2012-08-28 Select Board Meeting Minutes


Town of Bowdoinham

Select Board Meeting

August 28, 2012 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, Kathy Gallant, Kathy Tome and Douglas Tourtelotte were present.  Board member M. Theresa Turgeon was absent.  Staff present included Town Manager William Post.  George Christopher was also present.


2.         Amendments to the Agenda – None


3.         Approve Consent Calendar

            A.  Regular Meeting Minutes of August 14, 2012

            B.   Warrants & Financial Reports:

                  1.   Treasurer’s Warrant #10 for $62,088.63


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


4.         Action Items


            A.  Act on Tax Abatements for Exempt Properties due to computer software error


The Town Manager stated that after the tax commitment was processed through the TRIO software program and the tax bills were printed, the staff noticed that there was a rounding error for the tax exempt properties in Town that resulted in tax bills for exempt properties with very small amounts due, all less than $2.05. For example, on the tax bill for the Second Baptist Church, the assessment is $232,332 and the exempt amount is $232,300, leaving a taxable assessment of $32 and a tax bill of $0.48.


In addition, another error was found on three other exempt properties owned by the State of Maine, the Town and the Historical Society in which the exemption was not factored correctly resulting in tax bills of $191.17, $49.03 and $223.59 respectively. In these situations, the assessment was increased on the properties, but the exemption did not increase, therefore leaving the increase as taxable. For example, the Town constructed a new ADA ramp on the Coombs Building that increased the value of the building by $3,247, resulting in a tax bill of $49.03.


Unfortunately, these errors were not noticed before taxes were committed in the financial system. Therefore, the Manager recommended that the Board abate the amounts assessed. The staff has identified the errors and TRIO is working to determine why this happened so that it does not happen again. 


On motion of Gallant/Tome, the Board voted 4 – 0 to approve Tax Abatement #1 for FY2013 as presented.


5.         Discussion Items


  1. Office Personnel


The Manager stated that due to a staff member’s pregnancy, her work schedule has been decreased from 18 hours to 12 or less, depending on the week.  In addition, it is anticipated that leave will be taken in February. Therefore, the Manager would like to hire a per diem employee to assist at the town office for customer service. The funding for this position would come from the same account that currently funds the part-time position.


Additionally, the Recreation Director has other employment and will be leaving the Town as soon as a replacement can be found and trained. The Manager stated that the Recreation Director is willing to work with the new employee for awhile to train the new employee on the job tasks.  The Manager stated that he planned to advertise the position at the end of the week, and have it filled as soon as possible so the transition period could begin. By consensus, the Board agreed on the Manager’s plan for these two positions.


B.   Celebrate Bowdoinham


The Manager handed out a draft schedule for Celebrate Bowdoinham, a list of activities and events and a memo from Planning & Development Director Nicole Briand with a proposed schedule for events for the Board members. Board members should contact Nicole Briand to schedule times for them to work at the event.


C.  Discussion Items for Sheriff Merry


The Manager stated that Sheriff Joel Merry would be in attendance at the Board’s next meeting on September 11th. He asked the Board if there were any topics they would like the Sheriff to discuss or areas of concern that you want to mention to him before the meeting. The Manager stated that he would ask the Sheriff to address gun discharge laws, fireworks laws and medicinal marijuana laws.


  1. Solid Waste Advisory Committee


The Manager stated that the Solid Waste Management Ordinance requires the Select Board to appoint at least five citizens to the Waste Advisory Committee …”on such matters related to waste management and recycling as may be requested by the Selectmen.” The Manager stated that he would contact the members that served on the last committee and determine their interest in serving again. The Board agreed and asked George Christopher if he was interested. Mr. Christopher said that he was.


The Manager stated that the Committee would be different from the Task Force and could begin work by reviewing the current Solid Waste Ordinance that was last revised in 1994.


6.         Town Manager’s Report


The Manager stated that two properties have been offered to the Fire Department for training; one on Carding Machine Road and another in the village off School Street.  


The sidewalk work on Cemetery Road is complete with paving occurring last week.  Striping the crosswalks is the last item for the entire sidewalk project.


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


8.         Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events


A.  Select Board Meetings

1.  September 11th – Regular Meeting

2.  September 25th – Regular Meeting

            B.   250th Anniversary Committee Meeting – September 5th, 7:00 p.m. Coombs Building

            C.  Celebrate Bowdoinham – September 14th – 16th


9.         Comments from Select Board Members


            Select Board member Tourtelotte stated that the Public Works Department, and especially Public Works Foreman Mayo, has been doing an excellent job on Millay Road. He asked when paving bids would be out. The Manager agreed that the Public Works Department has done a good job and have been making good progress. Paving bids will be out by the end of the week.  


            Select Board member Kathy Tome asked about the county’s Code Red system and recent test. The Manager stated that the test was planned for Monday and the call would have gone to all listed telephone numbers. If residents want a cell phone number to receive the call, they should go to the Town’s website and follow the links to complete a form. The County EMA Office can also be contacted. 


            Kathy Gallant stated that she had read the recently issued report on aging in Bowdoinham and noticed that it recommends a staff person be hired to handle elderly issues in the community. She asked if this was common.  The Manager responded that it was not common, especially for a town the size of Bowdoinham, but was more common in cities or large towns to have staff members responsible for these types of duties.  Usually, these duties are divided amongst staff.


10.       Comments from the Public – None


11.       Adjourn


            The meeting adjourned by acclimation at 6:05 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