Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Budget Committee
Minutes - November 8, 2021
Chair Merle Bragdon called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.
Present were: Budget Committee members Greg Hiltz, Mark Harris, Robin Veysey, Tiffany McMullen, Merle Bragdon; Secretary Stu Marckoon, Fire Chief George “Skip” Smith.
Minutes – November 8, 2021 – Mark moved to approve the minutes as presented. Robin 2nd. Vote in favor was 5-0.
Budget Reviews – Capital Projects – Stu reviewed each line of the proposed budget, including fire truck debt payment, fire department SCBA bottles, the $1,000 addition to the Land Conservation Fund, another appropriation to the Community Center fund, and the remainder to pay the cost of the revaluation.
Fire Department/Public Safety – Merle asked how the personnel reimbursement/stipend system worked. Chief Smith said it’s based on attendance and responses to emergency calls. He said he gave the chief officers of the department a little more this year. Merle remarked that not many lines showed a significant increase. Chief Smith said the cost for diesel, heating fuel and electricity is a big unknown.
Merle asked if something different was being proposed for truck maintenance. Chief Smith said they try to keep the trucks and boat in excellent operating condition. Merle asked about a possible catastrophic repair fund. Chief Smith said the idea is to be more prepared in case a major repair is needed. Merle said he’s not a big fan of creating reserve funds, and a lengthy discussion followed regarding budgeting annually in the event of an unexpected major repair versus establishing a fund for such repairs. Mark moved to establish a general reserve fund for the fire department for unexpected repairs. Tiffany asked what would be considered catastrophic. Chief Smith said any repair for which funds were not available in the operating budget. Robin 2nd. Vote in favor was 5-0. Chief Smith was asked to come back to the next meeting with a budget figure in mind.
Merle asked about the jump in price for turnout gear. Chief Smith said the cost is now in excess of $2,500 per set. Robin asked how often gear is replaced. Chief Smith said an interior firefighter is required to have a new set every 10-years. He said this is an issue he’ll have to discuss with the Select Board, as some of the gear is now 7-years old.
Public Safety – Stu explained the other aspects of the public safety budget, including ambulance, dispatch and animal control.
Revenues – The committee discussed revenues including excise taxes, agent fees, revenue sharing, income from the easement sale of the cell phone tower, surplus use and the ARPA funds.
Next Meeting – Stu said the Planning Board meeting for next Monday is canceled, but the Parks Commission will not meet until December 13th, just before the Budget Committee. Merle said he thinks the entire budget can be wrapped up on the 13th. Stu noted that many of the outside agencies have submitted their funding requests and tomorrow is the deadline. The next Budget Committee meeting will be at 6:30PM on December 13, 2021.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned by unanimous vote at 7:19 PM.
Stu Marckoon, Secretary