2008-12-09 Select Board Meeting Minutes

Town of Bowdoinham
Minutes of Select Board Meeting
December 9, 2008

Residents present: George Christopher, Ben Long, Brad Foley, Brooke Cox, Kathy Durgin-Leighton, Town Manager
Non-residents present: Nicole Briand, CEO/Planner

Item 1: Call the meeting to order – Chair Ciembroniewicz called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm. All members were present: Chair Ciembroniewicz, Selectperson Whittlesey, and Selectperson Dorr.

Item 2: Consideration of the minutes from November 10, 2008 and November 25, 2008 meeting
Selectperson Dorr moved to approve the minutes from the November 10, 2008 meeting, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.
Selectperson Whittlesey moved to approve the minutes from the November 25, 2008 meeting as amended, seconded by Chair Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 2-0 in favor (1 abstention)

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

Item 4: New Business

Presentation on Regional Trail effort – Ben Long, member of Biking, Walking, Paddling Group presented to the Board the discussions to create a regional trail from Gardiner to Topsham. Members of the Biking, Walking, Paddling Group with the leadership of the Town Planner, Nicole Briand, have been meeting with representatives from Gardiner, Richmond, Topsham and Brunswick for the last 9 months exploring the possibility of developing a regional trail system to connect with the Kennebec rail/trail system. This is a multiple year undertaking. Representatives from the towns are seeking support from each Select Board/Council to continue the effort. This is a memorandum of agreement and not a commitment of any money. The vision is that the trail system would be used for biking, walking, x-country skiing, etc and would connect all of the downtown areas. The benefits include recreational, health, and economic. Brad Foley, a member of the Biking Walking Paddling Group stated that a similar regional trail is in the Newport, Maine area. The Town Manager pointed out that this is another instance of the town’s efforts to increase the walk-ability of the town. Major accomplishments include a Transportation Vision Plan approved by the Select Board, participation in Maine Watch’s “Rediscovering Forgotten Assets: Trails for the 21st Century”, recipient of a grant from Maine Department of Transportation to create a Walk-able Village Plan, and applying for a transportation enhancement grant from MDOT for sidewalks in the village area.
Selectperson Dorr asked if there was a possibility to create a regional trail system with the federal stimulus package on the horizon. Brad Foley stated that it was his sense that the stimulus package was for projects ready for construction in the next 90 to 180 days and that this project did not meet that timeframe. Ms. Briand suggested that using the rail corridor for a trail system may be possible for inclusion. Selectperson Whittlesey moved to sign the memorandum of agreement authorizing the Town Manager to commit staff time to the regional trail effort and request that the group returns to the Board with updates on its progress, seconded by Selectperson Dorr. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

a. Meeting with Tax Assessing Agent, Jim Phillips – Tabled until December 30, 2008 meeting.

b. Discussion regarding Nutrient Management – George Christopher – The Board was given a letter from the Lewiston-Auburn Water Pollution Control Authority on the spreading of bio-solids (sludge) in Bowdoinham as well as a report from Drumlin Environmental, LLC on the Sludge Stockpile Study Pilot Project. The Board discussed farming in Bowdoinham and the use of sludge. Chair Ciembroniewicz stated that he believed in the value of agriculture in Bowdoinham and questioned whether there was a need for local regulation of sludge spreading. He further stated that it was important to connect children and the community to farming. Ben Long and Chair Ciembroniewicz agreed to discuss further opportunities that may exist to connect and/or educate the community to farming.
Selectperson Dorr noted in the Drumlin Environmental, LLC report on page 4, “The data also demonstrate that a time period of years is required for nitrate concentrations to rise toward regulatory limits. This also suggests the potential for monitoring and periodically relocating stacking areas to avoid reaching regulatory thresholds.” Selectperson Dorr asked Mr. Christopher, given this statement, does he stack in different locations. Mr. Christopher replied that he has not changed the stacking location in 20 years.

Item 5: Old Business

a. Solid Waste Study Committee update - The Manager reported that the Solid Waste Study Committee will resume in January, 2009 to discuss the declining revenues for recyclable materials.

Item 6: Town Manager’s Report -

1. FY2007 Tax Collection –Foreclosure notices will be sent out on December 10th. The automatic foreclosure date is January 20, 2009. A list of those properties in danger of foreclosure was submitted to the Board for review.

2. General Assistance & Home Heating Assistance - Over the past three weeks, the town office has experienced a marked increase in the GA and Home Heating Assistance applications. Since December 1st the town has provided heating assistance to ten households and in addition, it received 8 applications for general assistance. Additionally, the town office staff is processing requests for the Giving Tree – 15 families thus far have signed up for the Giving Tree.

3. Excise Taxes – Excise taxes are down again last month by over $5,000. If this trend continues, the town will not make its projection for the year.

4. Solid Waste Department – The Town has hired a temporary, part time employee with a CDL license to drive the new truck to Grimmel’s and Pine Tree Waste.

5. Audit – The FY08 financials are currently being audited. The audit report is expected in January.

6. Finance Advisory Meeting – The Finance Advisory Committee will be meeting this Thursday, December 11, 2008 with Rob Snowe from Maine Bank & Trust. to discuss the Town’s trust accounts.

7. MDOT Level of Service Standards – The manager submitted a document from MDOT highlighting the state’s revised ice and snow control operations due to limited resources.

8. Fire Station land – Attorney Arthur Lamothe is making significant progress contacting the heirs of the property in order to release the deed restrictions (fire department purposes). If the heirs are in agreement to release the restrictions, a special town meeting will be needed seeking voter approval to give funds to the heirs in exchange for the release. The Board voted on July 12, 2006 to offer up to $15,300 to release the deed restrictions.

Item 7: Selectperson’s Request for Agenda Items for next meeting (December 30, 2008) – Jim Phillips, report on the salt of the roads (status report from Kevin)

Item 7 A: Consideration to enter into Executive session pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A. § 405(6)(H) discussion with code enforcement officer regarding a pending action in district court. Selectperson Whittlesey moved to enter into Executive Session, seconded by Selectperson Dorr. The vote was 3-0 in favor. Selectperson Whittlesey moved to exit from Executive Session, seconded by Selectperson Dorr. The vote was 3-0 in favor. There were no decisions made or action taken during executive session.

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

Item 9: Consideration of Treasurer’s Warrants #21 – Selectperson Dorr moved to approve Treasurer’s Warrant #21, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 10: Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events

• December 11 @ 6:30 – Finance Advisory Meeting – Rob Snowe, Maine Bank & Trust
• December 8, 9, & 10 – Financial Audit for FY08
• December 10th – Foreclosure notices sent
• December 30 @ 6:30 pm – Regular Select Board Meeting
• December 12 @ 5:30 pm – Christmas Tree Lighting
• December 12 & 13 – Bowdoinham Artisans Guild Show

Item 11: Adjournment – Chair Ciembroniewicz adjourned the meeting at 9:10 pm