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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

 
Gary McFarland
Bob Christie Kathleen Rybarz  
Minutes - December 17, 2020

 

Chair Kathleen Rybarz called the meeting to order at 6:35 PM via Zoom Meetings

 

Present were: Selectmen Kathleen Rybarz, Robert Christie, Gary McFarland, S. Josephine Cooper, Nathan Mason (at town hall); Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon (at town hall), Code Enforcement Officer Rebecca Albright, and attorney Charles Gilbert.

 

Executive Session – Jo moved to enter executive session pursuant to 1 MRSA 405 (6)(E) in order to consult with attorney Gilbert in regard to a Code Enforcement matter.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.  Out at 7:02 PM.

 

Regular Meeting

 

Kathleen called the regular meeting to order at 7:06 PM.  Present via zoom were the Selectmen, Administrative Assistant and engineer Chip Reeves.

 

Minutes – December 3, 2020 – Nathan moved to approve the minutes.  Gary 2nd.  Roll Call vote in favor was 5-0.

 

Expenditure Warrant 15 – A roll call vote unanimously approved the warrant in the amount of $119,497.49. 

 

Cash & Budget Report – There were no questions regarding the written report.

 

Transfer Station Design – It was noted that CES has changed its company name to Haley-Ward.  Stu said he put the latest layout proposal and a memorandum from Chip Reeves of Haley-Ward with the Selectmen’s materials. 

 

Mr. Reeves said he thought he included a conceptual cost estimate.  He said he built in a 20% contingency in the estimate which he shared on the computer screen.  He said the number ($437,987) came out much higher than expected.  He reviewed the estimated cost sheet with the board.  He said he expected it would take about 6-weeks to construct the project and suggested that perhaps the inclusion of a canopy and lighting under the canopy could be altered to save some costs. 

 

Nathan asked about the proposed electrical cost company and whether that included the costs for Versant.  Mr. Reeves said part of the hook up costs would be Versant’s responsibility.  Kathleen asked about the variable frequency drive (VFD).  Mr. Reeves said that cost is included in the compactor price.  He said the VFD would have to be heated in the winter and air conditioned in the summer.

 

Bob said the proposal includes two compactors.  Discussion followed as to whether to do the project one compactor at a time.  Stu said he would envision the town borrowing money to do a project, so it would make more sense to do it all at once.  Nathan asked what might happen if the town didn’t include recycling compaction. Discussion followed on the number of compactors to include, the compaction rate, frequency of hauling, and the overall operation of the transfer station after such a project. 

 

Nathan asked if the proposed project makes sense.  Bob said he has a lot of questions, and noted that there is a lot of recyclable material currently in the solid waste sent to PERC.  He said he would like to do some number crunching.  Stu asked if there were other ways to accomplish compaction and fewer numbers of truck trips.  Mr. Reeve said the facility could be made larger and store more material on site, or perhaps the town could purchase its own truck. 

 

Jo said she concluded long ago that waste disposal is not going to save the town any money.  She said it’s frustrating to have to pay to pull a roll off that is full of recycling and a lot of air gaps.   She said she’s not sure if it’s worth $440,000 to try to compact.  She said she just would like to see an improvement at the transfer station, and she’s not sure that this would be doing the right thing.

 

Bob suggested maybe a sub-committee could be set up and work with Ken Smith on crunching the data.  Kathleen asked if that could happen before putting this to the town meeting in March.  Nathan said he’s not in favor of putting this to town meeting this coming year. Bob said he would be in favor of grinding the wheels until there is a plan that the board could ultimately support and move forward to the town.  Jo said she’s not sure the town would be ready to proceed.

 

Nathan moved to schedule a special workshop meeting to discuss the transfer station’s design.  Bob 2nd.  A brief discussion followed in regard to the proposed cost.  Jo asked if a regional approach with Hancock and Trenton might work.  A brief discussion followed.   Bob noted that he has learned a lot from ecomaine’s e-mails.  Stu said Mr. Reeves has completed what was asked, and the board now has a lot more information to go on.  He said the facility is working adequately for now, and there is no pressing need other than potential cost efficiency to do a project right now.  The roll-call vote in favor of Nathan’s motion was 5-0.

 

Broadband – Stu said a meeting between the Technology Committee and Brian Lippold was canceled at the last minute due to an accident that cut power and Internet to a large chunk of the town.  He said Mr. Lippold was expecting a proposal from Premium Choice to expand broadband to unserved areas of the town as noted in a memo.  Kathleen said the Selectboard should also have a presence at the future meeting with Mr. Lippold and the Technology Committee.

 

Zone Change – Stu summed up the matter of the zoning change request from Mr. Crawford for his property off Lamoine Beach Road.  He recounted that Mr. Crawford met with the Selectboard a few weeks ago and the Selectboard referred him to the Planning Board for a recommendation on the request.  He said Mr. Crawford was unable to give any sort of plan to the Board and did not attend their meeting.  He said the Planning Board made no recommendation on whether to send a zoning change request to Town Meeting. 

 

Kathleen said it makes it difficult for such a request without some sort of concrete plan.  Gary said a building currently on Mr. Crawford’s lot might present a problem.  Jo said she would not recommend that this be put on the town meeting warrant.  Bob said there is no action necessary by the board at this time.  Stu said he understands that when drafting the town meeting warrant, the requested zoning change question would not be included.

 

COVIC-19 Update – Stu reported that the employee’s family member who had close contact with an infected individual has tested negative, and the quarantine period for the employee has ended, so the town hall staff is back up to full force.  He said he’d put in some pretty long hours during that time.  Bob said he appreciated Stu filling in, and cautioned that the town office needs to continue providing for employee safety.  Stu said that was of utmost priority.  He said only one person has come into the office and refused to wear a face covering and attempted to engage him in a constitutional debate.  He said he did not debate the man.

 

Kathleen asked if there are any positive cases in town.  Stu said we can’t tell because the CDC only identifies by zip-code, and the 04605 zip includes several communities.  Jo said she participated in a meeting with Northern Light Health and there is a lot of virus spread in Maine now.  She said it would be better to close the town hall as needed instead of having employees “over-do” it.

 

Budget 2021-22 – Stu said the Budget Committee has made its recommendations.  He said the only question for final budget and warrant preparation is whether to include the $75,000 initially budgeted for a transfer station project.  After a brief discussion, the board informally agreed not to proceed with that line item in the upcoming capital improvement budget.

 

Registrar of Voters – Nathan moved to appoint Jennifer Kovacs-Lord and Stu Marckoon as the Registrar and Deputy Registrar of Voters for a 2-year term ending December 31, 2022.  Jo 2nd.  Roll call vote in favor was 5-0.  Because the Selectmen met remotely, the appointment papers could not be signed, but will indicate the roll call vote.

 

Animal Shelter Contract – Nathan moved to authorize Stu to sign the annual animal sheltering contract with the Small Animal Clinic in Ellsworth.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

 

Regional Shellfishing – Kathleen briefly recapped the report the Selectmen received last meeting about clam flat regeneration.  She said the baby clams did not survive well, and it seems to have to do with water temperature and predators.  Stu asked if the Selectboard needed to take any action.  Kathleen said no.  She said there is still a lot of clam digging going on, and there may be some additional size limits net year.  She said the Municipal Joint Board might meet in January.

 

Lamoine 150! – Jo said some merchandise is selling, but they’ll hold off on ordering more until spring.  She said the committee is planning for the summer big events.

 

Lamoine Quarterly – Stu said he had drafted the January Lamoine Quarterly and urged the Board to review the draft for editing.

 

Contract with ecomaine – Stu said there was nothing ready to sign yet – it should be on the next agenda.

 

Love our School effort – Stu reported a group of private citizens is planning activities to show the community’s support for our school teachers, and January and February will see some things take place.  He said Iris Simon is again spear heading those activities.  Kathleen said she had not be getting the e-mails from Mrs. Simon.  Bob said it’s an important idea to support the school staff and students.  He said he would try to help by offering an outdoor walk and maybe some tennis when it’s appropriate.

 

Town Report – Stu said he’d drafted a cover for the 150th town report using the logo designed by Lee Cline and picked by the Lamoine 150! Committee.  He said he’s also drafted the Board of Selectmen’s report.  He asked if it’s OK to keep using Xpress Copy to print the report if their price remains reasonable. There was no objection.

 

Board Comments – Nathan said 2020 has been a hard year and he looks forward to an improved 2021.  Gary wished the members a Merry Christmas and the holiday sentiment was shared among the board. 

 

Kathleen asked when it would be best to schedule a workshop on the transfer station.  Stu said he could see that coming after the town meeting.  Kathleen asked him to contact Ken Smith.  Stu said that was his plan.

 

The availability of nomination papers was briefly discussed.  No one has yet taken out papers for school committee or assessor.  Gary and Jo both noted that the pandemic has presented a challenge in gathering signatures.

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen