Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

Gary McFarland
Bob Christie Kathleen Rybarz  
 Minutes - February 6, 2020 (Draft, subject to correction)

Chair Robert Christie called the meeting to order at 7:01 PM.


Present were: Selectmen Robert Christie, Nathan Mason, Kathleen Rybarz, Gary McFarland, S. Josephine Cooper; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Appeals Board member Michael Jordan, Fire Chief George “Skip” Smith, Ken Farkas and Mark Harris.


Agenda Review – Selectmen approved of moving the fire chief to the top of the agenda.


Minutes – January 16, 2020 – Kathleen moved to approve the minutes as presented.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.


Fire ChiefStorage Trailer Placement – Chief George Smith said the fire department is looking to purchase two storage boxes and would like to place them behind the salt/sand shed.  Nathan asked what the fire department intends to store.  Chief Smith said items for their annual auction.  He said the department has run out of donated barns.  Jo suggested asking the new storage business if they’d be interested in donating a storage unit.  Chief said it would cost $2,400 apiece to purchase used storage boxes. Plus $145 to have the dealer, O’Halloran, to place them on site.  Nathan asked how they would be set.  Chief Smith said they would be places on 6” x 6” timbers.  He said eventually the department might build a roof.


A brief discussion followed on where the boxes would be stored.  Chief Smith said the fire department corporation would pay the up-front costs. He said he just wanted to know if the fire department could use the land.   Michael Jordan said there is the possibility that one of the units would be placed in front of the school portable classroom during the summer while some maintenance projects are under way at the fire station  Nathan urged the fire department to consult with the school principal.  Chief Smith said they would; the project is to re-paint the fire house floor.


Nathan moved to approve the request to place two storage containers by the salt/sand shed.  Kathleen 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.


Addition – Chief Smith asked if there were any thoughts about adding on to the fire station for office and meeting room space.  Selectmen encouraged him to attend the next meeting when discussion will center on a community center. 


Speed Sign Trailer – Chief Smith said he would like to see the fire department’s trailer which currently holds the speed monitoring sign be placed inside the Anderson Garage.  Stu said he would need help getting the sign off the trailer and moving the trailer inside.  Nathan said he would be glad to help.


Expenditure Warrant 18 – Selectmen signed the warrant in the amount of $336,765.96.  Stu noted the tuition bill for MDI High School came in, making it higher than usual.  He reported he moved $125,000 from the investment management account.  Nathan noted that next year, four students may attend George Stevens Academy which has just raised tuition. 


Cash/Budget Report – Stu said there had been a formula error on the previous report, and the school has now spent about 50% of its budget.  Bob asked about the transfer station fund amount.  Stu said the asset page shows the amount in the bank account, while the fund balance page shows the impact of operations. 


Foreclosure List – Stu reported there are 7 properties on the list that are due to foreclose tomorrow.  He said he’s heard from most property owners and some have plans to pay up.  He said only one property owner has not been in contact, and the town might tax acquire two pieces of land. 


Stu said he had also drafted a letter to a Buttermilk Road resident with whom the Selectmen had an installment sale agreement.  He noted that no payments have come in since June 2019 and the letter is a notice of default.  Nathan moved to send the letter to the heirs of Beverly Watts. Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.


W-2 Forms – Stu reported that he sent a memo regarding an issue with mailing the W-2 forms to those few employees who receive them by mail.  He said at least one went through the mail with personal information exposed.  He said he offered to have the employee sign up for credit monitoring and the town would reimburse.  Nathan noted that his company nearly experienced the same issue but caught the formatting matter in time.


Request from Board of Appeals to use attorney – Stu reported the Board of Appeals had voted to request use of attorney James Collier on the latest appeal from Alan Moldawer.  Bob asked about the list of questions that was in the packet.  Stu said those were generated by the Appeals Board.  Nathan moved to approve the request.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.


Solar Energy Update – Stu reported the last conference call with Sunpower was not particularly positive.  He said the wetlands delineator had found wetlands on some parts of the town’s property which would cut down the size of the project.  He also reported the estimate to run 3-phase power to the site was about $750,000. 


Michael Jordan said he spoke with a former Bangor Hydro worker who said he was shocked by the line extension price.  Bob asked if there was anything the town could do to help cut that cost.  A brief discussion followed on the wetlands and 3-phase power issues.  Stu said he expects the project to be dormant for a while.  Kathleen asked if the neighboring property owner might be interested.  Mr. Jordan said it appears they area.


Cable TV Expansion – Stu said the report from Casco Bay Associates indicates that Spectrum is holding strong to the costs of expanding on Eagle Point in Lamoine and Hancock.  He said Brian Lippold is willing to meet with the board on his latest findings.  He said there is more money potentially coming from the state.   Selectmen asked to invite Mr. Lippold to the March 5, 2020 meeting.


Transfer Station Design – Selectmen expressed concern at the potential costs for the initial concept design for the transfer station.  The Board would like to meet with Ken Smith to get his ideas about the proposed design.   There was a lengthy discussion about the design and the facility’s needs.


IT Position – Stu reported he had drafted a description for an information technology part time position.  He suggested referring that to the Technology Committee for a recommendation to the Selectmen.   There was no objection.


Lamoine 150! – Jo said there should be some more money in the warrant for the cost of fireworks in August.  Stu said the 2020/2021budget contains $5,000 more for the Lamoine 150! Celebration.


Jo noted that on March 1, 2020 here is a big birthday celebration planned.  She said there are some great events and coming up, including a day for everyone to take a picture and submit it to the committee on February 11, 2020.  She said on Saturday, February 8th, there is an event at the grange to share songs, poetry and tell stories about Lamoine.  She said the birthday party will include cake and ice cream.  She said town meeting night will feature an appearance from Joshua Chamberlain. 


Stu said the committee has submitted a grant for some activity.  Jo said that was for preservation of a backdrop at the Grange, and for a booklet of historic items to be printed. 


Jo said there needs to be a parade meeting soon.  There was a brief discussion about the parade and the families of Lamoine.


Town Meeting Warrant – Jo moved to sign the warrant for the annual town meeting on March 3, 2020 and March 18, 2020.  Kathleen 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0, Selectmen signed the warrant.


Comprehensive Plan Amendment – Jo moved to sign the Comprehensive Plan as amended to be proposed to the March 18, 2020 town meeting.  Nathan 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0 and Selectmen signed the plan.


Shoreland Zoning Amendment – Jo moved to sign the amended Shoreland Zoning Ordinance as drafted by the Planning Board to be presented to the annual town meeting on March 18, 2020.  Kathleen 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0, Selectmen signed the amended ordinance.


Property Line Agreement – Stu suggested waiting until after the town meeting decides whether to grant authority to draw up the line agreement to ask an attorney to draft it up.  He said it shouldn’t cost all that much, as the surveyor description was the key piece of work and it is done.


Town Report – Stu reported he is just waiting for the Superintendent of Schools report.  He asked Selectmen to read through the draft and e-mail suggested corrections.  There was a brief discussion regarding the Citizen of the Year page and the date of the honor.  Stu said he would like to get the report to the printer next week.


Census – Stu reported that he found a slight error in the boundary with Trenton from the Census Bureau as it shows Apel Way in Trenton as being part of Lamoine.  Nathan moved to sign the boundary form for the Census Bureau indicating the error.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0, Bob signed the form.


Shellfishing Enforcement – Bob said he reviewed the discussion from the previous meeting and had a discussion with Robert Alvarez Jr. about the situation.  He said Mr. Alvarez had a differing point of view on how well the flats in Lamoine are doing.  He said it would be helpful to him to meet with Mr. Alvarez and Mr. Fennelly.  Jo said she was not understanding what the issue is.  Bob said the Selectmen were told that alternating closures are helping the flats, when in reality the clam flats are not healthy. 


After a brief discussion, Kathleen said the flats are under pressure from predators and disease.  Jo asked what the town should do differently.  Kathleen said it would be good to have a report.  Nathan said the enforcement was Mr. Fennelly’s issue.  He said a contracted warden with no enforcement ability doesn’t seem like a plan that would work well.  Kathleen said cell phone technology has made it easier to report problems to the warden.  Nathan said the clam flats are a huge resource.  Kathleen said there are a lot of out of town diggers here.  


Bob noted that the Department of Marine Resources is based in town.  Stu said they only enforce state laws.  Michael Jordan suggested Selectmen attend a clam conservation committee meeting which might help get questions answered.    Kathleen said she has attended several meetings and the group has different issues than the warden issue.  She said the Board could talk with Joe Porada.


Other – Nathan said the coronavirus outbreak in China is something to think about as a risk, and how the town would respond to a pandemic.  He noted firefighters would be greatly at risk.  Mr. Jordan said firefighters exercise universal precautions when dealing with injured or sick people.  Jo said it would be good to look at the town’s emergency plan.  Kathleen suggested talking with the health officer.  Nathan said China is quarantining entire cities – something that would be the responsibility of the municipal government.


Next Meeting – the next meeting on February 20, 2020 will focus on the community center study.


Checking Account Reconciliation – Selectmen signed the statement expressing satisfaction with the checking account reconciliation for January which was e-mailed prior to the meeting.


Asa’s Lane – Stu distributed a memo regarding damage to Asa’s Lane caused by large trucks.  It was suggested to call John W. Goodwin Jr. to find out how long they intend to use this route and ask that they use a different road.  A brief discussion followed on road conditions.   Jo moved to authorize the Road Commissioner to post the roads.  Kathleen 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:23 PM.


Respectfully submitted,



Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen.