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Administrative Assistant to the Select Board

Stu Marckoon
Report for Meeting of January 20, 2022

Brrr.  It’s a balmy 1 degree this (Tuesday, January 11, 2022) afternoon.  We had the furnaces cleaned today at the town hall and fire station.  They’re working just fine!

 

Today marks my 29th anniversary on the job for the town.  I’m not sure what significance that holds, but I am sure thankful for the employment. 

 

I am pleased that the office will be back to full strength on Thursday.  Nancy Jones filled in during the absence.  Thankfully it wasn’t terribly busy.  All the basketball games assigned to me to referee after last Tuesday were canceled due to various reasons.  We were one of the only town offices in the area open during the storm last Friday (the 7th).  It was surprisingly busy that day with folks looking to renew snowmobile registrations.  I also wanted to make sure we were open so that candidates with nominating petitions could get them turned in on time.

 

Your agenda for January 20th is not particularly crowded unless I’ve missed something. 

 

Minutes – January 6, 2022 – Please review the minutes and I appreciate the written corrections you’ve submitted.  Very helpful.

 

Expenditure Warrant 17 – I expect school warrants will be added, probably the day before your meeting.  So far the warrant is not all that large – the biggest bill is for snow plowing.  We will most likely need to transfer some money from the investment account finally to cover the warrant, as the school payroll alone will exceed the amount in the regular checking account.

 

Audit Update – I spoke with our auditor this (Tuesday, 1/11/22) afternoon.  He advises that the school department audit won’t be ready for them to do until mid-February.  He will be sending the municipal side opening balances over shortly which will be somewhat helpful.  The audit will not be ready to add to the town report, but he’s optimistic it will be ready at least 10-days before the open town meeting as required by law. 

 

Tax Lien Foreclosure Update – As of this writing, one of the folks to whom we sent the required notice has paid their 2019/20 property taxes.  That leaves 13 lots that have not.  We got word yesterday that the owner of two of those lots has passed away.  I will diligently check to see if a personal representative is appointed to his estate and attempt to get timely notice to that person(s).  I saw another property owner who said he would be in to see me sometime this week.

 

Fire Truck Loan Closing – I spoke with Camden National Bank on Friday after the board awarded the bid at the last meeting.  We are required to obtain bond counsel.  I’ve asked Camden National to contact Mike Trainor, whom we’ve used on previous bonds.  I suspect this will cost about $2,000 for legal fees 

 

ARPA UpdateBroadband – I spoke on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 with John Daugherty of Mission Broadband who is handling the county stuff.  I have told him we will request at 1:1 match from Hancock County for our project ($110,000 from Lamoine, $110,000 from the county).  This will go before the County Commissioners on Tuesday, January 18th.  We will be the first town in Hancock County to request broadband assistance.   Because we included $11,000 more in Premium Pay (see below) for ARPA funds use, I lowered the town’s broadband commitment to $110,000, which is half of what Charter/Spectrum says they will wire the rest of the community.  The other $1,000 came out of the fire department water project.

 

Premium Pay – I’ve revised the memo that was generated in November to bring premium pay up to a total of $30,000 for the town.  That includes doubling our payment per response for firefighters for each call to $20.00 and a slight increase to front line staff who worked directly with the public during the emergency declaration.  The memo is included in your packet.  I will warn you that with premium pay, I am in line for a very significant payment between the fire department and town office staff. 

 

Stray Animal Contract – The annual contract with Small Animal Clinic is up for renewal.  A copy is in your packet.

 

Town Meeting Warrant 2022 – Please review the warrant that is in your packet.  Unless you give me any changes, this will be ready to sign at your meeting in its present form. If you find any errors, please let me know ASAP so that a corrected version can be signed.

 

Specimen Ballot – The Selectboard & Assessor elections will be uncontested.  There are four candidates running for two slots for School Committee.   The sample ballot is in your packet.  Please read it over for any errors.  Absentee ballots will be available beginning on February 4, 2022.

 

Town Report 2021 – I am making pretty fast progress on the town report.  Waiting for a few board and department reports to include as well as the preliminary trial balance from the auditors.  I hope to have everything ready for the meeting.

 

Technology Committee – I have proposed to the IT director to have the committee meet at 6PM before your meeting.  If that’s doable with him, there may be a recommendation on the website and some tech purchases.

 

Billing for Fire Department Service – A gentleman from a company that recovers costs from insurance companies (for a 20% commission) met with me this morning to see if we might be interested.  I will run this by the fire chief to see if he is interested.  We would need an ordinance and a fee schedule.  The bills would go to insurance companies, not to residents.

 

Conservation Commission Grant – Larissa will be in attendance to discuss that with you. An e-mail from her is in your packet.

 

And that’s the agenda…..say warm!

stu