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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

 
 
Gary McFarland
Bob Christie Kathleen Rybarz  
 Minutes - November 29, 2018 (Draft, subject to correction)

Chair Nathan Mason called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

 

Present were: Selectmen Nathan Mason, S. Josephine Cooper, Robert Christie, Gary McFarland, Kathleen Rybarz; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Recreation Committee members Nicole Chan and Patricia Haslam,  Former Rec Committee chair Amanda Frost, and Kenneth Smith.

 

Minutes – November 15, 2018 – Jo said she found two typographical errors and moved to approve with the corrections.  Bob 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

 

Expenditure warrant 12 – Selectmen signed the warrant in the amount of $126,660.75. Stu noted that school expenditures made up a majority of the budget, and fire department reimbursements to personnel were on the agenda as well.

 

Cash & Budget Report – Jo asked why expenses were tracking ahead of the fiscal year’s passage.  Stu said paying for the fire truck and paving in full skews the budget.  He said with the exception of Code Enforcement, everything else is on track.

 

Meeting with Recreation Committee – Nathan told Amanda Frost he was sorry to see that she had resigned from the committee.  He said it’s a lot of volunteer work that has been heaped upon a few people, and getting others to volunteer is difficult.

 

Mrs. Frost said her sons are getting older and they were only involved in one of the programs the town’s recreation committee had to offer.  She said she was not able to put in the amount of time needed for the position.  She said there have been some speed bumps for the recreation committee, including facility use conflicts, and cooperation from parents. She said there is a need for a budgeted, paid position to help with recreation, such as a facilities manager. 

 

Mrs. Frost said there is a perception that the school department is providing the recreation committee programming.  She said that has created a lot of conflicts as parents have a misconception that the recreation committee is getting paid to offer programming.   She said she would advocate that funding be going toward somebody to help run the program.  She said some parents feel that some of the programs have not been well executed.  She asked how realistic it would be to have an in-house staff person. 

 

Mrs. Frost said the committee is not providing anything other than youth sports.  She noted that the school facility is not able to provide indoor soccer because the gym is not able to accommodate it.

 

Nicole Chan distributed a sheet of what is taking place on the committee and said it could be done better.  She explained the efforts the committee has gone to for programming.  She said there is a lot of confusion from parents about how the committee functions.  She said she was unsure if paying committee members to run programming would help.  She said a paid position would not be a year round position. 

 

Patricia Haslam a paid, year round position might be possible.  She said there are older adults that are not served.  She said the town’s recreation program started small and there were great ideas, but the difficulty was finding someone to get the programs going.  Kathleen noted that Lamoine had a great cheering program for many years.  Mrs. Chan said that was a school run program with a very active coach.  A brief discussion followed on the history of cheering.

 

Kathleen asked if the program could be self-sufficient.  Mrs. Chan said the programs are supported by user fees which are about half of what Ellsworth and MDI charge.  She said if the question was whether a paid position could be supported by user fees, the answer is no.  Mrs. Frost said the programming currently is focused on youth sports, and there are other umbrellas that are desired or needed.  She used an example of the Harbor House in Southwest Harbor.  She said there is a lot of potential in Lamoine, but the committee members don’t have the time to devote to running more programs.  Mrs. Chan said basketball is a very intensive program and they’re struggling to make that work.  

 

Bob asked about participation.  Mrs. Chan said there are 3-basketball teams with 35 participants and in the fall there were 5 soccer teams.  Nathan noted there was some collaboration with Acadian Youth Sports.

 

Jo said she would like to hear why the Recreation Committee should continue.   Mrs. Frost said the option is always there to send children to Ellsworth to participate in programs, but the kids get “lost”. She said the program in Lamoine provides a feeder program for some sports, and the children participating in town get to play games, build stronger relationships, and here are growing opportunities.  Mrs. Chan said she doesn’t want to see the rec program go away.  She said it’s a huge community builder and starting children at a young age is beneficial.  She said fewer families would participate if they had to go out of town.  Ms. Haslam said the benefit of the rec program to families is convenience and affordability.   A discussion followed on the benefits of recreation.

 

Bob asked about a philosophical statement regarding the rec program, and what is the mission.  He asked if there are other possibilities to engage kids.  Mrs. Frost noted that she lives across the road from the Lamoine Consolidated School, yet she is terrified of the traffic on the road.  Stu noted that Lamoine is a very rural community, and not many families with children live within walking distance of each other for informal play opportunities.  Jo said she believes the rec program is an essential one.  Stu said a key to operating it successfully is to have someone to take ownership of the program.  Mrs. Frost said just having someone with the commitment to communicate with participants and parents would be a big help.  A discussion about leadership and the role of the committee followed.  Mrs. Frost said she found it difficult to delegate things to parents when she served and the culture of parenting has changed. 

 

Bob said there is no question that the Selectmen appreciate the Rec Committee’s efforts.  He said that some small communities have part time recreation directors.  Jo said the town has a resource of children who wish to be involved in something.  Mrs. Chan said when one breaks down a program into all the little details, it’s a lot of work.  She said if someone were paid a stipend, it would make it easier to stomach.  A discussion on whether a paid position might help ensued. 

 

Nathan said the committee currently stands at 5, and perhaps an increase to 7 might help.  He said there might be people who like to schedule or manage facilities.  He said there is an overlap with school facilities and programs.  Jo said it would be helpful to have a list of what needs to be done, and volunteers would need to know what it would entail.  She said she’d be interested in serving in a group to figure out how to go forward.

