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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

 
 
Gary McFarland
Bob Christie Kathleen Rybarz  
 Minutes - January 6, 2018

 

Chair Jo Cooper called the meeting to order at 9:01 AM.

Present were:  Selectmen S. Josephine Cooper, Robert Christie, Gary McFarland, Kathleen Rybarz, Nathan Mason; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, snow plowing contractor Richard McMullen

Agenda Review – No changes were proposed to the printed agenda and addendum.  Kathleen did note that she had a matter to discuss in executive session. 

Minutes – December 14, 2017 – Bob moved to approve the minutes as printed.  Nathan 2nd. Vote in favor was 5-0.

Expenditure Warrant 14 – Selectmen individually signed warrant 14 prior to the scheduled meeting in the amount of $165,526.50.  Stu noted that school expenses made up the bulk of the warrant, and tuition for Ellsworth High School was included in the operations warrant. 

Expenditure Warrant 15 – Selectmen signed the warrant in the amount of $19,827.58.  Stu noted that state payables and the town payroll made up the bulk of the warrant.

Cash & Budget Report Stu noted that property tax collections were significantly higher in late December following passage of the tax reform package.  Jo asked for an explanation of the non-fire public safety line in the report.  Stu said it’s for ambulance, animal control, and dispatching, and the ambulance contract payment is the largest part of that, which was paid last July in full.

Checking Account Reconciliation – Jo noted the checking account reconciliation material was sent via e-mail prior to the meeting.  There were no questions about the account and Selectmen signed the statement expressing satisfaction with the review.

Quarterly Excise Tax Report – It was noted that the calendar year 2017 saw a $66,000 increase in excise tax collections.  A brief discussion followed regarding the budgeted amount for the 2018/19 budget.

Audit – Stu reported that auditor James Wadman, CPA personally delivered the completed audit just before Thursday’s blizzard hit.  He said the undesignated fund balance (surplus) was roughly $576,000, which is well above the $300,000 goal the Selectmen and Budget Committee had set years ago.  There was a brief discussion about how much should be in surplus.  Stu said the general rule of thumb has been about 6-weeks of operating expenses.  Jo said it sounds like the town is doing well fiscally.

Plowing Bids – The only bids submitted were from current contractor Richard McMullen. One was for salt and sand as is current practice, and one is for salt priority.  Jo & Gary read the bid for salt and sand as follows:

Year

Town Roads

Salt/Sand

Town Roads

Salt Only

School Parking

Salt Sand

School Parking – Salt

2018-19

$115,000

$135,000

$5,500

$6,000

2019-2020

$115,000

$135,000

$5,500

$6,000

2020-21

$115,000

$135,000

$5,500

$6,000

2021-22

$120,000

$139,000

$6,000

$6,500

2022-23

$120,000

$139,000

$6,000

$6,500

 

Mr. McMullen said he added roughly $20,000 for additional salt under the salt only bid and explained why.  There was a long discussion about the effectiveness and cost of straight salt.  Nathan said what Mr. McMullen has been doing for years seems to be working.  Gary noted that Route 184 was in very good shape following the blizzard.  Mr. McMullen said he uses salt only on the state highways for the most part.  He said there is less ditch maintenance needed with salt only.  Selectmen asked if it would be $100,000 less maintenance over 5-years.  Stu said that was unlikely.  Nate moved to award the contract to McMullen Landscape and Construction for the salt/sand option.

There was a discussion about possibly revisiting the salt priority option during the contract’s duration. Jo 2nd the motion.  Vote in favor was 5-0.  Bob noted there is a huge element of trust that Mr. McMullen has earned by taking good care of the town roads.

Municipal Solid Waste and Recycling Contracts

Three bids came in prior to the deadline from Casella, Mark Wright, and EcoMaine.  Stu noted that the representative from EcoMaine offered to drive up the proposal last Thursday during the blizzard and he said that she could e-mail it instead for safety purposes, which she did. 

Selectmen opened and read the various proposals.  Stu suggested that the Board table any award until there is a chance to analyze all the bids.  Jo so moved.  Kathleen 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

Cable TV – Stu noted that Dan Pileggi would be here at the next meeting to discuss the renewal of the franchise agreement and where things stand.  He said the tech committee met earlier in the week on the matter and Kathleen was in attendance.  He said the tech committee is requested to attend the Selectmen’s meeting.

Building & Land Use Ordinance – Town meeting – Stu said he’s not received final wording from the Planning Board yet on a proposed amendment to the Building and Land Use Ordinance, and there is some work being done to clarify road frontage and other road related provisions 

Candidates Night – Stu reported that Wynne Guglielmo has returned nomination papers and will join Gary and Jo on the town meeting ballot in March.  He said Michael Brann has returned the nomination papers for school committee and no one returned papers for the Board of Assessors. 

A discussion followed about the assessing position and how write-in votes work.  The Selectmen asked that the Assessors meet with them to discuss the situation at the first meeting in February.

The Board discussed whether it should sponsor a meet the candidates’ night.  Several noted that the School Patrons ground did that in the past.  There was discussion that if it were done, a moderator should be used to keep it orderly and it could be shown on the CTV channel. 

Nathan said it should not be up to the Selectmen to hold such an event, but a private organization should invite the candidates and organize it.  Jo said it’s important for people to know what choices that have.  Bob said the Selectmen should encourage that such an event be held.

Citizen of the Year – Selectmen were unanimously supportive of a suggestion for the citizen of the year award to be announced at the annual town meeting.

Budget Recommendations – Stu reported that he would not be opposed to increasing the recommendation of the use of surplus by another $20,000 ($170,000 total) for the 2018/19 budget given the just received audit.  There was no objection from the Board.  Stu noted that the plowing contract had been left open ended in the budget, and more than needed was budgeted.

Town Report – Selectmen received a draft of their report to include in the annual report and will edit as needed.

Stu reported the company that has printed the town report for the past many years has given an estimate in line with previous years. 

Contract – Stray Animals – Jo moved to approve a contract offer from the SPCA for housing stray animals.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0, Jo signed the agreement.

Returnables – Jo moved to award the proceeds from returnable containers to the Lamoine Robotics team for March 2018 and to Girl Scout Troop 796 in April 2018.  Nathan 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

Get Well Card – Selectmen signed a card for Russell Boynton, Jr. who has experienced some serious health issues.  Mr. Boynton has hauled trash and performed numerous odd jobs for the citizens of Lamoine for several decades and is a member of the volunteer fire department

Thank-you Letter – Bob said he was pleased the Board received a thank-you letter from the Next Step Domestic Violence Project after donating gift cards that were received last year.

Next Meetings – The board will meet next on January 28, 2018, on February 1st and 15th, and on March 1 & 15.  The planned meeting on March 29, 2018 is not going to take place as it falls in the Easter holiday schedule and Stu hopes to be on vacation.  The meeting instead will take place April 5, 2018.

Executive Session – Jo moved to enter executive session pursuant to 1MRSA 405 (6)(a) to discuss two personnel matters.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0 at 9:57 AM.  Out at 10:12 AM.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:12 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen