Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Board of Selectmen
|Bob Christie||Kathleen Rybarz|
|Minutes - June 4, 2020|
Chair Kathleen Rybarz called the meeting to order at 6:10 PM.
Present were: Selectmen Robert Christie, Gary McFarland, Kathleen Rybarz, S. Josephine Cooper; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, and Town Clerk/Tax Collector Jennifer Kovacs. Selectman Nathan Mason had informed the board that he was unable to attend.
Gary moved to enter executive session at 6:11 PM pursuant to 1MRSA §405(6)(a) in order to conduct the annual performance review with the Town Clerk/Tax Collector. Bob 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0. Out at 6:32 PM.
Jo moved to sign the acknowledgement of contract updates with Jennifer Kovacs. Gary 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.
Jo moved to enter executive session pursuant to 1 MRSA §405(6)(f) for the purpose of processing applications for the Hodgkins scholarship. Bob 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0 at 6:35 PM. Out at 6:57 PM
Chair Kathleen Rybarz called the regular meeting to order at 7:02 PM. All persons in attendance for the prior meeting with the exception of Ms. Kovacs were in attendance. Health officer Cecilia Ohmart appeared later in the meeting via speaker phone.
Minutes – May 21, 2020 – Bob moved to approve the minutes as written. Jo 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.
Expenditure Warrant 26 – Selectmen signed the warrant in the amount of $95,685.10. Stu noted that cash flow was adequate enough that he did not have to transfer funds from the investment account into checking.
Cash & Budget Reports – Stu noted that excise tax has rebounded, and when Versant Power (formerly Emera, Maine) sends their check for registering the Lamoine fleet, the excise revenue budget should be met.
Checking Account Reconciliation – Selectmen signed the form expressing satisfaction with the reconciliation of the checking account as of May 31, 2020 which had been e-mailed to them earlier in the week.
Foreclosed Property – Stu noted that one bid had arrived for the small piece of land on Needles Eye Road and the bid deadline is June 15th.
Stu said that the daughter of the late property owner at 176 Needles Eye Road had declined to redeem the property. He recommended that the property go up for auction with a minimum bid of $7,500, a $1,500 down payment and a deadline of July 2, 2020. Gary moved to proceed as proposed. Bob 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.
Town Meeting – Stu reported the Budget Committee and School Committee had made the proposed education budget recommendations the previous night. He said there is one additional article on the education budget to allow transfers between cost centers for the school department, but the warrant is ready to sign.
Jo moved the sign the town meeting warrant for June 24, 2020. Gary 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0. Selectmen present signed the warrant. Discussion followed regarding social distancing and crowd limits of 50 at the meeting venue in light of the current State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Landfill Water Monitoring – Stu reported that CES has proposed a price for the landfill monitoring program that is within budget. Jo moved to approve the agreement with CES, authorizing Stu to sign the agreement. Gary 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.
Appointments – Stu reported that with the exception of Conservation Commission member Jeff Cosulich, all the appointed committee members who have been in contact with him have agreed to be reappointed. He said Budget Committee member Robin Veysey would like to step down eventually but agreed to be reappointed until such time as someone else comes forward willing to serve. Stu said Mr. Cosulich expressed interest in serving on the budget committee once summer was over.
Selectmen asked whether Appeals Board chair Griff Fenton had indicated if he is willing to be reappointed. Stu said he’d not yet heard back from Mr. Fenton, as there have been some e-mail issues but he would try to get in touch with him. Appointments will likely be accomplished at the next meeting.
Meeting with Health Officer – A zoom meeting with health officer Cece Ohmart was unable to connect, so contact was made via cell phone and speaker.
Jo asked if Cece had any concerns with the way the town was operating during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. Ms. Ohmart said the town appears to be doing all it can, but there is little power on the town level, and there currently are no active cases in Hancock County. She said the protocols put in place by the town office to reopen are adequate for staff and public protection. She said the town’s website has been good to provide links to the state CDC and no links to bad information, of which there is plenty. She said she is open to ideas.
Jo said people seem tired of the situation and there is a lot of fear. Ms. Ohmart says she works with high risk people at Northern Light Maine Coast hospital, and fear is a huge problem. She said social media has spread a lot of misinformation, and many people on social media have been very judgmental in regard to politics. She said in the end, the only thing we can do is to take care of ourselves.
Jo said the town hall operations seemed to be going pretty well. She said they’re concerned about voting in July and the town meeting. Ms. Ohmart said masks can be ordered, but those have been reserved for health care. She said the town could ask people to cover their faces when they come in. She suggested ordering masks to protect employees. Stu noted the recent arrival of a protective Plexiglas screen and face shields for the election. Jo said she would like to require masks at town meeting. Kathleen said she would be happy to bring extra cloth masks to town meeting. A brief discussion followed regarding costs.
Ms. Ohmart said citizens should be protected if possible. She said people have been leery about attending gatherings, so she suggesting waiting to see what the reaction to town meeting might be.
Kathleen said absentee balloting has been encouraged. Ms. Ohmart said that’s a great idea. It was pointed out that absentee balloting is not allowed for town meeting. Jo asked if there is any particular training that health officers need if there is an outbreak. Ms. Ohmart said that basically is up to the doctors. Jo asked what the town ought to do if there is a local outbreak. Ms. Ohmart noted that the local health officer does not have the authority to issue a stay at home order. A brief discussion followed.
It was suggested to order face masks from WB Mason.
Vehicle Registration Deadline – Stu said the information coming from Governor Mills’ office about requiring vehicle registrations is kind of confusing. He said towns can set their own registration deadline, but having outside law enforcement agencies keep track of varying deadlines by municipality would be darned near impossible. He said he drew up an order to set June 15th as the deadline, but said there has not been a cash flow issue at this point. Selectmen declined to take any action.
Honor Grads – Selectmen signed certificates recognizing the honor graduates from Lamoine who attended Mt. Desert Island High School, including Gianna Turk, Madison Jones and Ella Wallace.
Lamoine 150! – Jo said there isn’t anything new from the committee at this point, though there is a thank-you letter to sign later on for Neila McIntyre who has scaled back from the committee.
Bob said something “fishy” is happening, referring to the Lamoine 150! Sardine displays around town. A brief discussion followed.
Knox Box – Stu reported that someone got locked in at the transfer station at closing time the previous Saturday. He said the fire department was paged and he responded with the chief, and there is a lock with the gate key inside and he knew the combination. He said had he not been around, the fire department would have had to cut the lock. He suggested getting a Knox Box for the transfer station, salt/sand shed and Anderson Garage. Gary so moved, Kathleen 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.
Letter to Neila McIntyre – Selectmen signed a letter to Ms. McIntyre thanking her for her service to the Lamoine 150! Committee.
Other – Bob noted that Chuck Weber is growing lots of produce and selling it at the Grange Hall parking area.
Vacation Request – Stu requested the last week in July for vacation. There was no objection.
Comments – Bob noted that another deer was impaled on the fence at Lamoine State Park. He said he would like to encourage the next manager to put some protection on the fence to try to protect that from happening.
Bob thanked Gary for putting together the Memorial Day Ceremony and said the comments were most appreciated.
Kathleen noted that Buttermilk Road resident Bill Whitener participated in the Taps Across America program at the memorial at 3PM on Memorial Day.
Stu reported that Chip Reeves has suggested taking a look at the Bar Harbor Transfer Station while it is in operation some Saturday. There was a brief discussion.
Just prior to the meeting the Selectmen received an e-mail from a Birchlawn Drive resident expressing disappointment in regard to the rooster situation, and that a proposed solution by the rooster’s owner does not appear to be working. Bob said it’s disappointing that the neighborhood can’t seem to get together to offer a solution. Kathleen said she didn’t think any more could be done on the town’s end.
Executive Session – Bob moved to go into executive session pursuant to 1MRSA §405(6)(a) for the purposes of a job performance review with the Administrative Assistant. Gary 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0. In at 8:10 PM, out at 8:36 PM.
Jo moved to sign the annual contract update acknowledgement with Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon. Gary 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:37 PM.
Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen