Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Board of Selectmen
|Bob Christie||Kathleen Rybarz|
|Minutes - February 20, 2020|
Chair Bob Christie called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
Present were Selectmen S. Josephine Cooper, Robert Christie, Nathan Mason, Kathleen Rybarz (arrived 7:03 PM); Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, School Committee Members Brett Jones, Robert Pulver, Michael Brann, Superintendent of Schools Katrina Kane, Community Center Feasibility Study Committee members Allison Howaniec, Iris Simon, Appeals Board member Michael Jordan, and Parks Commission Alternate Georgianna Pulver. Selectman Gary McFarland phoned prior to the meeting to let the board know he was not able to attend.
Agenda Review – No change was proposed to the printed agenda. There was no addendum.
Minutes, February 6, 2020 – Nathan moved to approve the minutes as written. Jo 2nd. Vote in favor was 3-0.
Expenditure Warrant 19 – Selectmen signed the warrant in the amount of $90,655.72.
Cash & Budget Report – Stu said expenditures are about where they should be and revenues are doing well as the 2nd half of the real estate taxes are coming in. At this point Selectman Rybarz arrived.
Tax Acquired Property – Stu reported the town automatically foreclosed on three pieces of property for which the 2017/18 tax liens were not paid. He said two were pieces of land on either side of Needles Eye Road belonging to Peter Sullivan of Florida. He said Mr. Sullivan received his certified mail but had not responded. The other is a residence and land owned by the heirs of Lorelei Leslie. He said the US Department of Agriculture has a mortgage on the property and they have indicated an interest in paying off the liens. He said he’s prepared letters to both USDA and Mr. Sullivan offering the property for all back taxes, fees and interest.
Kathleen moved to sign the letters. Nathan 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0; Selectmen signed letters.
Stu also reported that the party occupying the Buttermilk Road property with whom the Selectmen have an installment agreement was in to make a payment earlier in the day, and the agreement should be satisfied in about 2-weeks.
Joint Meeting with School Committee, Community Center Feasibility Study Committee – Bob thanks those in attendance for venturing out. School Committee chair and study committee member Brett Jones asked how the discussion would be formatted. Nathan said it’s just a discussion He said the fire department wants to do some things, the school has some plans, there is a survey of sorts and several parts of town government are bumping heads. Mr. Jones asked if some of the possible projects could be done together. He said there is a desire from the fire department for an addition and that the portable classrooms be removed, but the school requires more classroom space and more gym space. He said there also seems to be a desire from the community for a community center of some sort. He gave a brief synopsis of the survey the study committee had taken. He said the comprehensive plan supported a community center, but the survey said not a lot of money should be spent on one. He said any community center project is not going to be an insubstantial cost, and asked how to make the projects happen.
Iris Simon asked if there has been a conversation with the fire department. Kathleen said the fire department indicated they need more storage units and possibly a changing area. Fire Captain Michael Jordan said the current fire station was built in 1990 and needs some renovation after 30-years. He said the meeting room is not ADA compliant. He said there is a desire for a downstairs meeting room. He said someday when an employee might work at the station there will be space needs. He said the fire department is trying to coordinate how things will mesh together.
Mrs. Simon asked if the fire department is happy with the station’s location. Stu said he is not. Cpt. Jordan said the only way to move is toward the school. Jo asked if there is any thought being given to locating the fire station in a different location. Capt. Jordan said it would likely cost $1-million to build a new fire station. Nathan said there is a proposal to put a water tank in and asked if that was part of the purpose of moving the portable classroom. Mr. Jones said a tank would also benefit the schools as a sprinkler system is needed. A brief discussion followed on fire suppression systems to bring the school up to code.
Superintendent of Schools Katrina Kane says the 10-year projection shows that the school will grow. She handed out a report, and said the last 5-year projection was pretty accurate. She said the school currently has about 122-students and is projected to gain another 10 in the next five years. She said program space is challenging. She said there is no space for a pre-K program, and the art and music programs share space in a portable classroom without water. She said they did a facilities study, and are using a renovation plan developed in 2006 to come up with a cost estimate. Mr. Jones said the rough numbers show a substantial cost increase from the estimate in the early 2000s. A brief discussion followed. Mr. Jones said the discussion will focus on classroom space and the gym.
School Committee member Michael Brann said it’s difficult because so much is out of the town’s control. He said there is a push to incorporate Pre-K programs. He said teacher salaries are increasing, high school tuition is rising, and it’s difficult to budget. He said the school gym is really a multi-purpose area, and everything comes together in the gym. School Committee member Bob Pulver said the delivery of education has changed dramatically. Nathan said he’d looked at the design of the new Sumner middle and high school and agreed that things have changed. A brief discussion followed.
Bob said it doesn’t seem like there could be a community center at the school. Mr. Jones said it’s any school project is not likely to see any state funding in reality. A brief discussion followed about state funding. Nathan asked if it is possible to combine a school and community center project. Mr. Jones said there are a lot of questions including traffic, staffing, cleaning, and even utilizing the fire department building as a community center. Study committee member Allison Howaniec said safety is a priority. Nathan said South Portland has a facility attached to its school. He said the school gym in Lamoine is currently the community center.
Bob asked if a dug well has been discussed and a brief discussion followed. Mr. Pulver said staff input is important. Kathleen asked if there is grant money for fire stations. Stu said not at the state level. Mrs. Simon asked if Oak Point Associates, the firm the school is employing for its study, would be open to a community center idea. Superintendent Kane said they are aware of the community center discussion. She said that may impact the timing on how to move forward. She said they did the 2006 plan. Stu said parking is an issue at the current facilities and a brief discussion followed.
Bob said the school needs discussion and how to adapt facilities for community use and parking is useful. He said the discussion is not as focused on a community center and it makes a lot of sense to go with a school improvement plan. Nathan said the town has been down that road. Mrs. Simon said there is better buy-in to combine a project as a separate community center probably wouldn’t fly. Mr. Pulver there may be an opportunity to share infrastructure. Bob mentioned that Portland did it. Stu said there’s been no discussion about the needs at the town hall.
Mrs. Howaniec said the study committee has reviewed the survey results. She said 80% of the community felt there was a value to having a community center She said the results showed the school is a big factor Nathan said the spreadsheet prepared by the committee showed a general feeling that a community center would be positive for the town. Mrs. Simon said the survey results pretty much mirror those of the comprehensive plan. Mrs. Howaniec passed around here thoughts on a community center layout. She said there was some discussion about including money for a consultant in next year’s budget.
Superintendent Kane talked about sharing an architect. Stu said his thought was getting some consultation on how to guide the town forward on a community center. There was a brief discussion on where things stand with the school and Oak Point Associates. Stu asked when the next planned meeting was with Oak Point. Nathan asked if it was a viable option for the town to make some inquiry with them.
Nathan asked what the bonding plan might be for the school. Mr. Jones said a 20-year bond. A discussion followed on possible funding sources as well as combining consulting services. Ginger Madore said there is some rural grant money. Jo said a community center requires use scheduling and building versatility.
Superintendent Kane said when she speaks with Oak Point Associates next she would ask some logistical questions and how other communities have handled similar needs. Mrs. Simon advised to keep an eye on properties that go up for sale. A brief discussion followed.
Conservation Commission – Bob said the Conservation Commission chair has requested permission to pursue a grant opportunity. Kathleen moved to support the request. Bob 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.
Electronic Waste Collection – Kathleen moved to approve the request of the Conservation Commission to spend $200 to set up an E-Waste collection on June 20th. Bob 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.
Returnables – Nathan moved to approved May 2020 as the month for the returnables proceeds for the Conservation Commission. Kathleen 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.
Lamoine 150! Proclamation – Jo said the proclamation is similar to that which was signed in 1995 for the town’s 125th birthday celebration. Nathan moved to sign the proclamation, Kathleen 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0. The proclamation will be unveiled at the town’s birthday party planned for March 1, 2020.
Jo said the committee is still doing a lot and response has been great.
Resignation – Nathan moved to accept the resignation of Karen Hood as an alternate member of the Board of Appeals. Kathleen 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.
Emergency Operations Plan – Stu said the document he’d inserted into the Selectmen’s Packet was a proposed update to the existing plan which is several years old. He asked the Board to review the document with an eye on possibly approving at the next meeting. A brief discussion followed on the various roles filled during a declared emergency.
Roads – Stu said he’d called the John W. Goodwin Jr. offices and left a message but did not get a call back. He said there are no road posting signs available locally.
Stu said he’d forwarded an e-mailed complaint from a resident and his response to the complainant to the board. Kathleen remarked that most likely the complaint refers to a state highway.
Next Meeting – The next meetings are set for March 5 and March 19, 2020. Stu said Chip Reeves will meet with the board on the 5th on the transfer station design and Brian Lippold will meet with the board on the 19th regarding broadband expansion.
Kathleen asked if the board is going in period costume for the annual town meeting. Jo said no, but there will be a re-enactment of the first town meeting.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.
Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen.