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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

 
Gary McFarland
Bob Christie Kathleen Rybarz  
 Minutes - September 3, 2020

 

Chair Kathleen Rybarz called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM

 

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

 

Agenda Review – It was noted there were two items on an addendum.

 

Minutes – August 13, 2020 – Nathan moved to approve the minutes as written.  Bob 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

 

Expenditure Warrant 7 – Selectmen signed the warrant in the amount of $87,779.28.  Stu noted that the bulk of the expenditures were for the school department.

 

Expenditure Warrant 6 – The Selectmen in the previous week individually signed the warrant in the amount of $924,785.90.  Stu noted that warrant contained the County Taxes, paving bills, and a half million dollar transfer to the investment management account.

 

Budget Report – Stu noted that the FY 2019/20 budget is over expended for solid waste due to an error in the town meeting warrant which printed the wrong amount recommended for the budget, and which was subsequently approved.  He said he would recommend a special town meeting in October to address the error.

 

Stu reported for the FY 2020/21 budget, the paving projects on Shore Road and Mill Road were very close to budget, thanks to some accounting that transferred some of the cost to maintenance for culvert replacement.  He said there was not enough left to fill in the shoulders. 

 

Checking Account Reconciliation – Selectmen signed the statement expressing satisfaction with their review of the reconciliation which had been sent via e-mail the previous day.

 

Meeting with CES – Stu said he’s not heard anything back from Chip Reeves after sending an e-mail following the last meeting.

 

Election 11/3/2020 Update – Stu reported that a drop box has been purchased, and was in display in the meeting room, awaiting installation by facilities maintenance.  Nathan noted it will need some rain protection.  Stu said Gary Saunders will be lettering the box, and he’ll speak with Mike Hodgkins about an effective rain protection.

 

Stu noted that absentee requests have been very active, with well over 100 applications received and ballots not available for nearly a month.  He said Nancy Jones has been coming in on Wednesdays and helping with the filing and application input.

 

Pole Permits – Versant Power has requested permits to place poles on Buttermilk Road and Shore Road.  Gary moved to approve both permits, Nathan 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0, Kathleen signed both permits.

 

Back to School – Thanking Staff – Kathleen asked if the school has finalized plans to reopen.  Stu said they have, and a school committee member had indicated they might want to meet with the Selectmen at the next meeting.  He said he spoke with the principal today and the school has been able to set up so that they can offer in person education for those who desire it. 

 

Nathan said there was a nice meet and greet of sorts today for the students and parents.

 

Stu said he’d received an e-mail from Iris Simon expressing a desire to honor the staff in an appropriate manner, and asked if the board had any ideas. 

 

Nathan said the staff had put in most of their summer getting ready for the new school year, and the state keeps changing the rules.  He said it has been stressful.  Bob asked if the teachers need things that are not budgeted. 

 

Jo suggested getting a gift bag for each staff member, sort of a Lamoine thank-you, including some of the Lamoine 150! Merchandise.  There was discussion about purchasing some gift cards and a variety of items.  Kathleen offered to look around for appropriate items.  Jo said it would be nice to have it ready for the first day of school on Tuesday.  A brief discussion followed.  Nathan said the Patrons group does a nice job of recognizing the staff, too.  Jo said this would be from the community as a whole, and that’s a bit different.  Nathan asked if we could get the number of staff from the school department.  Stu said he would try.  More discussion followed regarding gift bag items.  Stu said he would respond to Mrs. Simon with the ideas discussed.

 

Code Enforcement Map 14 Lot 24 - Stu reported that the violation citation on Map 14 Lot 24 apparently has been addressed to the satisfaction of the Maine DEP and the lot is in the process of being sold.  He said the CEO issued a building and septic permit for the lot yesterday. 

 

Bob referred to a memorandum from CEO Albright regarding an alleged incident on the lot.   He said the property owner mentioned to the CEO there was some sort of confrontation with another person, but the person identified to the CEO says he was not involved.  He asked whether it was appropriate for public discussion.  He said he’d received a call from the alleged party.  Nathan said if there was a misrepresentation, it would have been by the property owner.  Stu reported that the property owner had spoken with him the previous day and said he would be in touch if he wished to speak to the Board, and he did not hear from him today.  He said the alleged person involved also spoke with him, and wished to be kept informed. 

 

Map 12 Lot 23 – A memorandum distributed to the board from CEO Albright in regard to this lot owned by Kathleen was accurate according to Kathleen.  She said she has not rented out the property this summer.  There was a brief discussion about an article in the Ellsworth American regarding the situation.

 

Birchlawn Drive – Chicken/Rooster Communications – Kathleen said an e-mailed message she received from a Birchlawn Drive resident was distributed to the full board and asked if further communication is desired.  Stu said the crowing rooster violates no local ordinance.  There was a brief discussion about trespassing chickens.  Nathan said that should be referred to the animal control officer.  A brief discussion followed regarding previous actions on this ongoing complaint.  Jo said she would like the town to respond as a compliant should not be ignored.  Stu said he would be glad to send an appropriate letter to the involved parties and the ACO.

 

Osprey Nest – After a brief discussion about various critters around town, Stu reported that the osprey nest on Mud Creek Road was destroyed when it caught fire in August.  He said that he put in a phone call to Versant Power the next day and was extremely impressed that the company was already planning to put in a new pole with a platform to accommodate the birds.  He said the replacement project started last week, but was delayed when they ran into ledge.  He said the incident generated a lot of social media activity and the response from all accounts has been positive.

 

Parks/Harbor Communications – Stu reported that he sent a letter to the Bureau of Parks and Lands Regional manager and received an e-mail back that the finger float piling matter was referred to the boating division and that the Manager and Assistant manager would look at the Lamoine Beach boat ramp.  Stu said that he replied back and asked if they would let him know when they’re in town so he could look at it with them.

 

Roads – Stu said the paving budget is exhausted, and because the price was higher than expected, there was not enough to place gravel in the shoulders to offer a smoother transition and protect the pavement edge.  He suggested a special town meeting to appropriate funds from the road fund to accomplish that. 

 

Stu said the Berry Cove Road project is done and the residents are very pleased with how it came out.  He said he awaits the bill, and this wraps up everything that was on the spring/summer list. 

 

Special Town Meeting – Nathan moved to call a special town meeting for October 15, 2020 at 7:00 PM at the school.  Gary 2nd.  Stu said the warrant he drew up would have two articles on which to act – funding at the recommended amount for the FY 19/20 budget and appropriating $10,000 from the road fund for the FY 20/21 budget.  Vote in favor was 5-0, Selectmen signed several copies of the warrant.

 

Broadband expansion – Stu said the Maine Community Foundation Grant awards should be in before the next meeting.  He said the Island Institute also sent a mailing with lots of information about the ConnectME grants. 

 

Public Hearing Scheduled – Nathan moved to set a public hearing for 7:00 PM at the meeting of September 17, 2020 for the purpose of amending the General Assistance Ordinance.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

 

Lamoine 150! – Jo reported the committee has sold a lot of T-Shirts.  She said a scavenger hunt is planned for later in the month, and the committee meets a week from today.  She gave a brief explanation of how the scavenger hunt would work.  She said it should be a fun event in which to participate.  She said the radio theater group is planning to do presentations on Marlboro and families.

 

Other MattersPandemic/Socialization- Bob said it is an interesting moment in history with the events that have unfolded in the past few months.  He said he wished the Selectboard as a body could assist people with participatory opportunities.  Jo noted that it takes more “oomph” to attend meetings.  Nathan said the board members set an example for the community.  Bob noted that he finds it more difficult to hear because people are wearing masks and he can’t see their faces. 

 

Stu noted that Jo was selected to the County Budget Committee again, and that Kathleen was elected as a member of the Maine Municipal Association’s Legislative Policy Committee. 

 

Bob said he’d like to see how the town can better include people in matters.  He said globally, it’s a volatile time, and he’s not sure that we are all that well protected.  Jo said there has been a lot of upheaval in her world and just listening to people, she can tell stress levels are up in many different ways.  She said she’s not sure what more the Selectboard can do.  She said she worries about isolated older citizens who are going through a tough time.  She said the Friends in Action organization that she runs has essentially been shut down.

 

Nathan said schools are under a lot of stress, and when people are worried, it raises the degree of difficulty.  He said that stress feeds a lot of anger, and when people are comfortable, they are rational.  He said people are pointing a lot of fingers, but this is a situation that was created by nature.  He said he was thankful that this pandemic was not nearly as fatal as past ones. He said the elected officials set a standard, and the town has a good governmental structure in place. 

 

Stu said there has been a lot of business at the town office since May, and while it may be necessary to conduct governmental business, he suspects that people come in for some socialization as well.  Bob said that socialization is important and mentioned churches and stores as providing some of that.  Kathleen said she wished we had a community center.  Nathan suggested it might be time to start a fund to get moving on the idea.  Discussion followed on where things stand with the committee.

 

Mud Creek Road Fire Stu said he was extremely proud of how well the Lamoine Volunteer Fire Department performed at a house fire on Mud Creek Road, just over the line in Hancock the previous Friday night.  He said Lamoine used all the trucks in the fleet, and it was the first real fire call for the ladder truck which made the difference in putting the fire out.  He said the right people operated the equipment, and it performed flawlessly.  The selectmen applauded the fire department’s efforts.

 

A brief discussion followed about masks and face shields.  Stu said the town purchased a bunch of shields and retrieved some from the vault and handed one to each Selectman for use at meetings.

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen