01-28-2014 Select Board Meeting Minutes


Town of Bowdoinham

Select Board Meeting

January 28, 2014 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, M. Theresa Turgeon, Wendy Cunningham, and Doug Tourtelotte were present.  Board member Kathy Gallant was absent. Staff present included Town Manager William Post and Planning & Development Director Nicole Briand. Also present was George Christopher, David Engler, John Beaudoin, and Dean Beckwith 


2.         Amendments to the Agenda – Item 3.B.3 added


3.         Approve Consent Calendar

  1. Meeting Minutes of January 14, 2014

B.   Warrants & Financial Reports:

1.   Treasurer’s Warrant #46 for $61,019.58

2.   December Treasurer’s Report

2.   Treasurer’s Warrant #48 for $75.00

            C.  Reports & Communications

                  1.   Fire Department’s December Incident Report

                  2.   Letter from MSAD 75 re: FY15 School Budget

            D.  Quit Claim Deed(s)

                  1.   Sean Halsey for 2012 taxes paid

                  2.   Carl R. and Theresa R. Herard for 2012 taxes paid


On motion of Hobart/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 4 – 0 to approve the Consent Calendar as presented.


4.         Action Items

A.  Act on Appointment of John Beaudoin as an alternate to the Finance Advisory Committee (FAC)


The Manager stated that there is one vacancy for an alternate on the Finance Advisory Committee. John (Jack) Beaudoin expressed an interest in serving on a town committee and the Manager mentioned the FAC. Mr. Beaudoin agreed to volunteer and provided a letter outlining his background, which is appropriate for service on the committee. The term is through June 30, 2016.


            On motion of Tourtelotte/Turgeon, the Board voted 4 – 0 to appoint John Beaudoin to the Finance Advisory Committee as an alternate for a term ending June 30, 2016.


B.   Act on Approval of Contract by and between Town and Wilderbydesign for Signage Master Plan


The Manager stated that the Town received two proposals for developing a signage master plan from the request for proposals that was issued. Both companies were interviewed by one or two CDAC members along with Nicole Briand and Kathy Gallant. There was a significant difference in price between the two proposals. Wright-Pierce’s proposal was at a cost of approximately $15,000, while Wilderbydesign’s proposal was for a cost of $5,230. The recommendation is to contract with Wilderbydesign for the project. Funding for the project will be from the current TIF account.


Board member Theresa Turgeon asked why there was a large difference in price. Nicole Briand stated that Wright-Pierce is an engineering firm that has much more overhead and charges higher prices for it’s per hour staff. In addition, the project they proposed was much larger than the request for proposals called for. Wilderbydesign is one individual with a rate of $45 per hour and the proposal met the request for proposals.


Board member Wendy Cunningham asked if references were checked. Briand stated that they were.


Board member Cunningham asked if there were aspects of Wright-Pierce’s proposal that could be incorporated in the project. Briand stated that there were some aspects that could be incorporated into the project, and that was discussed. Any additional work would be billed on a per-hour basis.


On motion of Cunningham/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 4 – 0 to approve the Contract by and Between the Town of Bowdoinham and Wilderbydesign with funding from the TIF account.


C.  Act on Policy on Treasurer’s Disbursement Warrants for Employee Wages and Benefits and State Fees


            The Manager stated that this is the yearly update of this policy that allows one select board member to review and sign warrants for payroll, benefits and state fees that are paid on a weekly basis or in between Select Board meetings. This is authorized by state law, but the policy is adopted annually.


            On motion of Tourtelotte/Turgeon, the Board voted 4 – 0 to approve the Policy on Treasurer’s Disbursement Warrants for Employee Wages and Benefits and State Fees.


            D.  Act on Mailly Waterfront Park Policy


            The Manager stated that this policy is in its third draft after previous discussions by the Select Board. This policy replaces the current town policy “Policy for Use of Town Owned Land” dated May 23, 2001 that also included the old fire station property on Main Street. The Manager and Briand would like to have this policy adopted and in place for the upcoming season of usage at the Mailly Park.


            On motion of Tourtelotte/Turgeon, the Board voted 4 – 0 to approve the Mailly Waterfront Park Policy as presented.





5.         Discussion Items


            A.  Sagadahoc County Budget Advisory Committee Caucus


The Manager stated that the Town has received a notice that one County Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) position is up for election this year from our district. If any Board member is interested, they should attend the caucus. Board member Turgeon is currently a member of the County BAC.   


     B.   Potential Community and Social Service Agency Budget Requests


            The Manager stated that he has received requests from social service agencies for funding from the Town to be included in our budget process and town meeting. One of those requests received was from BCDI. The Board has previously directed that the Town does not consider such requests. However, the Board has previously provided funding to BCDI twice through the TIF account. BCDI is considering a request for funding again, and the Manager suggested that they may wish to be part of the budget process instead and be considered a community agency that would seek funds through the budget process and, ultimately, Town Meeting. This would also be the case for the Food Pantry and Merrymeeting Arts Center as well, if funding were requested. The Manager stated that he would like direction from the Board on this topic.


     Board member Turgeon asked if BCDI said that the second time they received funding would be the last time. The Manager stated that he thought they made that statement. Turgeon stated that she had objections before.


            Chair Hobart stated that these types of requests for funding have not been part of the budget process, but he does not remember why. He stated that he would be in support of letting the town meeting decide.


     Board member Wendy Cunningham asked if other towns have requirements for organizations to make sure that all funding is not from the town; that the organizations have other sources of funding. She recommended that the organizations provide by-laws, or policies. The Manager stated that other towns require requesting organizations to provide budgets and details about how many residents have been helped and the value of those services.


            Board member Turgeon asked if the Board could discuss how to handle these requests. The Manager stated that he could draft a policy for the Board to consider. The Board agreed.


C.  Abandoned or Discontinued Roads


The Manager stated that there are several old roads in town that have either been discontinued or abandoned over the years. The state laws handle roads differently based on when they were discontinued by a town meeting vote and whether or not a public easement was retained or not. Abandonment of a road is another topic. This topic has come up a few times over the last several months, Jenkins Road having been discussed by the Board previously and another property owner is now looking at Little Egypt Lane and trying to determine if it is abandoned, or discontinued, with or without a public easement.


The staff will be researching these old roads as time allows. There is a bill at the legislature (LD 1177) that would provide a solution to this problem, but it does not help at this point. I would like guidance from the Board as to how to handle this topic.


            Board member Dou Tourtelotte asked how the bill would affect this issue. The Manager stated that the bill, if passed into law, would require municipalities to create an inventory of roads that would be maintained by the Town and publish this list. Any road not on the list would be declared discontinued without a public easement. Property owners would then have two years to file a claim against the town seeking damages for the road being discontinued. The bill would also automatically eliminate the public easement on a road that was discontinued in the future, unless the town meeting voted specifically to keep the public easement.


            Chair Hobart stated that the burden of proof to determine if a public easement remains on any discontinued road would be up to the individual.


            The Manager stated that the staff is making any information available on the discontinued roads to anyone that asks, but not researching unless the Town has a vested interest. But he would like guidance from the Board.


            The Board agreed by consensus that the Town should make information available and wait to see whether the bill is approved by the legislature or not.


6.         Town Manager’s Report


            The Manager stated that the Historical Society has renovated a room on the third floor of the Coombs building to use as a research room.


            The Manager stated that there is no lease in place for the space the library uses in the Coombs building. He will prepare a lease to protect both the Town and the Library.  A lease will also be needed for the Historical Society.


            The Manager asked the Board of they would like the Superintendent and Business Manager to attend a Board meeting to discuss the school budget as they have offered. The Board asked the Manager to schedule the school officials for a future meeting.


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


8.         Announce Future Meetings and Events (Meetings at Coombs Building unless noted)

A.  Select Board Meetings

1. February 11th – Regular Meeting

2. February 25th – Regular Meeting


9.         Comments from Select Board Members


            Board member Turgeon stated that she has had many discussions over the years with residents about the Comcast franchise fee on the cable bills and the fact that the resident does not get any benefit from the fee. The Manager stated that the franchise fee is a 3 percent fee on the cable bill and is paid to the Town as part of the Franchise Agreement. The franchise fee payment is used as revenue to offset the amount to be raised from taxes, so the tax rate would be higher if this income were not used for revenue.


10.       Comments from the Public – None


11.       Adjourn


            The meeting adjourned by acclamation at 6:13 p.m.



                                    Select Board                                                                                                   

                                    Town of Bowdoinham, Maine   Brian Hobart, Chair




                                                                                                M. Theresa Turgeon, Vice-Chair




                                                                                                Wendy Cunningham




                                                                                                Kathleen Gallant




                                                                                                Douglas Tourtelotte



                                                                                                Respectfully Submitted,




                                                                                                William S. Post, Town Manager