2007-07-10 Select Board Meeting Minutes

Town of Bowdoinham
Minutes of Select Board Meeting
July 10, 2007

Jim Phillips, Tony Cox, Dotty Baker, Billie Oakes, Todd Woofenden, Brent Zachau, Bill Shippen, Ellen Baum, Bob Bremm, Brant Miller

Item 1: Call the meeting to order
– Chair Dorr called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm. All members were present: Chair Dorr, Selectperson Ciembroniewicz, and Selectperson Whittlesey.

Item 2: Consideration of the minutes from June 26, 2007 meeting – The Board reviewed the minutes.
Selectperson Ciembroniewicz made a motion to accept as amended, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 3: Comments from the Public – There were no comments from the public.

Item 4: Old Business

A. Consideration of a request for abatement of $4,050 penalty for constructing a nonpermanent storage shed in land designated as Open Space

Jim Phillips, the Assessing Agent for the Town of Bowdoinham, reviewed with the Board the programs allowing certain properties to be assessed below market value (farmland, Open Space, Tree Farm, etc.) and the applicable rules. He explained that the landowner may withdraw the property from the programs however a penalty would be assessed. He further stated that the Assessor, with cause, had the authority to withdraw the land from the programs if the conditions of participation were not met. In regard to Open Space, Mr. Phillips stated that the provisions do not allow for buildings or development.
Selectperson Ciembroniewicz asked if it would be acceptable in Mr. Berry’s case if the building was used to store a tractor to support the needs of the Open Space land. Mr. Phillips replied that it may be acceptable but because each case is assessed individually, he could not state definitively. Mr. Phillips reported that the building on Mr. Berry’s land had nothing to do with the purpose of the Open Space designation and therefore he removed the one acre from Open Space and recommended the penalty. He stated that, though he tried to find a way to mitigate the situation without assessing the penalty, he was not able to find one.
Mr. Phillips explained that the other requests from Mr. Berry: reclassify the land as contiguous backland from the date of purchase as well as future assessments, was beyond the allowable timeline.
Selectperson Ciembroniewicz made a motion to abate the penalty of $4,050 provided that the building is removed from the site within 90 days; there was no second to the motion. Motion failed.

Selectperson Whittlesey made a motion to deny the request for abatement from William Berry for the Open Space Withdrawal Penalty in the amount of $4,050 and to refer the property owner to the Maine State Board of Assessment Review for appeal, seconded by Chair Dorr.

Discussion: Selectperson Whittlesey stated that he was recommending that the abatement be denied based on the following:
A. There is no question that the building exists.
B. The purpose of the building was for the storage of a travel trailer and a boat and not to support the Open Space designation and therefore inconsistent with the purposes of Open Space.
Selectperson Ciembroniewicz agreed that the building did not appear to support the purposes of the Open Space designation but because Mr. Berry had gone through the process and attained a building permit, had maintained the property for the benefit of the community; it was his feeling that Mr. Berry should have the opportunity to remove the building to avoid the penalty.
Selectperson Whittlesey asked Mr. Phillips if Mr. Berry did remove the barn as suggested by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz, was it possible to remit the entire parcel back into Open Space without a penalty? Mr. Phillips stated that it was his belief that it was not. Selectperson Whittlesey asked if Mr. Berry transformed the purpose of the building after the fact would it make a difference and Mr. Phillips stated that it would not.

The vote was 2-1 (Whittlesey, Dorr)-(Ciembroniewicz). Motion passes.

Request for Retroactive Reclassification and Future Reclassification – Due to the fact that the timeframe for challenging the past assessment and current assessment has passed and beyond the jurisdiction of the Board of Assessors (Selectpersons), the request was denied.

Item 5: New Business -

A. Meeting with members of the Land Use Ordinance Revision Group – Project Manager of the Group, Todd Woofenden, presented a brief outline of the Group’s work to date. He explained that the Group was adopting a structured project management approach with clearly defined goals, project definitions, milestones, etc. Once the group has established the goals, the Group will present them to the Board of Selectpersons for a formal sign off. Todd stated that the Group will be discussing the project in terms of determining the best approach to the desired end; amending the existing ordinances versus coming up with model ordinances and tailoring them to Bowdoinham’s needs. Chair Dorr agreed that it was important to establish clearly defined goals and tasks as well as to keep on topic during the meetings. Bob Bremm, a member of the Group, asked if more people should be included in the Group. He further requested that a member of the Selectboard attend the meetings. Selectperson Whittlesey stated that by broadening the base of the Group to a more inclusive, diverse group that is representative of the town, the better the product would be throughout the process as well as the at the end. The Group agreed to meet with the Board of Selectpersons on a regular basis to update the Board on the Group’s work.

B. Meeting with Kathleen Montejo – for appointment to Zoning Board of Appeals – The Board met with Kathleen Montejo to discuss her candidacy for membership on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Selectperson Ciembroniewicz made a motion to appoint Kathleen Montejo to the Zoning Board of Appeals effective July 10, 2007 through June 30, 2012, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

C. Resignation of Doug Marble, Code Enforcement Officer – The Town Manager submitted the letter of resignation to the Board on behalf of Doug Marble. The Board regretfully accepted the resignation and expressed their appreciation for Doug’s exemplary service to the Town.

D. Discussion regarding hiring Town Planner/Code Enforcement Officer – The Town Manager presented a plan to hire a fulltime CEO/Town Planner using the funds from the part time CEO salary along with the Comp Plan Implementation money. There was a discussion among the Board of Selectpersons and the Land Use Revision Group as to the position and if it would meet the needs of the Land Use Revision Group in its work, the Planning Board and its work, as well as attract qualified candidates to the CEO position. It was decided that the Town Manager would advertise for a part time CEO position with the possibility of the position becoming a fulltime CEO/Town Planner should a qualified candidate emerge.

Item 6: Town Manager’s Report

A. Review of Capital Improvement Plan and 15 Year Road Plan – The Capital Improvement Plan and 15 Year Road Plan were reviewed by the Board.

B. Review of Reserve Accounts, Surplus, and Overlay – The Town Manager presented to the Board a review of the Reserve Accounts, Undesignated Funds (Surplus), and the definition of Overlay.

C. Discussion regarding Town-appointed Committee to review Recycling Program, Town Conservation efforts, etc. – TABLED for future meeting.

D. Resignation of Stephen Bennett as EMS Director – The Town Manager submitted the letter of resignation to the Board on behalf of Stephen Bennett as EMS Director. The Manager explained that Mr. Bennett was recommending Ann Davis to the position and that the Fire Chief would be appointing Ms. Davis.

E. Petty Cash Policy – The Town Manager stated that the Town did not have a Petty Cash policy and with the assistance of Lori-Anne Wilson, the Town’s auditor, a policy was drafted for the Board’s review. The Board reviewed the policy. Selectperson Whittlesey made a motion to approve the Petty Cash policy, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 7: Selectperson’s Request for Agenda Items for next meeting (July 24, 2007) – Tutorial of TIF funds, better understanding of Community and Economic Development position as well as the role of all employees, discussion of the Board’s attendance to Land Use Revision meetings.

Item 8: Consent Items – There were no consent items.

Item 9: Consideration of Treasurer’s Warrants #1 & #2. The Board reviewed the Treasurer’s warrants.
Selectperson Ciembroniewicz made a motion to approve Treasurer’s Warrant #1, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.
Selectperson Ciembroniewicz made a motion to approve Treasurer’s Warrant #2, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 10: Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events

· July 12 @ 6:30 pm – Land Use Ordinance Revision Meeting/
· July 24 @ 5:30 pm – Selectpersons Regular Meeting

Item 11: Adjournment – Chair Dorr adjourned the meeting at 8:40 pm.