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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

 
Gary McFarland
Bob Christie Kathleen Rybarz  
 Minutes - May 21, 2020 (Draft, subject to correction)

 

Chair Kathleen Rybarz called the meeting to order at 7:09 PM. 

 

Present via Zoom conference were: Selectmen Kathleen Rybarz, Jo Cooper, Nathan Mason, Gary McFarland, Robert Christie and Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon

 

Kathleen thanked the board for accommodating with a Zoom meeting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Agenda Review – Stu said he’d sent the addendum this morning.  The Board reviewed the four items on the addendum.

 

Minutes – May 7, 2020 – Nathan moved to approve as written.  Gary 2nd.  Rollcall vote in favor was 5-0.

 

Minutes – May 11, 2020 – Nathan moved to approve as written, Bob 2nd.  Rollcall vote in favor was 5-0.

 

Expenditure Warrant 25Stu reported the warrant was for $107,255.62.  He said $86,000 was for the school department and that the town would be debt free as of next Tuesday when the final payment is made on the fire boat.  By rollcall vote, Selectmen approved the warrant.

 

Cash & Budget Report – Stu reviewed the printed report, saying he was not concerned about any expense budgets being exceeded.  He said the excise tax revenue budget is now ahead of budget project as collections have been very good in the past two weeks.  He said Municipal Review Sharing from the State of Maine already exceeds budget by $2,200.  He said the town should end the fiscal year with about $1.1 million in the bank. 

 

Tax Acquired Property – Stu reported receiving an e-mail from Spring Leslie expressing desire to purchase her mother’s former home.  He said the offer required a down payment in June and the rest in July.  He said Ms. Leslie asked if the July payment could be split into two parts.  He said she did not indicate a time line.  Gary said he would be OK if she could commit to a time line.  Nathan said he would ask what the town could expect.  Kathleen asked what the target date could be.  Stu said if she could do it by October, that would be good.  Gary agreed that would be OK.  Stu said he would ask what she is thinking for a payoff date, and that the down payment would be expected. 

 

Gary moved to authorize Stu to present a plan to Spring Leslie for purchase of the tax acquired property as discussed.  Nathan 2nd.  Rollcall vote in favor was 5-0.

 

Stu reported he had mailed letters to the two abutting property owners on the small piece on Needles Eye Road, but has not heard anything back. 

 

Stu reported he has received the Real Estate Transfer Tax Form from Ben Morren, and they are excited to hear the town meeting might occur sooner than expected.

Town Meeting Plans – Revised – Stu reviewed the latest plans for town meeting that the Superintendent of Schools helped develop.  Kathleen said she likes the plan as it seems to get town meeting done quickly.  Stu noted that he’d emailed the plan which called for a decision tonight.  He said on May 26, 2020 will reconvene the original town meeting and he will recommend that the attendees adjourn without action, and that will end that town meeting.  He said the Budget Committee and School Committee plan to meet on June 3, 2020 to finalize the school budget, and the Selectmen would sign the town meeting warrant on June 4, 2020 for the town meeting to be held on June 24, 2020. 

 

Kathleen asked if couples could be together for the town meeting under social distancing guidelines.  Stu said he believed that’s allowable.  He said the school department would set out the seats in the gym and an overflow room with a technological hookup would be available if more than 50 choose to attend.

 

Stu reported he didn’t expect much controversy as the school budget would have a flat tax impact.  Kathleen said she thinks reimbursement might increase.  Stu said he’s not sure what state funding will do.  Nathan noted the CDC has just come out with new guidelines which might be burdensome.

 

Nathan moved to adopt the plan as presented.  Gary 2nd.  Rollcall vote in favor was 5-0.

 

Kathleen noted that she would not be able to attend on the 26th. 

 

Transfer Station Concept Design – Stu displayed the latest plan from CES on the Zoom Screen.  He attempted to describe what the plan looks like, including one compactor to start for either recycling or MSW and a septic/bathroom facility. Selectmen discussed concerns about traffic flow under the proposed compactor placement.  The concern is that only two vehicles could offload at one time, compared to the current setup which can accommodate many vehicles simultaneously, but without compaction.  There was discussion about whether to seek compaction for recycling or MSW first.  Stu noted that the facility had to close early a couple of weeks ago as all the dumpsters filled up.  There was a brief discussion about MSW capacity and the increase over the years.

 

Nathan asked what the cost has been thus far.  Stu said it’s at about $10,500.  He said he was concerned about the traffic flow under the latest proposal.  There was a brief discussion about how the compaction process would work.  Stu suggested visiting a compaction setup in another community, and said he would let Mr. Reeves from CES know about the traffic concerns.  Nathan asked if there is a price tag yet.  Stu said not yet, as CES was trying to determine what the town would want before coming up with an estimate.

 

Jo asked there is any kind of traffic study that has been done.  Stu said he could ask the facility manager to try to do an hourly traffic count.  A brief discussion followed.  Nate said it would be helpful to talk to CES again.  Kathleen asked how the compaction system would be set up.  A brief discussion followed.  Nate asked if CES could suggest viewing a functioning facility.  More discussion followed on various setup options. Stu said he understands that the plan is more toward what the Selectmen have in mind but it needs tweaking and they would like to see an example of how a compacting operation works, and he can communicate that to Mr. Reeves. More discussion followed on traffic flow.

