2011-12-13 Select Board Meeting Minutes


Town of Bowdoinham

Select Board Meeting

December 13, 2011 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.  Selectpersons Brian Hobart, Doug Tourtelotte, Kathy Gallant, Kathy Tome and M. Theresa Turgeon were present.  Staff present included Town Manager William Post, Assessors’ Agent Ron Beal and Assessors’ Clerk Dotty Baker. Approximately five members of the public were also present.


2.         Amendments to the Agenda - None


3.         Comments from the Public


Dean Beckwith stated that he was taken aback when he was not re-appointed to the Community Development Advisory Committee in June. He is now concerned that a vendor was not paid by the Town for a product that was approved by the Committee. He would decline an offer to serve on the Committee unless the Town rectifies this situation. Mr. Beckwith disagrees with the decision to not continue with payment to the vendor for the project and is upset by the process. He stated that he accepts the Board’s decisions and supports the type of government the Town has, but asked that the Board pay the vendor.


M. Theresa Turgeon stated that he son is a volunteer on the Fire Department and participated in a water rescue training exercise the night before. She watched the training and appreciates how fortunate the Town is to have the Fire Department volunteers. The yare extremely dedicated and knowledgeable.


Peggy Muir also commended the Fire Department and EMS volunteers for their response to the pedestrian death accident.


4.         Approve Consent Calendar

            A.  Regular Meeting Minutes of November 15, 2011

            B.   Warrants & Financial Reports:

                  1.   Treasurer’s Warrant #33 for $256,138.53

                  2.   November Financial Report

            C.  Communications

                  1.   Sheriff’s November Report


On motion of Tourtelotte/Tome, the Board voted 5 – 0 to approve the Consent Calendar as presented.



5.         Discussion Items


            A.  Celebrate Bowdoinham Wrap-up (Lynn Spiro, Peggy Muir)


Lynn Spiro stated that the Celebrate Bowdoinham event was fairly smooth, and she hopes that it will be smoother in future years. She stated that the total expenses for the event were $12,974.51 and total revenues were $16,167.91, including the $8,000 from the TIF budget.  She stated that she has assembled a binder with all of the information for the event including contracts, vendor information, artist information and events.  The binder also includes information about what events and vendors were set-up in what areas, a synopsis of what went well and what didn’t.


Selectperson Tourtelotte stated that Lynn Spiro and Peggy Muir did a great job in organizing the event. 


Peggy Muir thanked the Board members for participating as well.


B.   Sidewalk Construction for Cemetery Road 


The Town Manager stated that the Sidewalk Project is approximately $90,000 under budget, even with the few change orders that have been encountered.  He and Planning and Development Director Nicole Briand recommend that the Board consider constructing a sidewalk on Cemetery Road, as the road currently has a paved shoulder marked for pedestrian use.  Rob Prue of Pine Tree Engineering estimates that the total project cost would be $63,000 for survey, design, inspection and construction.  As this is a grant funded project, the cost to the Town would be 20% of the project, which has already been approved by the Town, up to $133,500 for the current Sidewalk Project. This would simply be an extension of the project.  Briand and Post discussed expanding the project to construct additional sidewalks on Min Street or Bay Road, but the amount of funding left in the budget would not allow design and construction. 


On motion of Tourtelotte/Tome, the Board voted 5 – 0 to approve construction of a sidewalk on Cemetery Road utilizing the current funding.


C.  Heating Assistance Program


The Town Manager stated that he compiled the expenses of this program for the current year and previous two years as asked by the Board.  In 2009, the Town spent $7,860.95 on 21 cases; in 2010 the Town spent $6,796.16 on 27 cases and in 2011, the Town has spent $2,561.65 through November 23, 2011 on 7 cases.  The issue is that the current guidelines allow assistance for applicants that are at 250% of the poverty level for income.  For a family of four this amounts to about $55,000.  If the Board wishes to continue with that level, they can, but the funding will not be adequate to meet those that will qualify.


Resident Neal Brown asked about the guidelines and stated that he is concerned with those applicants that may cheat the system.  The Manager responded that income and expenses are verified and the Town uses the same application that is used for the General Assistance applicants which requires applicants to state and verify all income and expenses. 


Selectperson Tome stated that she will be talking with Diane Stahl and Jen Foley about ideas for fundraising and what needs people have in town.


Selectperson Gallant stated that people need to know that they can donate to the program. This information could be on the website, in the newsletter or in letters to businesses.


The Board discussed whether to limit assistance to those that have children.  Selectperson Turgeon stated that income is the guideline to use and that it should not be limited to only those with children.


Selectperson Tourtelotte asked the manager for a recommendation. The manager recommend that the Board change the income guideline to match the LIHEAP guideline which is 150% for applicants, except it is 170% for those age 65 or older and those with young children.


On motion of Tourtelotte/Tome, the Board voted 5 – 0 to amend the Heating Assistance Program guidelines to match the LIHEAP income guidelines.


D.  Date for Next Workshop


The Manager asked the Board when they would like to schedule the next workshop to review and prioritize the goals and projects they discussed on December 5th.


The Board agreed to hold a workshop on December 27, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. before their next regular meeting.


6.         Action Items


  1. Act on Property Tax Abatement for Douglas and Ann Tourtelotte, R02-045-A, unfinished basement assessed in error


Assessors’ Agent Ron Beal stated that he was not able to get into this house and assumed that the daylight basement was finished, when in fact it was not.


On motion of Hobart/Gallant, the Board voted 4 – 0 – 1, (Tourtelotte abstaining) to approve the abatement in the amount of $171.37 for Douglas and Ann Tourtelotte.


  1. Act on Workers’ Compensation Insurance for 2012


The Town Manager stated that MEMIC has provided a proposal to provide workers’ compensation insurance for the Town for 2012 through Down East Insurance.  The cost for the insurance is $24,730 which is $1,205 more than the coverage provided through the Maine Municipal Association. However, the Town does not need to remove snow from the Recycling Barn roof and this coverage will give the Town time to determine what it would like to do with the Recycling Barn and the Public Works Garage moving forward.


On motion of Tourtelotte/Gallant, the Board voted 5- 0 to authorize the Town Manager to accept the Down East Insurance proposal for workers’ compensation insurance provided by MEMIC for 2012.


  1. Act on Recycling Barn Lease Extension with David L. Berry. d/b/a Sagadahoc Recycling Company


The Town Manager stated that the lease agreement extension with David Berry for the Recycling Barn expires on December 31, 2011. The lease originally expired June 30, 2011, and was subsequently extended for six months because of the workers compensation insurance issue. Now that we know the Town will have insurance, we can extend the lease for another six months. The Manager said he has discussed this with Dave Berry and Mr. Berry is willing to extend the lease. However, he did bring up the topic of the fire alarm system upgrades and fire door upgrades that a state fire marshal brought to his attention.  He has supplied the quotes for these repairs, but not the report from the fire marshal’s office.  Mr. Berry would like assurance from the Town that these repairs will be made.  The Manager stated that he is not fully in agreement that the Town should make these repairs for a couple of reasons: One, the Town does not know the future of our stay in the building and two, the manager does not necessarily agree that the Town should pay for these repairs as tenants of the building. 


Selectperson Turgeon stated that there should be a stipulation that the Town will help with the repairs to be fair to the building owner as this would be the second six-month extension.


Selectperson Gallant stated that the Town has a new manager and a new Board in place and the Task Force formed by the manager is meeting on Thursday to begin work on this project.


David Berry stated that if the Town wants to continue leasing the building after this six month extension, he has the option of not leasing it unless the repairs are done.


Chair Hobart stated that the only reason the lease was not extended longer before was that the Town sis not have workers’ compensation insurance.


On motion of Tourtelotte/Tome, the Board voted 4 – 1, (Turgeon opposed) to approve the Recycling Barn Lease Extension with David Berry.”


  1. Act on Contract Extension for Curbside Pick-up with Richard Plummer & Sons, Inc.

The Manager stated that this is a six month extension of the current (extended) contract with the company that picks up the garbage and recyclables curbside.  Richard Plummer is in agreement with this extension.


On motion of Tourtelotte/Gallant, the Board voted 5 – 0 to approve the Contract Extension with Richard Plummer & Sons, Inc.


  1. Act on Policy Change for All Committee By-Laws to allow Select Board members to serve on Committees


The Manager stated that this topic was one of the topics discussed at the workshop on December 5th.  There is no state law against municipal officials serving on committees, but municipal officials cannot serve on Boards such as the Planning Board and Board of Appeals.


A gentleman in the audience stated three concerns in allowing Select Board members to serve on committees: the select board member could create a conflict between what the town wants as a whole versus their desires, could be keeping another interested resident off a committee by filling the position, and potential for conflict of interest. The Manager stated that there is no statutory conflict of interest and that is because these committees are advisory only and make recommendations to the full Board.  A majority of the Board is then needed to make a decision. 


On motion of Tome/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 5 – 0 to approve a change in all Committee By-Laws that will allow Select Board members to serve on Committees.


  1. Act on Appointment of Dean Beckwith to the Community Development Advisory Committee – No Action


  1. Act on Approval of Funding Requests approved by 250thCommittee


The Manager stated that the 250thCommittee has approved three funding requests to date including $10,000 to the Historical Society for repairs at the Jellerson School, $3,000 to the Merrymeeting Arts Center for the Ice and Smelt Festival and $3,000 for repairs to the cannon at Cannon Park. Each of these needs the Board’s approval as the amounts are larger than what the Manager can approve under the Purchasing Policy.


On motion of Tome/Tourtelotte, the Board voted 5 – 0 to approve the funding requests approved by the 250thCommittee for the cannon foundation repair in the amount of $3,000, the Jellerson School repairs in the amount of $10,000, and for the Ice and Smelt Festival by the Merrymeeting Arts Center in the amount of $3,000 with funding from the Commemoration Fund.





  1. Town Manager’s Report


The Town Manager stated that the Public Works Department is now fully staffed as he hired an on-call snow plow operator to fill that vacancy.


8.         Selectperson’s Requests for Agenda Items for Next Meeting  


Selectperson Tome stated that she would have an update on the fundraising group/committee at the next meeting.


9.         Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events


A.  Selectmen’s Meetings-

  1. December 27th– Regular Meeting and Workshop to start at 4:00 p.m.
  2. January 10th – Regular Meeting


10.       Adjourn


            The meeting adjourned at 6:46 p.m.

Select Board

Town of Bowdoinham, Maine   Brian Hobart, Chair

M. Theresa Turgeon, Vice-Chair

Kathleen Gallant

Kathy TomeDouglas Tourtelotte  

Respectfully submitted,                                                                                                                                 

William S. Post, Town Manager