04-22-2013 Select Board Meeting Minutes


Town of Bowdoinham

Select Board Meeting

April 22, 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, Wendy Cunningham, M. Theresa Turgeon and Douglas Tourtelotte were present.  Board member Kathy Gallant arrived at 5:32 p.m. Staff present included Town Manager William Post. Also present were Peggy Muir, Tony Cox, Tom Walling, David Engler, Annette Mott, Jeff Lauder and Lee Parker.   


2.         Amendments to the Agenda – None


3.         Approve Consent Calendar

  1. Meeting Minutes of April 8, 2014


On motion of Hobart/Turgeon, the Board voted 3 – 0 – 1 (Tourtelotte abstained) to approve the meeting minutes of April 8, 2014.


B.   Warrants & Financial Reports:

1.   Treasurer’s Warrant #65 for $253,187.60

2.   Treasurer’s Warrant #66 for $44.07

3.   March Financial Report

            C.  Reports & Communications

                  1.   Fire Department’s March Incident Report


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


4.         Action Items

A.  Review and Act on Proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Budget


The Manager presented an overview of the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 municipal budget to the Board. He stated that the overall expenses show an increase of $18,188 or 1.18% on the $1,556,369 budget for Fiscal Year 2015. He stated that the budget includes a 1.5% cost of living allowance (COLA) increase for all employees, which is the same as the social security COLA for 2014 and the same as the Consumer Price Index for Northeast clerical workers (CPI-W). The health insurance increased by an average of $124.03 per month per eligible employee. There are two agency requests from the Bowdoinham Community Development Initiative (BCDI) and Merrymeeting Arts Center (MAC) for $5,000 each.  Both of these requests were recommended by the Finance Advisory Committee and are included in the municipal budget. Without these requests in the budget, the actual proposed expenses would be $8,188 or 0.52% more than the current fiscal year.


The Manager stated that non-property tax revenues are estimated to increase by $22,542 or 3.34% and he has proposed using $75,000 from undesignated fund balance, which is $25,000 less than the current year. The Town will receive approximately $11,000 less in state revenue sharing also.

The Manager then reviewed each department’s proposed expenditures. The Administration budget is proposed to increase by $4,489, or 1.2%. This includes eliminating the part-time assessing clerk position which was eight hours per week with part-time benefits and adding a ten hour per week position to assist the Advisory Committee on Aging and to work on services for older adults. This new position will not have benefits. There are reductions in costs for unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance.


The General Services budget which includes general assistance, the library appropriation, the snowmobile club appropriation and the ambulance contract has no change.


The Debt Service budget is proposed to decrease by $12,605 due to reductions in interest on the bonds as well as a pre-payment of approximately $33,000 on the 2012 bond that has reduced both interest and principle costs on this bond. The pre-payment was the amount that was saved on the Millay Road project as it came in under budget.


The Fire Department budget is proposed to increase by $845 or 1.18% to cover increased training.


The Town Maintenance budget is proposed to decrease by $4,615 because the $5,000 for painting the interior of Town Hall will not be needed again. The Manager expects that project to be completed this spring and early summer.


The Animal Control Officer and Harbor Master budgets remain the same.


The Emergency Medical Service budget is proposed to increase by $3,153 to cover costs for volunteer reimbursement and equipment for seven new responders.


The Public Works budget is proposed to increase by $17,590. Of this amount, $10,000 is for the replacement of the light-duty pick-up truck and $4,500 to purchase additional winter sand that was used this past winter. The also is a $3,000 increase in winter maintenance costs for the vehicles as they are another year older.


The Solid Waste and Recycling budget is proposed to increase $3,274 or 1.87%. This is due to the 1.5% COLA and the increase in the curbside pick-up contract of $0.05 per bag.


The Recreation budget is proposed to decrease $555.


The Planning and Codes budget is proposed to decrease $3,388 because the $5,000 budgeted for the comprehensive plan update will not be needed as the plan has been finalized and will be voted on at town meeting.


The Contingency budget is the same at $10,000. This is used only for unplanned or emergency uses. There has been no spending from this account this year, but the Board has approved using the $10,000 in this account to assist with replacing the Public Works light-duty truck.


The Manager stated that the two agency requests at $5,000 each are included in the budget, and he has put these as separate warrant articles on the draft Town Meeting warrant. The Finance Advisory Committee provided recommendations separately on each, and he recommended that the Board do that as well. He stated that Lee Parker and Peggy Muir were present to answer questions about the MAC request and Tony Cox was present to answer question about the BCDI request.


Board member Theresa Turgeon stated that the Board provided funding for BCDI the last two years and believes that BCDI stated the last time would be the last time. Board member Kathy Gallant stated that you can never see into the future. The loan program that BCDI created was one of the reasons referred to by Downeast magazine when naming Bowdoinham one of the best six places to live. 


Board member Wendy Cunningham asked if funding would be requested in future years. BCDI Board member Tony Cox stated that the funding provided previously by the Town was from the TIF account at the end of each fiscal year. He would not say that this would be the last request because he does not know at this point. BCDI is looking for other funding sources including grants. BCDI hopes to be self-sustaining in a few years.


Cunningham stated that BCDI should provide information about the return on investment – what does the funding produce. Tony Cox stated that he provided a list of farmers that have been helped by the loan program in the letter requesting the funding. Some of the results are not tangible, such as the connections that are being made between Bowdoinham farmers and businesses to other businesses that will help growth.