 

Chicken/Rooster – Stu reported that Cathy Smeal called him a few days ago and said she had bought a collar that prevents the rooster from crowing.  He said he had redrafted a letter to Mr. Kaemerer.  Jo and Kathleen said they liked the new letter.  Gary moved to approve sending the latest draft.  Nathan 2nd.  Stu asked if Selectmen could come sign the letter.  Kathleen said she could come after hours.   Stu said he would leave the letter and warrant etc. for signing.

 

Civil Emergency UpdateStu reviewed the updated plan which includes the current town office opening plan.  He reviewed the updated meeting plans which includes having board members choose whether to meet in person at the town hall or via zoom.  Kathleen asked whether Stu would ask board chairs to handle the Zoom.  Stu said the issue is getting the meeting on the CTV channel.  Kathleen asked if the Appeals Board meeting is soon.  Stu said there has been no discussion of when to meet. 

 

Stu said the school board will set their own meeting policy.  He said the fire department would have less than 50-people present for their weekly training/meetings.  He said some members of the fire department has gathered informally on Wednesdays to keep up with maintenance.    He said the Code Enforcement Officer, under the proposal, would still not meet face to face in the office, but she has been doing inspections on site.  He noted the Assessors are performing spring work and the agent is currently in town, mostly working in the field.    He said the rest of the town functions will remain the same. 

 

Stu said so far at the town office it has been going well, and people have been cooperative.  He said the staff has not been wearing face masks as the Plexiglas provides some the protection but customers are asked to wear masks as there are others at the counter. 

 

Nathan asked if a contingency plan would be needed if things change.  Stu said the Governor’s town meeting parameters have been in place for a while.  There was a brief discussion and should things change, the meeting can be recessed if needed.

 

Jo moved to approve the amended emergency declaration.  Gary 2nd.  Rollcall vote in favor was 5-0.

 

Personnel Reviews – Stu asked what the board’s pleasure was regarding meeting with the hired staff.  There was a discussion about meeting either in person or via zoom with personnel.  The board said if employees wish to meet via zoom instead of in person that could be accommodated.  Stu said he would ask the regularly paid staff about meeting. Kathleen asked if Stu could send out e-mails to the committee members.  Stu said he could.  Kathleen said it would be good to meet with the health officer. Stu said he would ask her, since she should be consulted far more than has happened. 

Kathleen asked if the Animal Control Officer is contracted year to year.  Stu said she is, and he could ask if she wanted to meet.  Kathleen noted that Jeff Cosulich’s appointment to the Conservation Commission expires and he has indicated he does not wish to be reappointed.  Stu said the commission meets next week via zoom and will discuss that.

 

Adm. Asst. Days Off – Stu said his father has a medical procedure on June 30th and July 1st that requires he be out of the office. He said Jennifer is perfectly capable of generating the month end reports.

 

MacQuinn v. Friends of Lamoine Decision – Stu reported he sent the decision via e-mail earlier in the week.  He said it was an interesting decision and the town managed to avoid significant legal fees by letting the other parties litigate the matter.  Kathleen noted that it did cost the town some money prior to this.  She said the town gained a lot by having attorneys with the various town boards.  Stu said he’s not sure where this goes next, other than to tell the Appeals Board that the Planning Board is not to issue a permit. 

 

Landfill water monitoring – Stu reported the company that has monitored the landfill wells for years has been purchased, and the new firm estimate is much higher than it has been.  He said that is more than was budgeted.  He said he inquired from CES about whether they do this as well and they’re local, and they said they do this often.  He recommended seeking a price from CES.  Nathan moved to seek a proposal from CES and to thank the original company for their service.  Gary 2nd. Rollcall vote in favor was 5-0.

 

Bureau of Labor Standards Inspection – Stu reported the inspection results finally came in and there were two minor citations without penalty.  He said he asked for a penalty discussion and they called and the gentleman who called said case is closed, and “good job.”  Nathan asked what was on page 3 of the letter.  Stu said that was just a blank form to show what had been done to correct the citations.  A brief discussion followed on what the citations were. 

 

Lamoine 150! – Jo said they’re ordering T-shirts with the logo.  She said they hope to publish a history book being compiled by Gordon Donaldson and they’re hoping to make these available at little to no cost for residents.  Stu said the group is seeking publish cost quotes. 

 

Stu noted that tomorrow at 5:30 there will be a parade of sorts for June Davis who turns 100 years old tomorrow and is the town’s first centenarian that he knows of.  He said the Fire Department and Lamoine 150! are sponsoring.  He said Joan Bragdon is helping to arrange it.  There was discussion about loud sirens. 

 

Memorial Day – Gary said the Memorial Day service will be a drive-in event only on Monday at 10AM.  People will not be allowed out of cars and the speakers will be well amplified.  The Citizen of the Year award will also be presented after the ceremony.  He said the weather looks pretty good.  He said there are very few commemorations planned, due to the pandemic. There was discussion about getting a speaker and trumpet player.  Nathan thanked Gary for moving forward with the ceremony.  Gary said it is important to recognize those who gave their lives. 

 

Other – Nathan asked if there was any guidance on excise tax collection.  Stu said there was a slight revision on registrations from the Governor but a Facebook posting from the City of Ellsworth had information he hasn’t seen from the state.  He said it’s pretty confusing. He said the guidelines about registering vehicles apply to communities that offer on-line registration, which Lamoine does.

 

Kathleen said she hopes to have grand-baby pictures for the next meeting.

 

Stu said he would have signature documents laid out for tomorrow.

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:16 AM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst.