2008-12-30 Select Board Meeting Minutes


Town of Bowdoinham
Minutes of Select Board Meeting
December 30, 2008


Residents in Attendance: Dotty Baker, Kathy Durgin-Leighton, George Christopher
Non-residents: Jim Phillips, Tax Assessing Agent


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

Item 2: Consideration of the minutes from December 9, 2008 meeting – The Board reviewed the minutes. Selectperson Dorr moved to accept the minutes, 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. Meeting with Tax Assessing Agent, Jim Phillips – Mr. Phillips presented the board with a spreadsheet detailing the number of accounts that were changed and/or corrected after the tax commitment date as a result of the acreage changes. These changes were a result of landowners submitting surveys or deeds showing a corrected acreage. Abatements were given to property owners but no supplements were given. Chair Ciembroniewicz asked how Mr. Phillips recommended moving forward. Mr. Phillips stated that it was his opinion that the acreages are now more accurate than before and that the present data should be retained. Selectperson Whittlesey asked if there was a correlation between the housing market prices decreasing and the valuations. Mr. Phillips responded that the relationship with the market is on a delayed basis. According to the State, the Town’s assessed ratio is currently at 80.2 percent of the assessed value as determined by the housing market from July 07 to June 08. If sale prices of properties go up this could indicate that the current assessed values are down which would result in the Town’s assessed value increasing. However, the market value of all properties are constantly changing and the Town’s assessed value as determined by the State is based on sales from over a year ago and based only on actual sales. Consequently, some property owners will have valuations that are below the ratio and some that are higher. Mr. Phillips stated that the most important factor is that all properties are assessed fairly in relationship to the others. Chair Ciembroniewicz requested that in the future, if there are any changes in the way assessments are done, the Board be notified ahead of time. Mr. Phillips agreed.

Item 5: Old Business – There was no old business.

Item 6: Town Manager’s Report

1. Fire Station Land Update – Attorney Art Lamothe has spoken to the heirs of both parcels in question. He has reached an agreement with one set of heirs and is working on an agreement with the other. In July 2006, the Board authorized up to $15,300 for compensation to the heirs to release the deed restrictions on the two parcels. Current negotiations will keep the compensation offered under the $15,300 however with attorney fees and title fees, the Town may need as much as $17,000. The Town Manager recommended that the Board schedule a Special Town Meeting for Tuesday, January 27 at 7:00 pm requesting authorization from the Town to use up to $17,000 from the Town’s Undesignated Fund Balance to remove the deed restrictions. The Manager will draft a Warrant for Board approval at the January 13, 2009 meeting.

2. Excise Tax Report – The Manager reported that excise taxes did not continue its downward trend in December. With one more day left to December, the town collected approximately $800 more than the amount collected in December last year. This represents a very small gain. The Manager reported that excise taxes remain $18,000 less than the amount collected for the same time period last year.

3. Consideration to accept on behalf of the Bowdoinham Fire Department $1,028.81 from Bowdoinham Fire Department Association and $1,028.81 from the Bowdoinham Fire Department Auxiliary to help pay for the purchase of the Portable Forestry Pump ($4,557.61) - The Fire Department’s Portable Forestry Pump failed in the fall. It costs $4,557 to replace. With the recent repairs to Engine 1 resulting in using over $12,000 from the Fire Department’s Capital Reserve Fund, the Fire Chief asked both the Association and Auxiliary to help with the cost of the replacement. The total cost of the replacement is $4,557.61. The Town’s share is $2,500. The Manager requested approval from the Board to accept the funds from the Auxiliary and Association in order to offset the cost of the pump. Selectperson Dorr moved to accept the funds from the Association and the Auxiliary, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

4. To accept on behalf of the EMS Department funds totaling $230 in memory of Sidney Biette – The Manager reported that in November, the EMS Department responded to a call at Bowdoinham Estates. Unfortunately, the patient later passed away. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be given to the EMS. To date, $230 has been received. Selectperson Dorr moved to accept the donations totaling $230, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

5. Home Heating Assistance Program – The Manager reported that a Bowdoinham resident anonymously donated $15,000 to the Home Heating Assistance Fund. The resident asks to remain anonymous.

Item 7: Selectperson’s Request for Agenda Items for next meeting (January 13, 2009) – Report from the LUPC Committee, approval of Special Town Meeting Warrant.

Item 8: Consent Items

a. Consideration to reappoint John McMullen as the Harbormaster effective January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. Selectperson Dorr moved to approve the reappointment, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.
b. Consideration to reappoint Pamela Ross as Registrar of Voters effective January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010. Selectperson Whittlesey moved to approve the reappointment, seconded by Selectperson Dorr. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 9: Consideration of Treasurer’s Warrant #22 – The Board reviewed the Treasurer’s Warrant. Selectperson Dorr moved to approve Treasurer’s Warrant #22, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 10: Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events

• January 13, 2008 @ 6:30 pm – Regular Select Board meeting
• January 22, 2008 @ 6:30 pm – Finance Advisory Meeting – Rob Snowe, Maine Bank & Trust
• January 27, 2008 @ 6:30 pm – Regular Select Board meeting

Item 11: Adjournment – Chair Ciembroniewicz adjourned the meeting at 8:00 pm.