02-25-2014 Select Board Meeting Minutes


Town of Bowdoinham

Select Board Meeting

February 25, 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 were Linda Jariz, George Christopher, Bob Curtis and Dean Beckwith. 


2.         Amendments to the Agenda – None


3.         Approve Consent Calendar

  1. Meeting Minutes of February 11, 2014

B.   Warrants & Financial Reports:

1.   Treasurer’s Warrant #53 for $258,514.72


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


4.         Discussion Items

A.  Report from the Advisory Committee on Aging


            Linda Jariz, representing the Advisory Committee on Aging (COA), provided an overview of the committee’s report on their first year of work (report attached). She stated that everything that has been done has been accomplished by volunteers which amounts to 910 volunteer hours resulting in 1,092 contact hours with residents for the various programs and activities.   


The committee has found there is a need for programs and activities for the older adults in Bowdoinham, and many have been started and are ongoing. However, the committee has also discovered that there is a limit to what the volunteers can accomplish, and there are more programs and activities that are needed. Therefore, the committee is requesting funding through the Town budget for a staff person that would work with the committee and coordinate the programs and activities for the older adults. The committee believes 10 to 15 hours per week is needed at this point.


Ms. Jariz stated that the committee developed a list of issues and needs that a staff person could address. They include:


  • A need for a vibrant and active senior center and it must offer activities throughout the day to engage residents.
  • A need for a central point of contact for older adults.
  • Many more residents that have not been engaged.
  •  Volunteers are maxed out
  • Staff will coordinate and allow volunteers to continue running programs and activities.
  • There is a greater need for transportation and the volunteers drivers need to be vetted and coordinated.


Mr. Curtis stated that he has attended some meetings of the committee and also activities at the senior center and believes that this is a very dedicated group.


The Manager stated that he met with the committee to discuss what type of funding would be needed for a staff person 10 to 15 hours per week. He stated that funding would be needed from $7,000 to $11,000, depending on the number of hours. This would be for wages only, and would not include supplies, training, travel, or equipment.


Board member Wendy Cunningham stated that she has heard very good comments from residents about the programs and activities created by the committee. She asked if the committee has thought about whom the staff person would report to.


The Manager stated that he discussed with the committee what department to include the staff person in and decided that the best fit would be in the administration department. Any employee of the Town reports to the manager.


The Manager stated that he would like guidance from the Board as to whether funding for a staff person to support activities and programs for older adults is supported by the Board or not, as he is finalizing the proposed budget for the next fiscal year currently.


Chair Hobart stated that it would seem this position could grow similar to the recreation director’s position has grown over the years in response to what is wanted by the community.


Board member Tourtelotte stated that because of the aging population, it seems that this is needed and with the article in Downeast magazine naming the town as one of the six best places to live in Maine, there may be more people looking to move here.


The Manager asked the Board if there is a funding amount that they would recommend in the budget since the Board supports providing funding. Chair Hobart stated, and the Board agreed, that the Manager should work funding into the budget based on his recommendation.


5.         Action Items

            A.  Act on Draft Merrymeeting Trail Board of Supervisors Interlocal Agreement


            Planning and Development Director Nicole Briand stated that the concept of the Merrymeeting Trail started in 2008 when the Towns of Richmond, Bowdoinham, Topsham and Gardiner entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to plan and develop the Merrymeeting Trail that would connect the four communities. The planning and development, and eventual construction of the trail is a long-term project as the construction and development costs are high and grant funding will be needed for the full construction.

            At this point, there is no decision-making body for the Merrymeeting Trail, and the proposal is to create a Board of Supervisors that would include two representatives from each town. This Board of Supervisors would make decisions for the trail project and create by-laws and other administrative documents. In order to create a Board of Supervisors, the legislative body of each town needs to authorize the Select Board or Council to enter into an interlocal agreement. A warrant article has been drafted, and Briand asked that this article be placed on the town meeting warrant fro June.


            On motion of Hobart/Turgeon, the Board voted 4 – 0 to approve the concept of the Merrymeeting Trail Board of Supervisors Interlocal Agreement and direct the Manager to place the interlocal agreement question on the town meeting warrant.


            B.   Act on Policy for Budget Requests by Potential Community Service and Social Service Agencies


            The Manager stated that the Board reviewed the draft of this policy at the last meeting and agreed to move forward with the policy. The Manager asked if the Board wishes to put a cap on each request by each agency or not.


            Board member Cunningham stated that a cap may be a good idea to control the requests.


            Board member Turgeon stated that any request will be discussed first with the Finance Advisory Committee, then the Select Board and finally at town meeting, so she believes a cap is not necessary on the requests.


            Chair Hobart asked the Manager if a cap would help him through the budget process. The Manager stated that it would not matter as each request would be reviewed individually.


            On motion of Hobart/Turgeon, the Board voted 4 – 0 to approve the Policy for Budget Requests by Potential Community Service and Social Service Agencies and deleted the first sentence under Section IV. General Procedures.


C.        Act on Adjustment to Monthly Health Benefit Allotment


The Manager stated that the Personnel Policy allows a monthly Health Benefit Allotment for each eligible employee. This allotment can be used by employees to purchase health insurance from the plans offered by the town up to a full family plan. The Select Board adjusts the health benefit allotment annually to match the cost for the family plan. Because of changes caused by the Affordable Healthcare Act, the plans are age-banded now, so there is not one price for the family plan. The Manager recommended that the monthly health benefit allotment be increased to $1,157.20 for a family plan, an increase of $124.03 per month effective March 1st. 


Board member Cunningham asked how much the Town contributes to the employee’s health insurance and if that was in line with other towns. The Manager stated that the Town pays 100% of the employee’s family plan. The plan is a high deductible plan, so the costs are less than plans in other towns. Other towns have better plans and employees pay a share of the family plan costs, and some pay 100% of the costs.


On motion of Cunningham/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 4 – 0 to approve the Health Benefit Allotment of $1,157.20 per month for eligible employees.




6.         Town Manager’s Report


            The Manager reported that the state legislature had passed a change to revenue sharing that will not drastically reduce the amount of funding received by the Town. The governor is expected to let the bill become law without his signature because the votes in the legislature would be enough to override his veto. If the bill had not been approved, the Town would have seen another reduction of $70,000 to $80,000. Instead, the Town will see a reduction of $10,000.


            The Manager reported that Time Warner Cable and Comcast have announced a plan to merge the two companies. It is unclear if this would be beneficial to Bowdoinham or not. The merger will take years to finalize if it happens.


            The Manager reported that the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) has reversed its prior decision to post a 15 ton limit on the Brooklyn Bridge on Route 24. MDOT has stated that there will be no weight limit. The Manager has asked for an explanation from MDOT as to why the decision was changed.


            The Manager stated that the former owner of the tax-acquired property on Little Egypt Lane asked if he could enter into a payment arrangement with the Town as he cannot pay the entire $4,100 owed on the property as directed by the Board. The former owner would like to pay $2,500 and then make eight monthly payments until the taxes are paid. The $2,500 payment would pay the 2011 and 2012 tax years and some of 2013.


            On motion of Turgeon/Hobart, the Board voted 4 – 0 to authorize the Manager to enter into a payment plan with Raymond Seigler, Jr. as stated.


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


8.         Announce Future Select Board Meetings

A.  March 11th – Regular Meeting

B.   March 25th – Regular Meeting


9.         Comments from Select Board Members


            Chair Hobart asked if the merger of Time Warner Cable and Comcast would allow extensions from Richmond into un-served areas of Bowdoinham. Board member Turgeon stated that she would be surprised if it would given the costs that were quoted before.


Board member Cunningham stated that she appreciated the superintendent and business manager of MSAD 75 attending the Board’s last meeting and providing the information on the budget. However, she believes that the information provided was executive summary level and would like more detailed information on the increases in costs that were discussed. Board member Tourtelotte agreed.


Board member Turgeon stated that the school board will have a meeting with all Select Boards and provide detailed information. Board member Cunningham replied that meeting will be good, but she would like more data before the meeting so that she can review it.


The Manager stated that he would contact the business manager for more detailed information.


Board member Tourtelotte asked if the next newsletter could include mention of the article in Downeast magazine about Bowdoinham. The Manager stated that he would try to get it in.


Board member Turgeon stated that she contacted the Manager about a complaint from a resident about logging truck traffic on Post Road. The Manager stated that he contacted the Sheriff’s Office about the complaint.


10.       Comments from the Public


            Dean Beckwith stated that he supports many businesses in town, including the Town Landing Restaurant. He feels that he cannot go to the restaurant because a selectman is saying that Beckwith should not run for office again.


11.       Adjourn


            The meeting adjourned by acclamation at 6:19 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