2007-08-14 Select Board Meeting Minutes

Town of Bowdoinham
Minutes of Select Board meeting
August 14, 2007

Residents Present: Christine Wilson, Todd Woofenden, George Christopher

Others Present: Frank McVey, General Manager, Brunswick Sewer District; Tom Green, Brunswick Sewer District; Darcie Moore, Reporter from The Times Record.

Item 1: Call the meeting to order – Chair Dorr called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm.

Item 2: Consideration of the minutes from July 24, 2007 meeting. The Board reviewed the minutes.
Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to accept the minutes 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: New Business

A. Presentation by representatives from Brunswick Sewer District on Sludge Spreading –
Frank McVey – General Manager of Brunswick Sewer District and Tom Green met to discuss the history of and current sludge spreading program in Bowdoinham. Mr. McVey explained that there are three ways to dispose of sludge – land application, composting, and land fills. He stated that the present land application program is thoroughly regulated by the DEP and EPA.
The amount of sludge (Class B Biosolids) that is applied to the land is determined by the needs of the crop. There are 7 to 10 metals found in sludge as reported in Chapter 419 of the federal regulations. He stated that some of the tests to determine the metal content in the sludge are done by the Sewer District by their own licensed personnel and that the soils tests are done on an annual basis.
Chair Dorr asked Mr. McVey to explain what safety measures are in place. Mr. McVey stated the following measures:

Regulations– Mr. McVey stated that it all starts with the regulations -DEP regulation and EPA. The DEP regulations are stricter than the EPA regulations. The DEP regulations state that:
1. The sludge must be suitable material.
2. 2. Buffer zones must be in place from occupied dwellings, water supplies, streams, etc.- 50 foot buffer for people after spreading. Brunswick Sewer has a tendency to be more conservative and requires a larger buffer area.
Application Rate – Brunswick Sewer is conservative on its application rate. This is known as nitrogen loading. The application is based on the crop need and number of harvestings in one year by the farmer.

Test wells – current wells monitor at 2 ? feet deep, 4 feet deep and surface water. The monitoring wells are part of the Pilot Project. The Pilot Project is in its 4th year. According to Mr. McVey, the results of the monitoring are coming back “uniformly favorable”. The Sewer District will apply for another Pilot Project extension when the current project ends on December 31, 2007. The Pilot Project allows the Sewer District to be out of compliance with some of the regulations – relaxes standards for stacking size allowing for larger stacks, and increases the duration of the stacking time from 8 months to 12 months.

Odor mitigation – The Sewer District has contracted out with Woods End Laboratories to mitigate the odor problem that occurred during the 2006 spreading.

Selectperson Whittlesey asked how many years the sludge has been spread on the fields and how much per year. Mr. Christopher replied that sludge has been spread since 1989 at an average rate of 14 to 20 tons per acre per year. The land is used for hay to feed beef and dairy cattle.

Selectperson Whittlesey asked who would bear the responsibility in the future should science find that there are risks to the sludge spreading. Mr. Christopher said that MOFGA isn’t allowing the spreading of sludge on organic fields because of this question. Mr. McVey stated that he will take this up with his legal counsel. He added that the Sewer District does “the best we can with what we have, but there are no guarantees with this stuff”.

Selectperson Ciembroniewicz stated that he had heard concerns from hunters and asked if tests were done on tissue samples in wild animals for metal content. Mr. McVey stated that he was not aware of any tests.

On behalf of the Board, Chair Dorr thanked both Mr. McVey and Mr. Green for their thorough presentation.

Chair Dorr requested to the Town Manager that the Board receive in writing guidance as to what the Town is legally able to do to regulate the sludge spreading.

B. Tax Commitment FY 08 – The Town Manager explained that the information provided by the Assessing Agent to the Board at the July 24 meeting was in error. The Homestead Exemption had been double entered in his calculations and therefore in order to have the desired overlay necessary to build the Town’s Undesignated Fund Balance (Surplus), the mil rate would have to be 14.5 and not 14.3 as approved at the July 24 meeting. The change in the mil rate amounted to an extra $20 per year in taxes for property assessed at $100,000. Selectperson Whittlesey requested that in the future, efforts be made to prevent such errors.
Selectperson Ciembroniewicz made a motion that given the clarification of the error, the property tax mil rate for FY 08 be set at 14.5, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor. The Board executed the Certificate of Commitment.

C. Execute the Promissory note and Certificate for the loan from Maine Bank & Trust for $125,000 at 4.56% interest for the purchase of public works vehicles and/or equipment – The Board signed the Promissory note and Certificate for the loan.

D. Land Use Revision Group – Todd Woofenden presented the Project Definition of the Land Use Revision Group to the Board. Chair Dorr thanked Todd for the work that the Group has done and said that he was greatly encouraged with Group’s scope of work and timeframe as outlined. He asked Todd to express the Board’s gratitude to the Group. The Board accepted the Project Definition.

Item 5: Town Manager’s Report – The Town Manager reported that the Shingleman’s Creek project was completed and under budget.

Item 6: Selectperson’s Request for Agenda Items for next meeting
(August 28, 2007)

Item 7: Consent Items

A. Abatement due to Assessor Agent’s error of assessing penalty for Farmland Withdrawal – Luke S. MacFadyen, R05-013-B for $1,966.37 – The Board asked the Town Manager how many abatements and supplements are granted per year as a result errors by the Assessing Agent. The Town Manager did not have the answer and will get the number for the Board. The Board requested that in the future, the Assessing Agent contact the property owner before assessing a penalty to reduce the amount of errors and as a matter of courtesy. Selectperson Whittlesey moved to grant the abatement, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 8: Executive Session pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6)(A) to discuss personnel matters. – Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to enter Executive Session, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor. Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to exit from Executive Session, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor. There was no action taken during the Executive Session.

Selectperson Whittlesey moved to authorize the Town Manager to employ a fulltime CEO/Town Planner, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 9: Consideration of Treasurer’s Warrants #5 & #6 & 7. The Board reviewed the Treasurer’s Warrants.
Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to accept Warrant #5, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.
Selectperson Whittlesey moved to accept Warrant #6, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.
Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to accept Warrant #7, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 10: Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events

· August 28 @ 5:30 pm – Selectpersons Regular Meeting
· September 8 – Celebrate Bowdoinham
· September 11 @ 5:30 pm – Selectpersons Regular Meeting

Item 11: Adjournment – Chair Dorr adjourned the meeting at 8:55 pm.