Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

Gary McFarland
Bob Christie Kathleen Rybarz  
 Minutes - January 18, 2018

Chair Jo Cooper called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

Present were:  Selectmen Kathleen Rybarz, Gary McFarland, Robert Christie, S. Josephine Cooper, Nathan Mason; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Michael Edgecomb (Sewall Company), Justin Zinke (Cable TV Operations Manager), Lissa Bittermann (EcoMaine), Technology Committee members Brett Jones, Bill Butler, Conservation Commissioners Linda Penkalski, Larissa Thomas, Town Attorney Dan Pileggi, Andrea Ames (Comprehensive Planning) and Doug Harber

Agenda Review – Jo noted that several people are present from out of town, but no change to the printed agenda was proposed. 

Minutes – January 6, 2018 – Nathan moved to approve the minutes as presented. Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

Expenditure warrant 16 – Selectmen signed the warrant in the amount of $113,777.47.  Stu noted that school expenses and the plowing contract payment are on the warrant.

Budget Reports – There were no questions regarding the written budget report.

Foreclosure List – Stu reported that he supplied the list of unpaid 2015/16 property tax liens in the materials left this evening.  He said two pieces of certified mail on four properties were returned, so he mailed out the notices by first class mail Tuesday.  The automatic foreclosure date is January 28, 2018. 

Technology Committee/Town Attorney – Cable TV Franchise renewal – Stu said he’d asked the town attorney, technology committee and Mike Edgecomb to get together so everyone could get on the same page when it comes to a franchise agreement with Charter Communications.  Mr. Pileggi said he’s heard nothing since the last draft of an agreement in April, and it’s getting to be time to deal with the agreement.  Technology Committee chair Bill Butler said the committee has tabled the matter to find out where the Sewall project stands.  Mr. Edgecomb said he was in the area today anyway and had come to the meeting at Stu’s urging.  He said he’s completed the ride around and there may be areas eligible for wiring under a Connect Maine grant, and some may be eligible for wiring under the franchise agreement.  There was a brief discussion about what draft is currently in play in regard to a franchise renewal. 

Andrea Ames said the 20-homes per mile requirement seems like a lot.  Tech Committee member Brett Jones said the proposed language no longer excludes satellite dishes from the count. Nathan said he has some concern about which tier the PEG channels would be located on.  Ms. Ames said she would like to see where the proposal proceeds.  The tech committee and Mr. Edgecomb consulted with the town attorney in another room in regard to negotiation strategy

Recycling Proposals – Stu explained the bid analysis on the three firms that presented recycling proposals. He said it comes down to a decision by the Selectmen on whether they wish to continue with the current program which has limited materials to recycle but costs the least, or switch to a more expensive zero-sort program.  He said EcoMaine submitted the lowest of the three zero sort proposals. He introduced Lissa Bittermann of EcoMaine.

Jo said EcoMaine appears to serve mostly Southern Maine communities and asked if they planned to branch north.  Ms. Bittermann said several communities in mid-coast Maine have opted for their company and that has expanded their service area.  She explained that the agreement includes having DM&J haul containers of recycling to Winterport.  She noted that Lamoine does not compact the recycling, so the 30-yard roll off containers contain only about a ton of material.  She said DM&J would swap out containers when Lamoine needs to ship, and combine the town’s recycling with other communities for shipping compacted material to their facility in Portland.  She said it’s a new concept their looking to try as a possible model for other communities. 

Ms. Bittermann said their company is non-profit and municipally owned and they have a staff educator who works with schools and at transfer stations on public education about recycling programs. 

Nathan asked if the analysis that Stu provided included transportation.  Stu said it did.  Nathan asked whether including more materials such as glass and other plastics, the tonnage recycled would likely increase.   Ms. Bittermann said they generally see a 3-to-5% increase in recycling if it becomes easier.  She handed out packets of educational material to the Board. 

Conservation Commissioner Linda Penkalski said she’s bothered that Lamoine’s transfer station no longer accepts glass, noting that she takes her glass to Blue Hill’s facility.  Conservation Commissioner Larissa Thomas asked if some material might end up in a landfill under the EcoMaine proposal.  Ms. Bittermann explained about a situation where China is no longer buying recycling, which impacts paper and plastics.  She said EcoMaine has found other buyers, but they’re not making much money.  A lengthy explanation and discussion of recycling markets followed.

Ms. Bittermann said they work with 73 towns and while they can absorb the current blows to the recycling market, they can’t promise a rosy future.  She said more townspeople participate in recycling programs when it’s a single sort program.  Mrs. Thomas asked about the cost of recycling when compared to disposal at PERC.

Gary asked about tire acceptance.  Ms. Bittermann said those go to waste to energy plants for burning and conversion to electricity.

A discussion followed on the analysis of the bids.  Jo said she’s nervous about the future of recycling.  Bob asked about the learning curve with transfer station users.  Ms. Bittermann said it’s pretty quick and explained the education process they use, including a kick off day.  She also noted that taking glass out of the waste stream to PERC could save disposal costs at PERC.

Cable TV Franchise Agreement (part 2) – Attorney Dan Pileggi said the discussion between the Tech Committee and Mr. Edgecomb produced some ideas on how to approach Charter Communications, and he will present some new material to the Tech Committee.

MSW Contract – Stu reported that his analysis shows the overall cost to ship solid waste to PERC would be $166,250 with Casella and $324,326.50 with Mark Wright Disposal.  Nathan moved to award the MSW contract to Casella.  Bob 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

Recycling Contract – After a brief discussion about the analysis of the various proposals, Kathleen suggested that it be referred to the Conservation Commission for a recommendation.  Selectmen took no action.  Stu told Mrs. Thomas that he would copy the proposals and his analysis for consideration at their February meeting.

Plowing Contract – Stu reported he has drafted up a new contract with McMullen Landscape and Construction for review by the Selectmen.  He asked the board to look over the proposal and then it could be sent to Mr. McMullen for review with a goal to sign at a later meeting.

Draft Administrative Assistant’s Contract – Stu reported that he has drafted a new 3-year contract and asked the Selectmen to look that over. 

Conservation Commission Grant Application – Stu asked whether the town needs to be a fiscal sponsor as the Conservation Commission is an arm of the town which is a tax exempt organization.  Mrs. Penkalski said she would check with the Maine Community Foundation.  The grant is to obtain funding for the GET WET program.  There was no objection to the project.  Kathleen moved to authorize Stu to sign as the fiscal sponsor if it is needed.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

Assessing – Stu noted that no one has submitted nomination papers for the March 2018 town meeting election for Assessor, so it’s likely that a write-in candidate would be elected.  He said he spoke with the two current Assessor Board members about the desire of the Selectmen to meet and discuss the future of the Board of Assessors.  He said the Assessors asked that the meeting take place after town meeting so that they could prepare a list of options to consider. 

Returnables – There was a brief discussion about timing for the month that the 8th grade at the school would benefit. 

Jo moved to award the returnable proceeds as follows:

Nathan 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

Lamoine Quarterly – January 2018 – Stu said he apologized for taking so long to get the paper written.  Selectmen said they would review the draft over the weekend and Stu asked that they e-mail any suggested edits so he could send it to the printer on Monday.

Town Meeting Warrant – Nathan had questions regarding two budget items: landfill monitoring and a park on Mud Creek Road, noting that the land has yet to be donated for the park.  Stu said he would check into the timing of the landfill monitoring.  There was a brief discussion about keeping the Mud Creek Road park in the budget and funded from the Hodgkins Fund or waiting until the donation takes place. 

Stu said he hoped the warrant would be ready for signature on February 1, 2018.  He said he hopes also to have the town report ready.

Condominium Question – Stu reported attorney Diane O’Connell suggested that she review any documents used to alter the condominium filing on Map 16 Lot 48 to make sure it complies with subdivision rules.  He said she estimated that would take about an hour.  There was no objection.

Vacation Request – Stu requested approval for vacation between March 22, 2018 and March 30, 2018.  There was no objection.

Next meeting dates – Jo noted the regular board meetings would take place on February 1, February 15, March 1, March 15, April 5 and April 19. 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:12 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen