2010-09-28 Select Board Meeting Minutes

Town of Bowdoinham
Select Board Meeting Minutes
September 28, 2010


Residents: Judy Savage, George Christopher, Matt Ross, Bruce Ross, Dick Leighton, Pam Ross, Theresa Turgeon, Dotty Baker, Bradley Meads, Stewart Burrell, Bob Kane, Peggy Muir, Mike Egan, Dean Beckwith, George Freeman, Kevin Prout, Lynn Spiro, Steve Bunn, Tony Cox, Joanne Smith, Jane Hardy , Brooke Cox

Nonresidents: Whitney Leighton, Nicole Briand

Item 1: Call the meeting to order – Chair Hobart called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm. All the members were present: Chair Hobart, Selectperson Tourtelotte, and Selectperson Billings.

Item 2: Consideration to approve the minutes of September 14, 2010 – The Board reviewed the minutes. Selectperson Tourtelotte moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Selectperson Billings. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 3 Comments from the Public – Theresa Turgeon reported that she had just returned from a day of election training from the Secretary of State’s office. She also reported that she is amazed at the amount of business and traffic that is at the town office now that she has spent the last two weeks working there.

Item 4 – New Business –

a) Celebrate Bowdoinham Recap – Peggy Muir, Celebrate Bowdoinham co-chair presented a summary of this year’s event. She reported that attendance was good and that she believes based on informal comments; the event was a tremendous success. The total cost has not yet been determined but it is no more than last year’s costs. She thanked all of the volunteers and town staff that made the even possible; especially the public works crew. She reported that there were 85 contributions to the silent auction as compared to 62 last year. One aspect of the event that disturbed her was the rudeness of some of the event goers. In particular, the people who volunteered to help in directing traffic and parking were treated unkindly. Peggy suggests that next year we emphasize civility in all aspects of the event.

b) Community Development Advisory Committee – Lynn Spiro, Chair. Ms. Spiro presented revised bylaws for the Board’s considerations. Selectperson Billings moved to approve the bylaws as presented, seconded by Selectperson Tourtelotte. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Ms Spiro reported that at the Committee’s last meeting, Mr. Paul Baines gave a proposal on use for the Old Fire Station. After the presentation, the Committee discussed the options available to the Town and as result, recommends to the Board that the town keep the Fire Station. Additionally, the Committee would like to receive more proposals from people within the town for the Committee to consider. The Committee believes that given the real estate market, this is not the time to put the fire station up for sale. Ms. Spiro also reported that the Committee is going ahead with its work to create a brochure for 2012 and that it will be looking for all content by June 2011. Selectperson Billings stated that he was pleased to see the timing on the brochure change and believed that it was a wise decision. However, he stated that he was opposed for seeking proposals for the fire station for a number of reasons: It is not a proper role for the town to be a landlord; once the town leases the station, it will be difficult to remove the tenant from the fire station causing the issue to become a political issue and not an economic issue; and the Town could use the money from the sale of the fire station to help purchase the new fire truck that is scheduled for the next fiscal year. He also asked the question: If the town didn’t own the fire station, would it borrow money to purchase it? In other words, would this be a property that the town would want had it not already owned it? Selectperson Billings also stated that before proposals are considered, parameters need to be decided upon such as the lease amount, use, etc. Selectperson Tourtelotte stated that he was in favor of seeking proposals and that it didn’t mean that the proposals had to be accepted. Chair Hobart agreed that it was not a good time to put the fire station on the market but he also was not in favor of the town being a landlord. Resident Dean Beckwith asked the Board to consider using the property for green space and to plant fruit trees on the property. He also suggested that the parking lot was valuable to keep. Committee member Tony Cox agreed that the town should not be in the business of leasing buildings and suggested that the Board allow for six months to receive proposals.

Conclusion – The Board agreed that it was not yet time to seek proposals and the Committee needed to do some more work on it. The Committee agreed to consider the issues presented at the meeting and return with a written recommendation

c) Consideration to close Curtis Farm Road to all traffic on October 2, 2010 for Road work to be completed by the Maine National Guard – Selectperson Billings moved to close Curtis Farm Road on October 2, 2010 for the National Guard’s work, seconded by Selectperson Tourtelotte. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

d) Bid Award for 1,200 cubic yards of winter sand – The Manager reported that only one bid was received – from Card’s in Bowdoin for $7.50/yard which is the same price that we paid last year. Selectperson Billings moved to approve the bid of $7.50/yard from Card’s Construction, seconded by Selectperson Tourtelotte. The vote was 3-0 in favor. .

Item 5 – Old Business – There was no old business.

Item 6 – Town Manager’s Report

• Comcast/Broadband Update – The Manager reported that three people have come forth for the committee – Theresa Turgeon, Ken Porter, and Dan Estella. She continues to solicit for members. Nicole Briand, the Town Planner submitted a pre-application for a ConnectMe grant to expand broadband in the town. Unfortunately, Fairpoint reports that it is not interested in partnering for the upcoming grant cycle since it is under pressure by a statutory obligation to expand its coverage by December 31 to 83% of its current service area. With such a short time period, they feel that they cannot make a commitment at this time. They are however, interested in the next grant cycle which is in April 2011. Though Fairpoint will not confirm where they expect to expand for the 83%, parts of Bowdoinham may be in that service area. The list has not and will not be made public. In addition, the Manager report that Comcast has not responded to the Town’s request for partnership.
• The Manager reported that Fairpoint has asked for permission for a pole placement on the Ridge Road – the Public Works Director has checked out the location and has given approval. The Board signed the form giving its approval on the pole placement.
• 2012 Celebration/Recognition – The Town’s 250th birthday is approaching fast. The Manager reported that a meeting is scheduled for November 9h at 6:30 at the fire station. Invitations will be sent out to various groups (Ladies’ Auxiliary, Fire Association, Churches, Historical Society, Library, Civic Groups, Schools, etc.) asking for at least one representative to be on the committee. The hope is that this will be a “bottom up” committee that starts at the grassroots level.
• Simplification Plan – the state’s Highway Simplification Plan due out soon calls for towns to take over the winter and summer Maintenance of all Minor Collector Roads and in turn MDOT will take over winter and summer maintenance of Major Collector Roads. What does this mean for Bowdoinham? MDOT will take over the winter maintenance of Route 24 and Bowdoinham will take over the summer maintenance of the White Road (it already has the winter maintenance).
• November Election – Theresa Turgeon and Kathy Tome will be working on the Absentee Ballots. Theresa completed training today in Augusta. The booths have been put up and voting will commence on Monday, October 4th.
• The Manager reported that 23 properties are in threat of foreclosure for January 2011 and 65 properties are unpaid for FY09/10 year.

Item 7: Consent Items

a) Consideration to approve a Quit Claim Deed for Carol Haskell at Map U03, Lot 06 to release any interest by virtue of unpaid real estate taxes through the fiscal year 1990/91 and more specifically limited to the following book and page, Book 975, Page 223, dated October 10, 1989. Selectperson Billings stated that these requests come up on occasion if there is no record of a lien discharge. Since the Town has not foreclosed on the real estate and the property owner is current with all tax payments, the assumption is that payment was received in 1989 and the lien was discharged. However, since there is no record of it, a Quit Claim Deed is one option available to the Board to release any of the town’s interests. Selectperson Billings moved to approve the Quit Claim Deed for Map U03, Lot 06, seconded by Selectperson Tourtelotte. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 8: Consideration of Treasurer’s Warrant #16 – Accounts Payable: $171,008.61
Payroll: $ 16,201.38
Total: $187,209.99

The Board reviewed Treasurer’s Warrant #16. Selectperson Tourtelotte moved to approve Treasurer’s Warrant #16, seconded by Selectperson Billings. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 9: Selectpersons Request for Agenda Items for next meeting (October 12, 2010) –

Item 10: Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events

• September 30 @ 6:30 pm – Finance Advisory Committee
• October 12 @ 6:30 pm – Public Hearing – Town Ballot Initiatives
• October 12 @ 7:00 pm – Regular Select Board Meeting

Item 11: Adjourn – The Chair adjourned the meeting at 7:30 pm.