02-12-13 Select Board Meeting Minutes


Town of Bowdoinham

Select Board Meeting

February 12, 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, M. Theresa Turgeon, Kathy Gallant, Kathy Tome and Douglas Tourtelotte were present.  Staff present included Town Manager William Post.  Also present were George Christopher, Gordon Hayes, Albert Stehle, Ann Harwood, Jeff Lauder, David Engler, David Whittlesey and Stewart Burrell.


2.         Amendments to the Agenda – None


3.         Approve Consent Calendar

  1. Meeting Minutes of January 22, 2013


On motion of Tome/Hobart, the Board voted 3 – 0 – 2, Turgeon and Tourtelotte abstained, to approve the Meeting Minutes of January 22, 2013 as presented.


  1. Warrants & Financial Reports:
    1. Treasurer’s Warrant #42 for $214,664.93

2.   January Financial Report

            C.  Reports and Communications

                  1.   Sheriff’s January Incident Report


On motion of Tome/Gallant, the Board voted 5 – 0 to approve the remainder of the consent calendar as presented.


4.         Action Items

            B.  Act on Appointment to the Finance Advisory Committee


            Chair Hobart stated that this item would be taken out of order as one of the candidates has another commitment and must leave the meeting early.


            The Manager stated that there is one vacancy for an alternate for the Finance Advisory Committee for a term ending June 30, 2016. The Board has two volunteers for the position, David Engler and Jeff Lauder who were introduced to the Board.


            Chair Hobart asked each volunteer to provide information about themselves and why they want to serve on the Committee. Mr. Engler stated that he has lived in Bowdoinham for 36 years and is close to retirement. He stated that he is looking to give back to the town. Mr. Engler stated that he is a licensed professional engineer and also served as the treasurer of his church for many years.


            Mr. Lauder stated that he is a new full-time resident of Bowdoinham and purchased a home on White Road last fall after being a part-time resident for many years. He stated that he is a retired certified public accountant and served eight years on the Windsor Budget Committee. He stated that he finished his career as chief financial officer at Spectrum Generations.


            Board member Kathy Tome asked the manager if there were other openings on other committees. The manager said that there are openings on the Cable/Internet Committee and the Community Development Advisory Committee. She stated that the interest and qualifications from each of these candidates was good and she would like to see them serve on a committee.


            On motion of Turgeon/Hobart, the Board voted 5 – 0 to appoint Jeff Lauder to the Finance Advisory Committee as an alternate for a term ending June 30, 2016.


            A.  Act on Appointments to the Solid Waste Advisory Committee.


            The Manager stated that there are two vacancies on this committee with terms ending June 30, 2015. He stated that there are four volunteers including Gordon Hayes, Charles Lopez, Albert Stehle and Ann Harwood.  Dale Mosher and Bruce Ross withdrew from consideration.


            Chair Hobart asked each volunteer to provide information about themselves and why they want to serve on the Committee.


Ann Harwood stated that she has been a social worker and mediator. She also is a Quaker and involved in leadership of the Portland Quakers. She believes that the recycling program is an asset for the town. She cares about the environment and wants to help the town.


            Albert Stehle stated that he was on the committee when the landfill on the Carding Machine Road was filling up and was involved in reviewing the different options for the town including transfer stations and incinerators and the Recycling Barn was supposed to be a stop-gap measure. He has discussed the program with residents in town and thinks he can add to the discussion.


            Gordon Hayes stated that he is familiar with the recycling program and facility and recycling programs in other towns. He is interested in helping where his interest lies.


            Board member Kathy tome asked Ms. Harwood how long she had lived in Bowdoinham. Ann replied that she has lived in town for five years.


            Chair Hobart thanked all the volunteers.


            On motion of Tome/Turgeon, the Board voted 5 – 0 to appoint Ann Harwood and Gordon Hayes to the Solid Waste Advisory Committee for terms ending June 30, 2015.


            C.        Act on Quit Claim Deed for Payment of 2010 Taxes by Tyne Whittaker


            The Manager stated that the 2010 taxes have been paid by the property owner as she stated they would be. Therefore, the Board should approve the quit claim deed.


            On motion of Tourtelotte/Gallant, the Board voted 5 – 0 to approve the Quit Claim Deed for Payment of 2010 taxes by Tyne Whittaker as presented.


D.        Act on Approval of 250th Committee Allocation of Funds for Two Projects


The Manager stated that the 250th Committee approved funding for four projects at their meeting on February 6th, two of which are included for the Board’s review due to the amount granted. One project is for completing the Water Witch restoration by the Fire Department Association in the amount of $2,200. The second project is for $3,000 to help stabilize the Ridge Road Church. Albert Stehle recently acquired the church and is hoping to create a non-profit for the church.


Albert Stehle explained how he plans on bracing the church building so that it does not fall into further disrepair. Board member Tourtelotte asked what his future plans are for the church. Mr. Stehle stated that there is a group of people that are interested in working to save the building. He acquired the property from the previous owner as the group did not want to put work and money into a building that was owned by a private owner. The plan is to turn the building into a kind of cemetery museum and as a non-profit organization.


Board member Kathy Gallant asked how big the project is. Mr. Stehle stated that a few years ago it was estimated to cost $10,000 for restoration. The most recent estimate was $50,000, but that would include restoring the building to Maine Historical Society standards. The church was built in 1838.


On motion of Tome/Gallant, the Board voted 5 – 0 to approve the 250th Committee’s allocation of funding for the Water Witch Restoration and the Ridge Road Church.


5.         Discussion Items

            A.  Meet with David Whittlesey for an update on the Bowdoinham Community Development Initiative (BCDI)


            David Whittlesey provided a summary for the Board on the activities of BCDI (attached). He stated that BCDI has been focused on the institutional aspects to get the organization running. These include registering with the State of Maine, applying for 501C3 status with the IRS, creating policies, creating a membership fee and the loan process.


            The membership campaign has resulted in about 50 members. The response to the loan program has been mostly from young farmers in the community. Loans are available in about three weeks from when the application is received. The first two loans were re-paid before the due dates and the third loan is being re-paid. BCDI currently is reviewing two applications from non-farming operations.


            Because BCDI is not yet approved by the IRS as a 501C3 organization, the organization began looking for a fiscal agent in order to apply for grants. During this process, it was discovered that the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) would be applying for a grant from the Sewall Foundation, which was the same grant that BCDI wanted to apply for. After discussion, KELT agreed to include BCDI in their grant application for $5,000.


            Board member Tourtelotte asked about the long-term vision for BCDI. Mr., Whittlesey stated that there have been a number of topics discussed, but no decisions have been made yet. The BCDI Board wants to create an organization that can function wit ha budget of $15,000 per year for operations. BCDI wants to be separate from the Town, but work closely with the Town and different organizations as a catalyst and resource. BCDI may evolve into a credit union at some point, as this idea has been discussed, but that is far off.


            Board member Turgeon stated that she is still bothered that the Bowdoinham Federal Credit union became Downeast and moved out of town. She asked if a credit union could happen again. Mr. Whittlesey stated that the short-term answer is that there are many credit unions that are providing services currently.  The long-term answer is that there are many technological advances that allow functions to be completed electronically and technology is changing the banking industry.


            The Board thanked Mr. Whittlesey.


            B.  Review and Discuss Draft Background Check Policy for Recreation Department Volunteers


            The Manager stated that he has drafted a policy that would authorize background checks on volunteers for the Recreation Department in the interest of ensuring that the volunteers that work with children through our recreation programs are appropriate. The town attorney is currently reviewing the policy as well. The Manager asked if the draft policy is supported by the Board and if they had any comments or corrections. By consensus, the Board agreed to move forward with the policy. The Manager will discuss the policy with the attorney and bring it back for the Board’s approval.


            C.  Discuss FY14 Budget Strategy


The Manager stated that he met with the Finance Advisory Committee and discussed the Governor’s proposed budget and its affect on Bowdoinham. He proposed to the FAC that he would develop two budgets: one would be status quo – budgeting what he believes the Town needs to meet current programs and services, and the second would include cuts to meet about one-half of the reductions in revenue proposed by the Governor. The FAC agreed with this approach. The Manager asked the Select Board members if they also agree with this approach. The Board members agreed that this was a good approach to take.


6.         Town Manager’s Report


            The Manager stated that the weekend blizzard was handled well by the Public Works Department staff. There were two breakdowns during the storm, but nothing major. The clean-up process will take a few days and the storm may qualify for reimbursement from FEMA if there is enough expense in the county and statewide.


            The Manager stated that the Cable/Internet Committee wrote a letter to the Fairpoint Maine President asking that Bowdoinham be considered a partner for a ConnectME grant. The cost of expanding broadband internet by Fairpoint in Bowdoinham is expensive as fiber optic wire needs to be installed, therefore, it may be prohibitive for a grant. However, the Fairpoint Maine President noticed that Seth Berry and Seth Goodall represent Bowdoinham in the State legislature, so we may have a better chance.


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 26th – Regular Meeting

2. March 12th – Regular Meeting

            B.  Community Development Advisory Committee Meeting February 19th 6:30 p.m.

            C.  Bowdoinham Water District Meeting February 21st 7:00 p.m.

            D.  Advisory Committee on Aging Meeting February 22nd  3:00 p.m.

            E.   Finance Advisory Committee Meeting February 26th 6:30 p.m.


9.         Comments from Select Board Members


            Chair Hobart complimented the Public Works Department for their work during the blizzard. The other Board members agreed.


Board member Turgeon stated that the Senior Center has opened and many were in attendance the first day. Over the last two weeks there have been four or five each Thursday. It was decided to have a formal program after the Village Seniors lunch. Sheriff Joel Merry will be at the February lunch to talk about senior safety. 


            Board member Tome stated that the basement of the Second Baptist Church will be the temporary location for the Food Bank to get it started. She has a post office box for the Food Bank so donations can be received and has submitted paperwork for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) so a bank account can be opened. She expects the Food Bank to be open in March.


10.       Comments from the Public – None


11.       Adjourn


            The meeting adjourned by acclamation at 6:43 p.m.