On motion of Hobart/Gallant, the Board voted 4 – 1 (Turgeon opposed) to recommend funding in the amount of $5,000 for BCDI.


Turgeon asked is this was the first time that Merrymeeting Arts Center has requested funding from the Town. Lee Parker stated that it is the first time as the Board has not entertained requests from non-profit organizations for a long time.


Turgeon stated that she supports this request because of the number of events offered by MAC.

Cunningham asked what the future plans are for Merrymeeting Arts Center. Lee Parker answered that the MAC is in the process of completing a strategic plan that has identified three goals including funding sources of income. The center is at a crossroads since it has been in existence for seven years and now it is trying to go to the next level. Part of the plan is for Peggy Muir and Lee Parker to step back and take on less of a leadership role and have others people lead the organization. A lease for the building across the street has been secured and five potters have agreed to use the space. A business plan is being drafted to make the leased building self-sustaining.  Peggy Muir stated that the center hopes to do more for teenagers and pre-teens, especially as the development of the skate park moves forward. 


Board member Gallant stated that she believes Merrymeeting Arts Center is an important part of the community. She asked if new people have been identified to move the organization forward. Lee Parker answered that different people are stepping up and have different ideas as to what to add to the arts center.


Tony Cox asked if a hand-out at town meeting would be allowed or how he should prepare. Chair Hobart stated that BCDI representatives should be prepared to answer questions. The Manager stated that BCDI and MAC could prepare a two-sided information sheet each to be available at town meeting when voters check in.


On motion of Turgeon/Cunningham, the Board voted 5 – 0 to recommend funding in the amount of $5,000 for Merrymeeting Arts Center.


The Manager stated that the Board could make a recommendation on each department or on the rest of the budget as a whole.


On motion of Hobart/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 5 – 0 to recommend the FY15 Budget as presented


B.   Act on FEMA Resolution


The Manager stated that the emergency declaration for damage from the series of winter storms and ice storms from December 21, 2013 to January 1, 2014 was denied by FEMA because of a change in their winter storm policy for reimbursements to states and municipalities. The new policy does not allow for reimbursements for snow removal, and sanding and salt use unless the winter storms result in an unusually high snow fall total or significant ice event.


As a result, there is an effort among Maine municipalities to have this FEMA policy changed, which is supported by MEMA. Therefore, the manager drafted a resolution for the Board to consider.


On motion of Tourtelotte/Gallant, the Board voted 5 – 0 to approve the FEMA Resolution as presented.


            C.  Act on Approval of Public Hearing Notice for May 6, 2014


The Manager stated that as part of the budget process, the Town has historically held a public hearing on the draft town meeting warrant articles including the budget. This is not necessary as the town meeting is considered a public hearing. However, a public hearing notice has been prepared for the Board to approve and the hearing is scheduled for May 6th at 5:30 p.m.


On motion of Gallant/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 5 – 0 to approve the Public Hearing Notice for May 6, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.


     D. Act on Pole Permit Application by Northern New England Telephone Operations


The Manager stated that the Town has received another pole permit application from Fairpoint Communications and CMP for a new pole on Ridge Road. There are no issues with this pole placement.


            On motion of Gallant/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 5 – 0 to approve the Pole Permit application as submitted.


5.         Discussion Items


            A.  Review Draft Annual Town Meeting Warrant


The Board reviewed the draft annual town meeting warrant with the Manager. The Manager stated that there are some articles that are different from last year, and he has highlighted those. Article 2 is for the Land Use Ordinance changes and Article 3 is for the Comprehensive Plan.


Article 4 is for the creation of the new Tax Increment Financing District.  There is usually an article asking voters to appropriate funding for the TIF budget. However, this article is not needed as the funding for the TIF budget is from the TIF district that was previously approved by a town meeting vote.


Articles 5 through 16 are for the department expenses. Articles 17 and 18 are for the BCDI and Merrymeeting Arts Center requests.


Article 22 is a combination of two articles setting the dates when taxes are due and setting the interest rate on unpaid taxes.


Article 25 is a new article asking if the Town will authorize the tax collector to offer a “tax club”. This would formally allow residents to pay their taxes monthly without incurring any interest on the November and December payments and would evenly spread out their payments over the year. The Manager stated that he thought this might help some residents in town that may be on a fixed income, or simply prefer to pay monthly.


Article 34 deals with the interlocal agreement for the Merrymeeting Trail as approved by the Board previously. Board member Gallant stated that this article should include Richmond also. The Manager agreed.


The remaining articles are general business articles.


6.         Town Manager’s Report


            The Manager stated that the road postings should be removed by the end of this week or early next week, as the frost has come out of the ground.


            The Manager stated that he has appealed the fines from the Bureau of Labor and received notice that the meeting to discuss the appeal will be held after June 16th, which is the date  the Town has to have corrected the violations.  


            The Manager reported that the interior of the Town Office is being painted by George Halsey of the Public Works Department on weekends over the past month. It has made a difference in the appearance of the office and George does a very nice job. 


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


8.         Announce Future Select Board Meetings

A.  May 6th – Special Meeting (Public Hearing and Town Meeting Warrant)

B.   May 13th – Regular Meeting (if needed)


9.         Comments from Select Board Members


            Board member Turgeon stated that the Bowdoinham group of seniors has decided that they would like to be called the Bowdoinham Shipmates. The group felt that this term covered all ages and genders.


10.       Comments from the Public


            Annette Mott thanked the Board and Manager for the work they do for the Town.


11.       Adjourn


            The meeting adjourned by acclamation at 6:30 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