01-22-2013 Select Board Meeting Minutes


Town of Bowdoinham

Select Board Meeting

January 22, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.



1.         Call the Meeting to Order & Establish a Quorum


The meeting was called to order and quorum established by Chairman Hobart at 5:30 p.m.  Select Board members Brian Hobart, Kathy Gallant, and Kathy Tome were present. Members M. Theresa Turgeon and Douglas Tourtelotte were absent.  Staff present included Town Manager William Post.  Also present were Stuart Burrell and George Christopher.


2.         Amendments to the Agenda – None


3.         Approve Consent Calendar

  1. Meeting Minutes of January 8, 2013
  2. Warrants & Financial Reports:
    1. Treasurer’s Warrant #38 for $283,413.87


On motion of Tome/Gallant, the Board voted 3 – 0 to approve the consent calendar as presented.


4.         Action Items


            A.  Act on Job Description for Fire Chief.


The Manager stated that he prepared a job description for the Volunteer Fire Chief’s position. The current fire chief reviewed it as did the Town’s attorney.


Board member Kathy Gallant asked why there was little mention of the trainings to be provided to the fire department personnel. The Manager stated that the department has a training officer that schedules the trainings while the fire chief oversees all operations and personnel, including the training officer.


            On motion of Gallant/Tome, the Board voted 3 – 0 to approve the job description for the Volunteer Fire Chief position as presented.


            B.      Act on Authorization for Town Manager to Waive Foreclosure on Certain Tax Liens


The Manager stated that February 1, 2013 is the date when the 2011 tax liens will automatically foreclose. Since the date is before the Board’s next meeting, the Manager asked the Board for authorization to waive foreclosure of some tax liens if it is not in the best interests of the Town.


            On motion of Gallant/Tome, the Board voted 3 – 0 to authorize the Town Manager, acting as Treasurer, to Waive Foreclosure on 2011 tax liens as deemed necessary


            C.     Act on Municipal Budget Calendar


            The Manager stated that the dates had not changed since the Board reviewed the draft version at the last meeting. Dates may still change based on the process and how the state’s budget process affects the Town.


            On motion of Tome/Gallant, the Board voted 3 – 0 to approve the Municipal Budget Calendar as presented.


5.         Discussion Items


            A.  Announce Fire Chief’s Retirement and Discuss Process for Hiring Fire Chief


            The Manager stated that Fire Chief Jack Tourtelotte will retire effective April 1st. He recommended that the position be advertised internally first and that a panel of four, including himself, a Select Board member and two fire department officials from another town interview the candidates. He recommended a deadline of February 8th for applications to be submitted to him with the interviews to follow in February. A candidate would then be recommended to the Select Board for appointment, hopefully at the Board’s March 12th regular meeting.


            Select Board member Kathy Tome asked Chair Hobart if he was interested in sitting on the interview panel. Hobart stated that he was. Board members Tome and Kathy Gallant stated that they would like to sit in on the interviews.


            B.   Discuss Sagadahoc County Budget Advisory Committee Caucus


The Manager stated that the County Caucus for the Budget Committee is Tuesday, February 5th at 6:00 p.m. Chair Hobart’s term is up for election and he is willing to let another municipal officer serve if someone is interested. Select Board member Theresa Turgeon said she is interested if Brian does not want to continue. All Select Board members should attend the caucus to nominate and elect the interested Board member.


6.         Town Manager’s Report


            The Manager stated that the Town’s Heating Assistance Program is running low on funding. The Town has helped 18 families this heating season, and only one is a repeat applicant from last year. Donations have been received in the last few weeks for about $1,300, but more is needed. 


            The Manager stated that the Governor’s proposed state budget calls for many changes that will dramatically affect Bowdoinham, and all municipalities in the state. The budget proposes suspending revenue sharing which would reduce Bowdoinham’s revenue by $188,000. In addition, the state budget proposes to shift all commercial excise tax collections from towns to the state. This is an additional $36,000 that would be lost. If the Town’s budget did not change next year, these revenue cuts would add approximately $1.00 to the tax rate resulting in an increase of approximately $200 to the tax bill of a home valued at $200,000.


            The Governor’s proposed budget also eliminates the current Homestead Exemption and replaces it with a different exemption for veterans and those over the age of 65. It is not clear how this will affect Bowdoinham, but the elimination of the current Homestead Exemption would increase the tax bill by another $146.00.


            There are other changes that will affect the Town and its residents including cuts to the General Assistance Program, the Business Equipment Tax Exemption Program, and the elimination of the “circuit breaker” tax refund program.


            The Manager stated that he does not believe that all of these proposals will be approved by the legislature, but that the budget proposal needs to be watched while the Town puts together its budget for the next fiscal year. Unfortunately, the state’s budget may not be finalized until the Town’s is completed. The Manager intends to draft two budgets, one showing cuts and one that would keep current services in place. He will have more information for the Board as time progresses.


7.         Select Board Member’s Request for Agenda Items for Next Meeting – None 


8.         Announce Future Meetings and Events

A.  Select Board Meetings

1. February 12th – Regular Meeting

2. February 26th – Regular Meeting

            B.   Opening Day of Senior Center January 24th Second Baptist Church Basement 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

            C.  Planning Board Meeting January 24th 6:00 p.m. Coombs Municipal Building

            D.  Cable/Internet Advisory Committee Meeting January 24th 6:30 p.m. Coombs Building

            E.   2nd Annual Ice & Smelt Festival February 2nd 1:00 – 7:00 p.m. Waterfront

            F.   250th Anniversary Committee Meeting February 6th 7:00 p.m. Coombs Building


9.         Comments from Select Board Members


            Board member Tome stated that the second meeting on the Food Bank showed a great deal of support from community members.  At the meeting she summarized the ideas of where it could be located. She stressed that she does not want to wait for the perfect location and wants to start small. The Second Baptist Church has offered space in the basement and she believes that it will be a good place to start.  Tome also stated that this is not funded by the Town and she is pursuing the creation of a 501c3 non-profit organization.  She expects something to happen in March.


10.       Comments from the Public


            George Christopher stated that the senior center is not receiving any funding from the Town and only using two hours per month of the Recreation Director’s time. The Advisory Committee on Aging is staffing the senior center. Four or five members of the committee will be at the senior center to see if this works for a couple of months. The question is whether or not there is a critical mass of people that want services or programs. He stated that they hopefully will find this out in the first few meetings. The goal is to encourage groups of people to be self-perpetuating and not rely on the Town.  All meeting spaces in town can be used for different activities including the Second Baptist Church, the Fire Station, Town Hall, Town Office and the Merrymeeting Grange.


11.       Adjourn


            The meeting adjourned by acclamation at 6:16 p.m.




                                    Select Board                                                                                                   

                                    Town of Bowdoinham, Maine   Brian Hobart, Chair




                                                                                                M. Theresa Turgeon, Vice-Chair




                                                                                                Kathleen Gallant




                                                                                                Kathy Tome




                                                                                                Douglas Tourtelotte




                                                                                                Respectfully Submitted,




                                                                                                William S. Post, Town Manager