Road and Birchlawn Drive for $9,600.00.  Heather so moved, Bernie 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

Stu reported he would wait until the leaves start coming down to get estimates on tree removal on Shore and Mill Roads.

Municipal Review Committee Nomination – No nominations were made.

Old School Desks – Facilities Maintenance Director Rick Gallegos said there are 7 old school desks stored in the basement at the town hall.  He said 6 of them could be refinished and proposed to either purchase the desks or to refinish them and offer one to the Historical Society, one to the Town Office and one for the fire department auction and keep the rest.  Jo said the Historical Society has used them in past displays, and they already have two desks.  She said it would be nice to be able to set the desks up again in the town hall to see what it looked like as a school.  After a brief discussion about the historic possibilities, Bernie moved to accept Mr. Gallegos’s offer to restore the desks and make them available for display if and when the historical society wished.  Jo 2nd. Vote in favor was 5-0.

Lamoine Quarterly – Stu said he had the front page done, and would e-mail the rest for review when it was finished next week before publishing.

Comprehensive Planning Committee Alternate – Ms. Gaianguest rose and spoke that she was opposed to appointing Michael Jordan as an Alternate member of the Comprehensive Planning Committee.  She said the full appointment process should be followed, and the Selectmen should first decide if a second alternate position is necessary.  She said if the Selectmen determine that a second alternate should be appointed, all should have a chance to respond to the opening.  She said because Mr. Jordan was recently appointed as an alternate member of the Board of Appeals, she now opposes his appointment to the Comprehensive Planning Committee.

Jo asked if there were no other board members on the Comprehensive Planning Committee.  Ms. Gaianguest said that it is remotely possible that some decisions of the Comprehensive Planning Committee could go before the Board of Appeals. 

Brett Jones said Ms. Gaianguest’s assertions were irrelevant.  He said the Comprehensive Planning Committee’s role is only a recommendation and the town is the ultimate decision making body.  He said when Mr. Jordan was the Code Enforcement Officer he had unique information for the Comprehensive Planning Committee.  A discussion between Ms. Gaianguest and Mr. Jones followed.

Jo said the Comprehensive Planning Committee recommendation carries a lot of weight.  Bernie noted that initially the Selectmen were trying to get different board members represented on the Comprehensive Planning Committee.  A brief discussion followed.

Mr. Jones said that Mr. Jordan had a role with the board, and he’s not there in any capacity now because he is not the Code Enforcement Officer.  Bernie said it appears two things have changed – Mr. Jordan is no longer the Code Enforcement Officer and was appointed as an alternate on the Board of Appeals. 

Valerie Sprague said the public has not had a chance to be appointed as an alternate member of the Comprehensive Planning Committee.  She said the Selectmen ought to see who else is interested.  Jo said it seems fair to put that out.  She said she agreed that Mr. Jordan’s point of view can be given to the committee, and that she was a little nervous about manipulating who can be appointed.  A brief discussion followed. 

Gary said the Selectmen need to decide if a 2nd alternate Comprehensive Planning Committee position is needed.  Heather moved to create the position and appoint Michael Jordan to that.  Ms. Gaianguest expressed her opposition to that.  Nathan said this was presented previously to the Selectmen and the Comprehensive Planning Committee said they were in favor of both the additional position and Mr. Jordan’s appointment to that.  Heather said it appears that Ms. Gaianguest’s opposition is a personal beef against Mr. Jordan.  After a discussion, Gary called for a 2nd to Heather’s motion, and there was none.

Jo moved to add a 2nd Alternate Comprehensive Planning Committee position and to see who might be interested.  Nathan 2nd.  Vote in favor was 4-0 (Fowler abstained).  The Board said the deadline to apply would be next meeting.

Property Purchase – Jo asked if the Board of Selectmen was allowing the School Committee to pursue a purchase.  School Committee Chair Brett Jones said the School Committee would like the Selectmen to lead this effort.  He said that he had spoken with property owner Donald Clark to see if the property adjacent to the school was for sale and if he would be open to the idea of selling it to the town.  He said there was no price tag discussed.  Jo asked why the school is interested.  Mr. Jones said it’s a rare opportunity for an abutting property purchase, and he said it was a worthy discussion.  He said there are parking issues at the school and storage possibilities at the Clark property.   He said the property is about half an acre. 

Gary said he could not see any reason not to pursue the discussion.  Jo said she would like to know more what plans the school would have for the property.  Heather asked if the school’s leach field was located on this land.  Mr. Jones said it was not, it is located on school property. 

Stu asked the board how they wished to pursue this.  Gary said they could approach the property owner.  Jo said she would like to talk with the Superintendent in regard to uses for the property.  Gary said the board could inquire from the owner whether they were willing to sell and coordinate with the school on possible uses.  Nathan moved to authorize Stu to contact the property owner and report back.  Heather 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

Elected Officials Meeting – The MDI League of Towns is sponsoring its annual Elected Officials meeting on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 5PM in Somesville.  Bernie said he might be able to attend. 

Happy Anniversary – Selectmen signed a card wishing Walton and Marion McFarland a happy 65th wedding anniversary.  The Board also extended best wishes to Jo and her husband Donald on their 38th anniversary as well.

Other – Stu said he intended to offer up “babies” from the spider plants on a first come/first served basis over Facebook.  He said the plants will be repotted, as they’ve outgrown their holders, as has the philodendron.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:32 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen