Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Administrative Assistant to the Board of Selectmen

Stu Marckoon
Report for Meeting of April 16, 2020


I hope no one is going stir crazy with the stay at home order.  Things have been extremely quiet at the town office with the exception of people seeking burn permits. We stopped issuing those on Monday the 6th as the fire danger got too high.  I’m starting to write this on the 8th, and we expect rain and snow tomorrow, so the burn permit requests will likely start to roll in.


You’re meeting via zoom again.  As I mentioned to you in the e-mail sending the proposed agenda, I have subscribed the town for a month for $15.00 (that’ll come from the CTV Fund), as I suspect our meeting will last longer than 40-minutes.  I’m also being very cautious on how people can log into the meeting.  If someone wishes to make commentary, they can e-mail the town office to request an invite.  Otherwise, they will have to watch and listen on the CTV channel or Town Hall Streams! 


I may have mentioned that the new computer for my office arrived last week and it’s installed, with files swapped over.  What a difference!  It doesn’t freeze up (at all!) and my day is so much more productive!  Thank you for approving that. 


I have invited the Technology Committee to join the zoom meeting regarding the discussion on broadband expansion and an IT Director.   I’ve also invited Dean Tyler of Hancock.


Minutes April 2, 2020 – One of the really cool things about a Zoom meeting is that it also records the session.  (we also record on Town Hall Streams).  I found it difficult taking notes at the same time as presenting the meeting, so the playback was fantastic from which to take the minutes.  Look them over – they should be pretty accurate!


Warrant 23 – The warrant is posted on the website and is periodically updated.  We are in the process of better digitizing the property tax cards in anticipation of a future revaluation and to re-print the physical cards sometime in the next few months.  The Quill order was for card stock on which to do that.    There’s also a gadget for the new computer from Amazon so that SD cards can be read and there are more ports for USB cables.  I’m going to try to install that on the CTV computer first to see if it’ll give a higher quality output for the TV feed.  If that’s the case, I’ll get another one for the new computer as I need a couple more USB ports and an SD Card reader.   Payroll is on here, and the big bill is the final plow bill of the season.  We’ll get the school warrants in next week.


The warrant signature section is also re-worded to reflect that you met remotely and that a roll call vote has approved the warrant. 


Cash & Budget Reports – These will be updated periodically as well, and a fresh report for your meeting generated that day.  Expenditures are right where they should be.  Revenues will start to lag thanks to the emergency declaration. 


Quarterly Excise Tax Report – The first quarter was pretty good until late March.  The bottom is likely to drop out of excise collections, and that’ll be reflected in the 4th quarter report I suspect.  We saw a significant drop in the number of transactions in March, though it doesn’t really reflect in the report.  The March transactions fell by 33% just in the 10-days that we were closed in March. 


Tax Acquired Property – The ad is on the website and will be in the Ellsworth American this week (April 9th edition).  I have already had some inquiries.    I’ve not heard anything back from USDA on the Leslie property.  I will try e-mailing them again, but I suspect they’re either tied up with the COVID-19 issue, or closed down.


Fuel Bids – No Frills suggested we could save money on propane by purchasing our own tank (a big one) and get filled up fewer times a year.   You can talk about that if you wish.  The bids are due by 4PM on meeting night.   The price of crude oil continues to fluctuate.


Meeting with Brian Lippold – Mr. Lippold will have a report for you before the meeting and will join you via zoom. As mentioned before I’ve invited the Tech Committee and Mr. Tyler from Hancock to join in the discussion. 


IT Position – The Tech Committee has not had a chance to discuss this position that I proposed several weeks ago.  This might be a good time to have them and you jointly discuss it.


Chicken Ordinance – You were e-mailed an audio file of a crowing rooster this week.  The purpose of having this on the agenda is to see whether those who intended to follow up on looking for an appropriate ordinance might have an update.


Emergency Operations Plan – The small, informal subcommittee working on the plan update has not yet gotten an update back to this office.  Perhaps there will be something for meeting night.


Parks – Social Distancing – I posted a sign at the entrance to Lamoine Beach on a very heavy pole setup I found at the Anderson garage, and also stapled one to the outhouse.  I have seen some reports that the parking lot remained crowded.  So long as people keep their distance from one another, things should be fine.   I’ll check in today (the 8th) as it’s pretty nice out.


Current Emergency – We are getting kinda used to a new normal.  Jennifer and I are splitting days at the town hall, so we don’t expose one another to anything. Schools are likely closed for the rest of the school year, so she will have some child care issues for the foreseeable future.  The day splitting is working out pretty well.  I’m finding other things to do outside the office and can do some work at home.  On nice days, I hope to pick up some roadside litter.    


The public has been very good about adapting to our new service delivery methods.  I’ve been following the state’s actions and it looks like we’re going to have some challenges for the primary election in (now) July.   Stay tuned!


Litter Cleanup –A citizen suggested by e-mail a town wide day to clean up litter:


Hi Stu,


Thought of this idea as I was biking this morning and seeing all the trash along the roadside. I know the town does have a clean up day, however why not try to motivate people to do a roadside clean on everyone's street. Idea is this:


1. Promote the clean date as April 18th being at 9 am and end by noon.

2. Town coordinates a sign up of what road/street you would clean - Nancy and I would take on Shore Road. However, other people could help that reside on that street. People focus on their own area. Many hands make little work.

3. once cleaned, they could leave the bags at the end of the road and maybe Rusty could be contracted to pick them up. People could also bring their own bags to the dump if desired.


The idea is that we are all on Stay at Home orders, so why not make our community clean.


Just a thought. I would join the right group on a zoom call if needed. Could really bring our community together. People can't say they are too busy.


Hope the Marckoon household is healthy and safe.


Thanks for listening.


That’s all that I’ve got for now.  Hope you are all well and stay safe!