04-23-2013 Select Board Meeting Minutes


Town of Bowdoinham

Select Board Meeting

April 23, 2013 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 5:32 p.m.  Select Board members Brian Hobart, Kathy Tome, M. Theresa Turgeon and Douglas Tourtelotte were present.  Absent was Kathy Gallant. Staff present included Town Manager William Post.  Also present were Stewart Burrell, George Christopher, Jan Begert and Neal Brown.


2.         Amendments to the Agenda – None


3.         Approve Consent Calendar

            A.  Regular Meeting Minutes of April 9, 2013

            B.   Warrants & Financial Reports:

                  1.   Treasurer’s Warrant #62 for $255,970.70


The minutes were removed from the consent calendar as only two Board members were present at this meeting that attended the meeting on April 9, 2013.


On motion of Tourtelotte/Tome, the Board voted 4 – 0 to approve the remainder of the consent calendar as presented.


4.         Action Items


            A.  Act on Appointment of Tracy Krueger as an Alternate to the Planning Board.


The Manager stated that Dan Stockford resigned from the Planning Board as an alternate and Tracy Krueger has volunteered to serve. The term is for the remainder of Dan’s term, ending June 30, 2014. 


On motion of Hobart/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 4 – 0 to appoint Tracy Krueger as an Alternate to the Planning Board for a term ending June 30, 2014.


            B.   Review and Act on Proposed Fiscal Year 2014 Budget


The Town Manager stated that the proposed Fiscal Year 2014 municipal budget is significantly the same as the current year (fiscal year 2013) with the exception of the new debt service that was approved by the Town at last year’s annual town meeting.  The proposed expenditures for the municipal budget are 2.94% more than FY13, or $43,869. 


The Debt Service budget has an increase of $50,786, or 24.67%. This increase is due to the first principle and interest payment for the 2012 bond and $11,000 allotted for a payment on the lease-purchase of a new backhoe to replace the Town’s current 1997 backhoe that is in need of replacement. Most other departments are decreasing to help offset the increase in the Debt Service budget.


The budget provides a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for employees at 2%.  Health insurance costs have increased by $119.01 per month for each eligible employee, or 13%. 


The proposed budget moves the combined part-time position of counter clerk/code enforcement officer to full-time status. This adds one-half the cost of benefits including health insurance, retirement contribution and life insurance to the Administration budget and Planning/Codes budget. 14.5 hours were reduced from two other part-time positions in the Administration budget to help reduce the increase.


The Community & Economic Development Director’s salary and associated benefits has historically been split between the Planning/Codes budget and the TIF budget. The split has been 62% Planning/Codes and 38% TIF. This proposed budget changes that split to 55% Planning/Codes and 45% TIF as this position is doing less code enforcement work with the new Deputy Code Enforcement Officer/Deputy LPI.


The Fire Department budget shows an increase of $1,187 or 1.68% due to a requested increase to the stipends paid to the officers in the department. This is partially offset by the new Fire Chief not being eligible for benefits. 


The Town Maintenance budget shows a decrease of $8,000, which is mostly in the Town Hall Painting line as the exterior was painted last year. The Manager hopes to have the interior painted using some funding from the current year and some from next fiscal year.


The ACO/Harbor Master and EMS budgets are essentially the same as the current year.


The Public Works budget is proposed to decrease by $10,547, with the largest decrease in winter maintenance.


The Solid Waste and Recycling budget is proposed to decrease by $5,345, due to a decrease in building maintenance and disposal costs.


The Recreation budget is proposed to decrease by $2,517 because the new Recreation Director is not eligible for benefits.


Non-property tax revenues are expected to remain stable, although not increasing.      


The Governor’s Proposed State budget would eliminate revenue sharing for the Town for the next two years (FY14 & FY15). At this point, the Legislature is still working on the state budget, so it is not known what affect the state budget will have on the town’s revenues. The Finance Advisory Committee reviewed a list prepared by the Town Manager of areas that could be reduced should the Town see a dramatic decrease in state funding. Most of the reductions would include cuts to services such as reduced hours at the town office, and reduced positions at the Recycling Barn and Public Works.


As the state budget comes more into focus, the Manager will keep the Board updated and we may need to make adjustments at the Annual Town Meeting, or after, depending on the timing of the approval of the state budget. In addition, the projections for revenue sharing, assuming there are no changes in the current laws, show an increase of $93,446 for Bowdoinham for FY14. This number has not been used in the revenue estimates. 


            On motion of Tome/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 4 – 0 to approve the Fiscal Year 2014 proposed budget as presented.


            C.     Act on Approval of Proposed “Ordinance to Amend the Town of Bowdoinham Ordinance Creating a Municipal Fire Department”


            The Manager stated that the only changes to this ordinance were the deletion of language capping membership to 30 as requested previously by the Board and the addition of language with the amended date.        


            On motion of Turgeon/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 4 – 0 to approve the “Ordinance to Amend the Town of Bowdoinham Ordinance Creating a Municipal Fire Department” and place it on the Town Meeting warrant.


5.         Discussion Items


  1. Annual Town Meeting Warrant Draft

            The Manager presented a draft of the Annual Town Meeting Warrant for the Board to review. The warrant is written to include a “bi-furcated” meeting because the liquor consumption question is required to be by referendum. Therefore, the actual start of the town meeting is on Tuesday, June 11th at 8:00 a.m. when a moderator will be elected and the referendum question will be voted on from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The meeting will then reconvene on Wednesday, June 12th at 7:00 p.m. in open session for the remainder of the warrant. Another petition is circulating that proposes a Fire works Ordinance. The Board can decide whether this question is by referendum or at the open portion of the meeting.


            The warrant also includes an article to authorize the Board to enter into a lease/purchase for the purpose of acquiring a new backhoe to replace the Town’s current 1997 backhoe.


            There are two articles asking to create reserve accounts. The first is to create an Electronic Equipment Reserve Fund and transfer $10,000 from the Cable Franchise Fees into this fund. These funds were received from Comcast for underpayment over the past several years. The second is to create a Comprehensive Plan Reserve Fund and transfer the unexpended funds from the Planning/Codes budget from Fiscal Year 2013 into this fund. This is so that the funds not spent this year on the comprehensive plan process can be used next year without raising the funds again.


            The Board is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the warrant articles for town meeting at their next meeting and then approve the warrant.


            Board member Tourtelotte suggested that the Fireworks Ordinance petition question be voted on at the open portion of town meeting so that the residents can have a good discussion about it. Board member Tome agreed, but also stated that voting by secret ballot would be good. Chair Hobart stated that a secret ballot could be requested at the open portion of town meeting and then the discussion could still happen.


6.         Town Manager’s Report


The Manager stated that Maine Department of Transportation will be paving Post Road. In addition, they are using the road for training crew on a new paint striping truck.


The Manager stated that the January blizzard will be covered by FEMA. This will result in approximately $15,000 reimbursement to the Town.


7.         Selectperson’s Requests for Agenda Items for Next Meeting – None


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


A.  Select Board Meetings

1.  May 7th – Special Meeting, Public Hearing on Town Meeting Warrant Articles

2.  May 14th – Regular Meeting

            B.   Future Land Use Map Discussion – April 23rd 6:30 p.m.

            C.  Planning Board Meeting – April 25th 7:00 p.m.

            D.  Advisory Committee on Aging – April 26th 3:00 p.m.

            E.   Comprehensive Planning Committee Meeting – May 7th 6:30 p.m.


9.         Comments from Select Board Members


            Board member Turgeon complimented the Public Works Department for their good work. She also stated that the Finance Advisory Committee and Town Manager have done a good job with the proposed budget.


            Board member Tome stated that there will be a food drive for the Bowdoinham Food Pantry on May 4th at the Long Branch parking lot including music and a cook-out. The Food Pantry will be opening May 18th.


10.       Comments from the Public – None


            Neal Brown asked for clarification on the Board’s secret ballot discussion on the Fireworks Ordinance and if the ordinance is on the warrant. The Manager stated that the petition has been submitted, but still needs to be certified. If it is certified to have enough signatures, the ordinance will be on the warrant. The Board has the authority to decide how the ordinance would be voted on by the public; either by referendum vote at the polls or by open town meeting.


            Neal Brown stated that he would like to see it voted on by secret ballot. Chair Hobart stated that it could be voted on by secret ballot at the open portion of town meeting also.


            Jan Begert asked if the Fireworks ordinance could be changed. The Manager stated that it could not be changed and must be voted on as it is written because it was submitted by petition.


11.       Adjourn


            The meeting adjourned by acclamation at 6:25 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