 

Nathan suggested that having a director for each program offering might be an idea.  Jo suggested writing out a plan.  Stu mentioned that one of the important things was having a background check on each coach, and that’s not been done recently.  Mrs. Frost said she liked the idea of a director for each program.  Nathan said the Rec Committee needs another member.  Stu said they also need to submit a budget post-haste.

 

Transfer Station/Compactor – Ken Smith reviewed with the Board pictures he took of a facility he visited in Otisfield, which is of similar size to Lamoine.  He noted that the facility is open 4-days a week and has a very hands on attendant.  He said the attendant operates the compactor and is always on site when open.  He said he would recommend a 4-yard hopper for recycling.   Mr. Smith noted that the recycling market has improved, and the amount EcoMaine is charging may drop a bit. 

 

Mr. Smith said eventually the town will want an MSW compactor as well.  He said there is a lot involved in designing a transfer station.  Stu reported that the Budget Committee has suggested $15,000 be budgeted for the next fiscal year to hire an engineer to come up with a plan for the transfer station as opposed to immediately purchasing a compactor.  Discussion followed on the existing transfer station layout.

 

Permit Fee Schedule – Kathleen said she researched prices other towns were charging for building permits and passed out a spreadsheet of similar sized communities.  She said the Budget Committee had suggested increasing fees to cover the increased cost of code enforcement.  There was a lengthy discussion of the proposed fee schedule.  Kathleen moved to increase the fee to 15-cents per square foot per story for a building permit.  The motion did not receive a second. 

 

Gary said he would like to see the cost history of the extra hours for Code enforcement. 

 

Jo moved to adopt the permit fee schedule as proposed.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 4-1 (Rybarz opposed).

 

Smoking Policy – Jo moved to sign the smoking policy approved at the November 15, 2018 meeting.  Gary 2nd.  All signed the policy.

 

Community Center – Nathan noted that Stu provided an outline of a possible process to follow for a committee.  He said there was a discussion about space needs, especially at the school.  He said the upcoming Comprehensive Plan made a big push for a community center, and there has been a lot of feedback supporting the idea.   Jo said she would like to see as many voices at the table as practical for input.  She said starting with a workshop is a good way to go.  Nathan said the workshop is slated for January 17th.  He said the list of board chairs and department heads is very long. 

 

Amanda Frost related a story of a community center she experienced in Vermont.  She advocated for the present school becoming a community center and building a new school.  Several ideas were informally discussed. 

 

Stu said he has a name in mind for the committee and challenged each Selectman to invite one from the community to the workshop meeting.  He said with so many potential attendees, the meeting will have to take place at the school.  Nathan said there is a basketball game on the 17th. 

 

Conservation Commission Requests – Selectmen postponed discussion on a pair of communications from the Conservation Commission until a representative from the Conservation Commission could be present. 

 

Consent Agreement – Stu updated the Board on the status of the violation by property owners in the Sunset Bay Subdivision who cut too much vegetation in the Shoreland Zone.  He said the Code Enforcement Officer had ordered them to hire a forester to develop a revegetation plan and then execute the plan by December 15th.   He said the revegetation plan has been received.  He said CEO Albright was drafting a consent agreement to close the case, but needs input from the Department of Environmental Protection.  He said he had suggested to her that a fine be imposed, as the town will need to follow up for 5-years on whether the vegetation has survived as outlined in the plan, and there will be a cost to that. Jo moved to recommend to the Code Enforcement Officer that in the consent agreement draft that a fine be imposed.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.  Discussion followed on what kind of growth is needed.

 

Shoreland Zoning Ordinance Development – Stu reminded the Board that Assessor Terry Towne had inquired about the drafting and public hearing process for the new Shoreland Zoning Ordinance, and that copies of the correspondence with the Planning Board was copied to the Selectmen.  He said the Planning Board is dealing with the inquiries.

 

Technology Committee Recommendations – Stu reported the Technology Committee has recommended and the Budget Committee considered a request to add money to next year’s budget for a consultant to help the town move forward with making high speed internet available to unserved areas. 

 

Stu reported the Technology Committee has recommended getting a price for a high definition TV system to televise the town hall meetings. There was no objection to contacting Connectivity Point for an estimate.

 

Stu reported the Technology Committee has expressed interest in being able to access the computers that control the CTV scheduling system remotely.  He said a software package that costs $99/month was recommended, but he would like to see if there is free software available first in order to give it a try.

 

Returnables – Jo moved to award the next available month (February 2019) to Lamoine Community Arts.  Nathan 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

 

Budget – Nathan noted a large increase in the Code Enforcement budget.  Stu explained that her hours have doubled.  There was a discussion about Code Enforcement costs.  Selectmen said they would like to meet with the CEO to discuss this.

 

Stu reported the fire chief has agreed to purchase 10 relatively new airpacks from the Ellsworth Fire Department which is upgrading their airpacks.  He said the chief negotiated a price of $3,000 per unit, which is a lot less than buying them new.  He said there is $8,000 in the current year budget and $6,000 proposed for the 19/20 budget.  He said the fire department would pay up front for the purchase this year and request that next year’s allocation (if approved) reimburse the department. 

 

Other – There was a brief discussion about County Government and the recent write in election of a County Treasurer who has no financial background.  Stu reported the League of Towns discussed that this week.  Kathleen confirmed it was part of the elected leaders meeting in October.

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:25 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst.