2009-08-26 Select Board Meeting Minutes


Town of Bowdoinham
Select Board Meeting Minutes
August 26, 2009


Residents in Attendance: Phil Frank, Gus Frank, Stewart Burrell, Bradley Meads, Dotty Baker, Gerry Curtis, John Scribner, George Christopher, and Kathy Durgin-Leighton

Non residents: Jim Phillips


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

Item 2: Consideration of the minutes from August 5, 2009 meeting – the Board reviewed the minutes. Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to accept the minutes as amended, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. 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 Gerry Curtis, Ridge Road Cemetery Association – Mr. Curtis, representing the Ridge Road Cemetery Association, presented the Select Board with a letter from the Association requesting that the ownership of the Ridge Road Cemetery be transferred to the town. The Association, according to Mr. Curtis, has run out of funds to maintain the cemetery. In exchange for the ownership transfer, the Association agreed transfer to the town a Certificate of Deposit valued at approximately $20,000. The CD is scheduled to mature in 2012. Chair Whittlesey asked how much it costs per year to maintain the cemetery. Mr. Curtis stated that it costs approximately $2,000-$3,000 per year for mowing. Selectperson Hobart asked if there are any lots available at the cemetery. Mr. Curtis stated that there are a few potential areas for future burials but that work would need to be done to the cemetery to accommodate the burials. The Board acknowledged that according to the town’s written Cemetery Policy, it has an obligation to care for the lots in a cemetery where veterans are buried. However, for the town to take ownership of a cemetery, it would need to go before the voters at a town meeting. The Board decided to bring the issue to the June 2010 Annual Town Meeting. In the meantime, the Board would maintain the cemetery per its Cemetery Policy. Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to pay for the maintenance of the cemetery for the rest of the year, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

b) Consideration to enter into multiyear contract with Pine Tree Waste, Inc. for the disposal of municipal solid waste for the time period of July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2012. – The Board reviewed the contract. Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to approve the multiyear contract with Pine Tree Waste, Inc. for the disposal of municipal solid waste for the time period of July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2012, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

c) Consideration to appoint John Scribner to the Biking, Walking, Paddling Committee for the term effective August 27, 2009 to June 30, 2012. – The Board met with Mr. Scribner regarding his interest in serving on the Biking, Walking, Paddling Committee. John expressed an interest in supporting sidewalks in the village as well as the Merrymeeting Trail initiative and raising the awareness of walking options within the town. Selectperson Hobart moved to appoint John Scribner to the Biking, Walking, Paddling Committee, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

d) Meeting with Jim Phillips, Tax Assessing Agent – Mr. Phillips gave the Board Property Tax Bulletin No. 19 (Maine Tree Growth Tax Law), No. 20 (Farmland Tax Law), and No. 21 (Open Space Tax Law). He explained the three property tax programs and how penalties are assessed when land is withdrawn from one of the programs. He explained that the valuation of the land at the time of the withdrawal is the assessment number used when determining the penalty. This is a fixed number and can be found on the most recent tax bill prior to the withdrawal. An owner has 185 days from the date of the tax commitment to contest the assessed value. Mr. Phillips explained that each program has different penalty formulas when land is withdrawn. Also, Mr. Phillips stated that when land is taken out of Open Space, the penalty is equal to the difference between the open space valuation and the non open space valuation multiplied by between 20 and 30%, depending on how long the land was in Open Space. Selectperson Ciembroniewicz asked if there is consideration taken when the municipality authorizes the land owner to build on the land. Mr. Phillips stated that it is not the Code Officer’s role to determine if a parcel is in a property tax program before building and that if a permit is given, it does not have any bearing on the penalty.

e) Approval of the Municipal Valuation Return – 2009 Certified Ratio set at 89.1 – Mr. Phillips reviewed the Municipal Valuation Return with the Board. He explained that the Certified Ratio is determined by the State by comparing property sales with the assessments. Towns are allowed to increase the resulting ratio by up to 10%. The Town is currently at 81% of the market. The higher the ration, the more reimbursement is received from the state. Mr. Phillips stated that foreclosures and refinancing are not considered in the formula. Also, Mr. Phillips stated that since the ratio is determined by looking at sales and assessments that are up to 1 ½ years prior, the recent recession has not yet been a factor. Chair Whittlesey asked at what point a full revaluation is warranted. Mr. Phillips replied that if the Town’s ratio dips down to 70%, this is considered by the State as the time when a revaluation is in order. Selectperson Hobart moved to approve the Municipal Valuation Return, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

f) Assessing Agent Property Tax Abatements and Supplements for the following:

Abatements for FY2010

#1 – State of Maine, Department of Inland Fisheries/Wildlife, R01-034, Exempt from property taxes - $728.16 – Selectperson Hobart moved to approve Abatement #1, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

#2 – Lowell, Seri, 231 North Hill Road, Buckfield, Me (Fisher Road location) – R01-035, Wrong Owner, $340.40 - Selectperson Hobart moved to approve Abatement #2, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

3- Billings, Daniel, 5 Richards Lane, Bowdoinham, Me – R02-049, Lot merged with R02-049, $433.64 - Selectperson Hobart moved to approve Abatement #3, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

#4 – Drummond, Nate, 38 Main Street, Bowdoinham, Me – personal property, Equipment owned by LLC - $103.60- Selectperson Hobart moved to approve Abatement #4, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

#5 – Smith, Brian & Luana, 213 Main Street, Bowdoinham, Me – mobile home removed from 2 Ash Lane - $310.80 - Selectperson Hobart moved to approve Abatement #5, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

#6 – Densmore, Janet L, 16 Page Rod, Kingston, NH (property located on Carding Machine Road) –
mobile home sold before 4/1/2009 - $65.12 - Selectperson Hobart moved to approve Abatement #6, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Supplements for FY2010

#1 – Lowell, Seri, 231 North Hill Road, Buckfield, Me (Fisher Road location) – R01-034, Omitted from Assessment roll - $728.16 – Selectperson Hobart moved to approve Supplement #1, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

#2 – Maine Farmland Trust, Inc., 97 Main Street, Belfast, ME (River Road location) – R12-003, Farmland Withdrawal Penalty (2 acres withdrawn at landowners request) - $588.13 - Selectperson Hobart moved to approve Supplement #2, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3- 0 in favor.

#3 – Six River Farm, LLC, 38 Main Street, Bowdoinham, Me – Personal Property - $307.84 - Selectperson Hobart moved to approve Supplement #3, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

g) Approval of 2009/2010 Sagadahoc County Tax Assessment – The Board reviewed and signed the County Tax Assessment.

h) Consideration to approve an Easement to Kathleen Gallant for the purpose of constructing, maintaining and using a driveway along the southerly boundary at the southeast corner of Town owned property known as the School House Lot for the benefit of properties identified as Lots 17 & 18 on Town of Bowdoinham Tax Map U-1 as authorized at the June 19, 2002 annual town meeting- Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to approve the easement, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor. The Board signed the Easement.

i) Maine Municipal Association’s Annual Convention – The Board discussed this year’s convention to be held at the Augusta Civic Center on October 7 & 8 and the workshops offered. Chair Whittlesey stated that there were workshops that he was interested in attending.

j) Consideration to appoint a Solid Waste Committee – The Town Manager explained that the present Solid Waste ordinance authorizes the appointment of a Waste Advisory Committee. The ordinance states that the committee will serve “on such matters related to waste management and recycling as may be requested by the Selectmen”. The Board asked the Town Manager and Solid Waste Manager to draft a charge for the Committee for the Board’s consideration.

Item 5: Town Manager’s Report

a) Celebrate Bowdoinham update – The Town Manager reported that the Select Board will be needed to judge this year’s pie entries.
b) Report on the H1N1 Summit held on August 20, 2009 – The Town Manager reported that she, along with Ann Davis, the EMS Director, attended the summit. She explained that an aggressive vaccine effort would begin in mid-October for Maine residents that are determined to be most at risk. She stated that precautions were being made at the town office including the use of hand sanitizers and disinfectant on the counter tops.
c) Androscoggin Bank Note - The Town Manager reported that Androscoggin Bank submitted a proposal for the general obligation note approved at the June 2009 town meeting for $300,000 for road paving. The proposal set an interest rate of 3.91% for ten years. The manager stated that this was an excellent rate compared to rates she had received from other institutions of 4-5%. Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to approve the Androscoggin Bank proposal of 3.91%, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.
d) SAD 75 Updates – The Town Manager submitted to the Board updates on proposed curriculum, meeting schedules, and pupil test as provided by Joanne Reinhart, SAD75 Board Chair and Bowdoinham Representative. Updates will be provided on a regular basis in order to keep the Select Board informed of SAD75 news.
e) Nicole Briand – CEO- The Town Manager stated that the CEO will be returning to work beginning Monday, September 14 on a part time basis until November when she will return fulltime.

Item 6: Consideration of FY09 Treasurer’s Warrant #39 & FY10 Treasurer’s Warrant #3 – The Board reviewed the Treasurer’s Warrants

Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to approve FY09 Treasurer’s Warrant #39, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.
Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to approve FY10 Treasurer’s Warrant #3, seconded by Selectperson Hobart. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 7: Selectperson’s Request for Agenda Items for next meeting (September 9, 2009)

Item 8: Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events

• August 27 – Facilities Tour – 4 pm at town meeting
• September 9 @ 6:30 pm – Regular Select Board Meeting
• September 12 – Celebrate Bowdoinham
• September 23 @ 6:30 pm – Regular Select Board Meeting

Item 9: Adjourn – The Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:30 pm.