Minutes of the Annual Town Meeting

Town of Lamoine, Maine

March 2 & 3, 2004

 

Town Clerk Jennifer Kovacs brought the meeting to order at 9:55 AM on March 2, 2004

 

  1. To choose a moderator to preside over said meeting.

 

Stuart Marckoon nominated Harvey Kelley as moderator.  Joan Broussard 2nd.  There were no other nominations.  By written ballot, Mr. Kelley was elected as moderator 8 to 1.  One ballot was not valid.  Mr. Kelley swore and signed his oath of office, then appointed Stuart Marckoon as Deputy Moderator.  Mr. Marckoon swore and signed his oath of office.

 

  1. To elect the following Town Officers by secret ballot:

A.    Selectman & Overseer of the Poor (1 position, term to end town meeting 2007)

B.    School Committee Members (2 positions, to end town meeting 2007.)

C.    Assessor (1 position, term to begin July 1, 2004 and end June 30, 2007)

 

Mr. Kelley opened the voting at 10:00 AM and closed the polls at 8:00 PM.  The following votes were counted:

 

  1. For Selectman and Overseer of the Poor:  Gerald R. Ford 97, Perry J. Fowler 222.  The moderator declared Mr. Fowler to be elected.
  2. For School Committee, Linda J. Haft 206 votes, Faith E. Perkins 244 votes, Others 6 votes.  The moderator declared Mrs. Haft and Ms. Perkins to be elected.
  3. For Assessor, E Jane Fowler received 285 votes, others received 4 votes.  The moderator declared Mrs. Fowler elected.

Open Town Meeting – Wednesday, March 3, 2004 6:00 PM

 

Mr. Kelley reconvened the meeting at the Lamoine Consolidated School Gym.  163 registered voters were in attendance.  Mr. Kelley announced the election results from the previous day’s voting. 

 

Mr. Kelley said he would operate according to the Maine Moderator’s manual, 1989 edition unless otherwise directed.  There was no opposition.

 

  1. To see if the Town will vote to set October 31, 2004 as the date when all personal property and real estate taxes for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005 are due and payable, and to see if the town will vote to fix a rate of interest of 6.50% to be charged on taxes unpaid after November 1, 2004 and to see if the town will vote to fix the rate of interest for tax overpayment at 2.50% annually.

It was moved and 2nd to approve the article as written. The motion passed without discussion.

 

  1. To see if the town will vote to authorize the Selectmen to sell and/or dispose of any property acquired by tax liens after first offering the property to the previous owners for payment of all back taxes, fees and interest, and if they decline, advertising for sealed bids on same, and stating the lowest bid acceptable, and to allow the Selectmen to authorize the Treasurer to waive automatic lien foreclosures when it is in the best interest of the town.

 

It was moved and 2nd to approve the article as written.  The motion passed without discussion.

 

  1. To see if the town will vote to authorize the Selectmen to sell and/or dispose of any property or fixtures deemed to be surplus and unusable to the Town and worth less than $1,000 fair market value, under such terms and conditions as they deem advisable.

 

It was moved and 2nd to approve the article as written.  The motion passed without discussion.

 

  1. To see if the town will vote to appropriate all funds from the money received from the State of Maine for registration of snowmobiles to the Frenchman Bay Riders Snowmobile Club for the purpose of maintaining their snowmobile trails, to be open for the use of the public at all times, and to authorize the municipal officers to enter into an agreement with the Club, under such terms and conditions as the municipal officers may deem advisable, for that purpose.

 

It was moved and 2nd to approve the article as written.  Discussion included how much money is involved.  The town treasurer, Mr. Marckoon, answered $388.  It was asked if ATV registrations are included – they are not.  It was asked if the Snowmobile club allows ATV’s on its trails.  Mr. Branch of the Snowmobile Club answered they do not – it’s up to the landowners to do that.  The motion passed on a hand vote.

 

  1. To see if the town will vote to authorize the tax collector or treasurer to accept pre-payments of 2004/2005 taxes not yet committed pursuant to 36 M.R.S.A. § 506.

 

It was moved and 2nd to approve the article as written.  It was asked why this article was needed.  Mr. Marckoon explained that to move a mobile home one needs proof of tax payment, and the town office could not accept early tax payment without this article.  The motion passed on a hand vote.

 

  1. To see if the town will vote to authorize expenditures to pay tax abatements and applicable interest granted during the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2004.

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as written.  An inquiry was made as to the purpose of this article.  Mr. Marckoon explained abatements are granted for errors in valuation or taxes that need to be returned to the affected taxpayer(s).  The motion passed on a hand vote.

 

  1. Shall an ordinance entitled March 2004 Amendments to the Town of Lamoine Building & Land Use Ordinance be enacted? (A copy of this ordinance is available for review at the Lamoine Town Clerk’s Office)

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as written.  Mr. Branch, a member of the Planning Board, explained the changes proposed are drastically different from the aquifer protection zone proposed a few years ago.  Concern was expressed regarding the noise section limiting noisy activities on Sundays.  Mr. Garrett of the Planning Board explained that it applied to commercial and industrial permitted uses only.  There were questions about the building height definition change.   Jay Fowler asked if the proposed changes could be amended.  The moderator replied they could not.  There was further discussion about the noise section of the proposed changes.  Mr. Towne asked if the Planning Board received professional or legal assistance in drafting the changes.  Mr. Garrett said they did not.  Mr. Towne inquired about a section referring to the Floodplain Ordinance. 

 

A motion was made to move the question, and it was 2nd.  The motion passed.  The vote on the main motion was 67 No, 63 Yes, the motion failed.

 

  1. Shall the town authorize the Board of Selectmen to accept and expend charitable donations made for the purpose of carrying out research, beautification and other projects of the Lamoine Conservation Commission?

 

It was moved and 2nd to approve the article as written.  A brief explanation from Conservation Commission Chair Fred Stocking followed.  The motion passed on a hand vote.

 

  1. Shall the town accept a donation of land from Julia Soja, tax map 14 Lot 59?

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as written.  There was discussion as to the possible uses of property.  Selectman Cooper said none are planned at this time.  There was discussion about the land being located in a private subdivision and on a private road.  Some suggested the lot could be taken for non-payment of taxes instead.  There was a motion and 2nd to move the question which passed.  A vote on the main motion failed on a hand vote.

 

 

  1. To see what sum the Town will authorize the School Committee to expend for school department personnel costs. (The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $847,203.11).

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as recommended.  There was discussion as to why the school budget had increased and the impact on taxpayers.  The motion passed on a hand vote.

 

  1. To see what sum the Town will authorize the School Committee to expend for school department operating costs. (The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $1,244,632.18).

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as recommended.  There were questions regarding the cost per student, and the number of students.  The motion passed on a hand vote.

 

  1. To see what sum the Town will authorize the School Committee to expend for school department capital improvement costs.  (The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $7,765.00).

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as recommended.  Business Manager David Bridgham said the improvements included window and door replacements in the lower grade wing.  The motion passed on a hand vote.

 

  1. To see what sum the Town will appropriate from the foundation allocation for school purposes and to see what sum the Town will raise as the local share of the foundation allocation. (The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend a total of  $1,521,438.10 with a local share of $1,085,525.66 and state subsidy of $435,912.44)

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as recommended.  The motion passed on a hand vote of 108 in favor, 5 opposed.

 

  1. To see what sum the Town will appropriate from the debt service allocation for school purposes and to see what sum the Town will raise as the local share of debt service allocation. (The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend a total of  $34,010.34 with a local share of $29,106.18 and state subsidy of $4,904.16).

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as recommended.  The motion passed on a hand vote of 102 in favor to 1 opposed.

 

  1. To see what sum the Town will raise in additional local funds under the provision of MRSA 20A § 15614 (The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend  $389,414.33).

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as recommended.  There was a brief explanation of the state law reference by Mr. Bridgham.  The motion passed on a hand vote of 116 in favor and 1 opposed.

 

  1. To see if the Town will authorize the Board of Assessors to reduce the real estate and personal property tax commitment by an amount not to exceed any additional amount the town may receive from the foundation allocation or debt service allocation once the Maine Legislature has established those amounts. (The Budget Committee recommends a vote in favor)

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as written.  The motion passed on a hand vote without discussion.

 

  1. Total Budget – (This is a summary article:  The amount recommended should be the gross budget of the school system.  This article does not provide money unless the other articles are approved.)  To see what sum the Town will authorize the School Committee to expend for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2004 and ending June 30, 2005 from the foundation allocation, debt service allocation, unexpended balances, tuition receipts, local appropriations, state subsidy and other receipts for the support of schools. (The School Committee and Budget Committee recommend $2,099,600.29)

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as written.  The motion passed on a hand vote without discussion.

 

The moderator declared a 5- minute recess, and reconvened the meeting at approximately 8:00 PM

 

  1. To see what sum the Municipality will raise and appropriate to add to the fund used to maintain the portable, temporary classrooms leased to the Lamoine School Department for educational purposes.  (The Selectmen and Budget Committee recommend $1,000.)

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as recommended.  The motion passed on a hand vote without discussion.

 

  1. To see what sum the Town will vote to raise and appropriate for Administration and to set the salaries of the following elected officers whose salaries will be paid from the Administration Account of the General Fund, and to authorize the Board of Selectmen to establish the rate of compensation for appointed officials.

Position

Recommended Salary

Selectman (Chair)

$1,600.00

Selectman (non-chair, 2 positions)

$1,000.00

Assessor (Chair)

$1,250.00

Assessor (non-chair, 2 positions)

$950.00

            (The Budget Committee and Selectmen recommend $128,394.66 with the salary recommendations listed above.)

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as recommended.  The motion passed on a hand vote with no discussion.

  1. To see what sum the Town will vote to raise and appropriate for Code Enforcement, and to authorize expenditure of the state share of local plumbing fees to the Maine Department of Human Services.  (The Selectmen and Budget Committee recommend $12,305.00.)

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as recommended.  The motion passed on a hand vote without discussion.

 

  1. To see what sum the Town will vote to raise and appropriate for the Planning and Appeals Boards. (The Planning Board, Selectmen and Budget Committee recommend $1,150.00.)

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as recommended.  The motion passed on a hand vote without discussion

 

  1. To see what sum the Town of Lamoine will vote to raise and appropriate for the support of social service organizations listed below, which made written requests for funding from the Selectmen, and met the criteria of the Town Meeting Donation Requests Ordinance adopted November 7, 2000.

 

Requesting Agency

Requested

Budget Cmte

Selectmen

Community Health & Counseling

$600.00

$600.00

$587.62

Downeast Horizons

$600.00

$600.00

$587.62

Wash./Hancock Cmty Agency

$600.00

$600.00

$587.62

Hancock County Home Care

$579.00

$579.00

$567.06

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry

$600.00

$600.00

$587.62

WIC Clinic

$600.00

$600.00

$587.62

Eastern Area Agency on Aging

$250.00

$250.00

$244.84

American Red Cross – E. Maine

$600.00

$600.00

$587.62

Maine Coast Memorial Hospital

$600.00

$600.00

$587.62

Child & Family Opportunities

$600.00

$600.00

$587.62

Total

$5,629.00

$5,512.86

 

(The Budget Committee recommends $5,629.00 as outlined above, however the donation requests ordinance requires the Board of Selectmen to recommend no more than 5% of one mill, which is the total  $5,512.86)

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article at the level recommended by the Selectmen.  There was a motion and 2nd to amend the article to $5,629 as recommended by the Budget Committee.  The amendment passed.  It was asked if town meeting is limited to the Selectmen’s recommendation.  The moderator replied it is not.  The motion as amended passed on a hand vote. 

 

  1. To see what sum the Town will vote to raise and appropriate for Parks & Recreation. (The Selectmen and Budget Committee recommend $5,000.00).

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as recommended.  The motion passed on a hand vote without discussion.

 

  1. To see what sum the Town will vote to raise and appropriate for library services. (The Selectmen and Budget Committee recommend $3,500.00).

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as written.  Donna Thorburn mad a brief announcement about an upcoming book sale at the Ellsworth Library, and use by Lamoine residents.  The motion passed on a hand vote.

 

  1. To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to explore formation of a Volunteer Security Patrol, and if the Board finds it feasible to return to a special town meeting prior to December 31, 2004 to gain approval of sponsoring and funding said patrol.

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the motion as written.  Fred Cahn and Michael Maxwell raised liability questions.  The motion was defeated on a hand vote.

 

  1. To see what sum the Town will vote to raise and appropriate for Public Safety Expenditures. (The Budget Committee recommends $41,588.89).

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as recommended.  The motion passed on a hand vote without discussion.

 

  1. To see if the Town will vote to appropriate $200,000 to purchase a new fire rescue pumper truck, using $25,000 from the Fire Truck Reserve Fund, $50,000 donated from the Lamoine Volunteer Fire Department, and to authorize the Selectmen to borrow up to $125,000 over 5 years for the remainder, and authorize the Fire Department to sell a 1975 American LaFrance pumper truck with proceeds to reimburse the fire truck reserve fund.  (The Budget Committee recommends that the town approve the fire truck purchase as proposed). 

 

MUNICIPAL TREASURER’S FINANCIAL STATEMENT

[30-A MRSA § 5404(1-A) & 5772(2-A)]

 

Town of Lamoine

 

  1. Total town Indebtedness.
    1. Bonds Outstanding and unpaid:                                    $           0.00
    2. Bonds authorized and un-issued:                                    $           0.00
    3. Bonds to be issued if this question is approved:            $125,000.00
    4. Total            $125,000.00

 

  1. At an estimated maximum interest rate of 4.0%, the estimated costs of this bond issue will be:  

Five (5) Years (2004-2008)

            Principal:                        $125,000.00

            Interest:                        $  13,114.18

            Total Debt Service:            $138,114.18

 

  1. Validity.  The validity of the bonds and of the voters’ ratification of the bonds may not be affected by any errors in the above estimates.  If the actual amount of the total debt service or the bond issue varies from the estimate, the ratification by the electors is nevertheless conclusive and the validity of the bond issue is not affected by reason of the variance.

 

Moderator Kelley announced that he would halt any one-on-one discussions, and that all questions must go through the moderator.  It was moved and 2nd to pass the motion as written.  Fire Department Assistant Chief Engineer Maurice Oliver made a presentation in favor of the article and fielded a number of questions from the floor, through the moderator.  After approximately a 1-hour discussion on the pros and cons of purchasing a fire truck, the question was moved and 2nd.  The vote to cease discussion passed.  The original motion passed on a hand vote, with very few opposed.

 

  1. To see what sum the Town will vote to raise and appropriate to pay debt service for the purchase of the fire truck in article 29.  (The Budget Committee recommends $25,320.90)

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as recommended.  A hand vote in favor approved the motion with no discussion.

 

  1. To see what sum the Town will vote to raise and appropriate for Road Maintenance. (The Budget Committee makes no recommendation at the time of the warrant signing, pending disposition of the snow plowing contract.  A recommendation is likely on the floor of the town meeting.)

 

It was moved and 2nd to raise and appropriate $129,800.00 for Road Maintenance.  Road Commissioner Stuart Marckoon reported the figure was derived from recent bids for snow plowing.  A short discussion about the bid process and the method of snow removal followed.  The motion passed on a hand vote.

 

  1. To see what sum the Town will vote to raise and appropriate for major road projects including re-pavement of a portion of Mill Road and a portion of Walker Road. (The Selectmen and Budget Committee recommend $42,000.00.)

 

It was moved and 2nd to approve the motion as recommended.  Road Commissioner Marckoon moved to amend the amount to $53,000, and the motion to amend was 2nd.  Mr. Marckoon explained that paving costs are expected to be significantly higher this year.  The motion to amend passed on a hand vote.  The motion, as amended, passed on a hand vote.

 

  1. To see what sum the Town will vote to raise and appropriate for waste disposal including operation of the Lamoine Transfer Station, shipment to the Penobscot Energy Recovery Company, recycling contractor, monitoring of wells around the former landfill, and to authorize the Selectmen to continue the contract of disposal of septic sludge. (The Selectmen and Budget Committee recommend $79,930.00)

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as recommended.  The motion passed on a hand vote without discussion.

  1. To see what sum the Town will vote to carry forward funds raised at the March 2003 Town Meeting, $18,000.00 for performance of a Factored Revaluation. (The Selectmen and Budget Committee recommend passage.)

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as written.  Mr. Marckoon explained that the Assessors were unable to contract the appraiser for the current fiscal year but do have him under contract for the coming year, thus the need to carry the appropriation forward.  The motion passed on a hand vote.

 

  1. To see which revenues the Town will vote to appropriate for inclusion in the non-education portion of the budget to offset local property taxes.

Revenue

Amount

Fund Total

General Fund

 

Automobile Excise Taxes

$250,000.00

 

Agent Fees

$5,000.00

 

Interest on Real Estate Taxes

$7,500.00

 

Interest on Investments

$17,500.00

 

Use of Surplus

$75,000.00

 

Watercraft Excise Taxes

$3,250.00

 

Tax Lien Charges

$1,800.00

 

Administration Fees

$950.00

 

General Assistance Reimbursement

$1,000.00

 

Portable Classroom Rental

$28,416.00

$390,416.00

Road Fund
   

Local Road Assistance

$25,096.00

 

Use of Road Fund

$2,000.00

$27,096.00

Code Enforcement Fund
   

Local Plumbing Fees

$2,500.00

 

Code Enforcement Fund Transfer

$6,000.00

 

Code Enforcement Fees

$6,500.00

$15,000.00

Animal Control Fund
 

Local Animal Control Fees

 

$700.00

Dump Closing Fund
 

 

Dump Closing Fund

 

$750.00

Revaluation Reserve Fund

 

 

Revaluation Reserve Fund

 

$18,000.00

Total Offsets to Local Property Tax

 

 

$451,962.00

*Municipal Revenue Sharing will also reduce the tax commitment and is not included in the above figure.  (The Selectmen and Budget Committee recommend the revenue figures listed above.)

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as written.  There was a short discussion about the use of surplus.  The motion passed on a hand vote.
36. To see if the Town will vote to establish and/or continue the following funds:

 

Fund Balance

Account

Balance as of

12/31/2003

Code Enforcement Fund

$27,962.88

Dump Closing Fund

$6,894.35

Fire Truck Reserve Fund

$26,105.68

Salt/Sand Shed Reserve Fund

$51,971.50

Road Assistance Fund

$4,260.45

Education Capital Fund

$2,413.74

Animal Control Fund

$788.25

Revaluation Reserve Fund

$29,413.86

Insurance Deductible Fund

$4,101.38

Harbor Fund

$4,042.00

Portable Classroom Maintenance

Fund

$3,598.59

Cable TV Channel Fund

$4,221.68

 

 (The Selectmen and Budget Committee recommend continuing the above funds)

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as written.  The motion passed on a hand vote without discussion.

 

  1. To see if the Town will authorize expenditure of funds from the Harbor Fund for improvements at the Harbor area as suggested to and approved by the Board of Selectmen, and to authorize the Selectmen to set the compensation of the Harbor Master and Deputy Harbor Master to be paid from the Harbor Fund. (The Selectmen recommend approval as written).

 

It was moved and 2nd to pass the article as written.  The motion passed on a hand vote without discussion.

 

Prior to adjourning, Mr. Marckoon recommended a round of applause for Selectman Thomas Spruce whose term was ending, and the members of the town meeting did so. 

 

There being no further business, the moderator declared the meeting adjourned.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Jennifer Kovacs, Town Clerk