2010-01-05 Select Board Meeting Minutes

Town of Bowdoinham

Select Board Meeting Minutes

January 5, 2010 

Residents present:  Dan Billings, Joane Reinhart, Rebecca Stimpson, Theresa Herard, Ann Davis, Mike Davis, George Christopher, Bradley Meads, Jennifer Foley, Dawna Bowlin, Dotty Baker, and David Berry 

Non residents present:  Superintendent of SAD 75 Michael Wilhelm, Business Manager of SAD 75 Steve Dyer, and Nicole Briand, Planner/CEO 

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


Item 2:  Consideration of the minutes from December 15, 2009 meeting – The Board reviewed the minutes. Selectperson Hobart moved to approve the minutes, Chair Whittlesey seconded. The vote was 2-0 in favor.  

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

Item 4:  New Business 

  1. Recognitions and Acknowledgements – Chair Whittlesey recognized EMS personnel Michael Davis, Theresa Herard, and Dawna Bowlin for completing the Basic EMT class which involves over 140 hours of classroom time and 50 hours of actual time riding in an ambulance assisting with direct patient care. This is then followed by a two hour written test and a three hour practical hands-on test. Chair Whittlesey stated that this is all completed in addition to their regular duties as EMS. He thanked them for their contributions to the town and asked them to stand up to be recognized. The Board and audience members gave them a round of applause in appreciation!


  1. Representatives from SAD75 to discuss upcoming budget year – Superintendent Michael Wilhelm, Business Manager Steve Dyer, School Board members Rebecca Stimpson & Joanne Reinhart were in attendance. Chair Whittlesey thanked them for attending the meeting. He stated that the Board wished to learn of the financial ramifications expected as a result of the state’s finances as well as the impact on the quality of education. He also stated that the Select Board wished to be as supportive as possible knowing that this is a difficult time and that this meeting would serve as a very important first step in the process. Superintendent Wilhelm gave an overview of the financial challenges facing the school district and how it would likely affect the residents of Bowdoinham. He explained that last year the district was helped by the funds from the American Recovery Act. These funds enabled the school district to cover costs without raising taxes for the municipalities. However, not only will these funds not be available for the coming year, but there will be a significant decrease in state revenues as well. This decrease in revenues is already effecting the current budget year when in November the District was notified that it would receive $413,000 in less revenue from general purpose aid. However, the full impact for the coming year will not be known until April 2010 after the legislature completes its session. The District anticipates losing another $400,000 in addition to the $413,000 this year and the $406,000 from the American Recovery Act. This equals to approximately $1.1 million dollars in less revenue than the prior year. According to Superintendent Wilhelm, the District realizes that it cannot go to the towns to make up for the loss in revenues. Therefore, the District is looking at ways to do business that saves money but improves education. The District has two major initiatives:  Online learning and collaborating with the town of Brunswick. The School Board is also looking at using a tier system of cost cutting. The costs associated with less impact on students are at the top of the tier and will be cut first. Costs associated with a higher student education impact will be cut last. Superintendent Wilhelm also spoke of the changes in school population. The District has approximately 2,700 students; 700 fewer students from a few years ago. There are now 30 fewer teachers. This is largely a result of the Topsham Annex closing (Navy base). Chair Whittlesey asked how the loss in $1.1 million in revenues would impact the Town of Bowdoinham. Superintendent Wilhelm stated that it was the District’s intent to absorb most of the $1.1 million loss but that there would be uncontrollable budget increases as well. Concluding the discussion was a general discussion regarding the need to increase the broadband width to the Bowdoinham Community School as well as where the District was in relation to building a new high school. The Town will work with the District to address the broadband issue and it is unlikely given the state’s finances that a school will be built anytime soon.


  1. Request for Qualifications for Consultant Services for Sidewalk Transportation Enhancement Project – Nicole Briand, CEO/Planner – Ms. Briand gave a brief overview of the status of the sidewalk project. A Request for Qualifications for Engineering and Design services has been completed and is advertised on the town’s website and Maine Department of Transportation website. Ms. Briand asked the Board to appoint a representative from the Board to participate in the selection process. The Board appointed Selectperson Hobart to the interview team. Ms. Briand also submitted a draft timeline for the project. Construction is not expected to begin (the earliest) until spring 2011 and completed in the fall 2011.


Item 5: Old Business 

  1. Consideration to accept gift from Sagadahoc Recycling Company for leased space beyond the current contractual agreement - (value of $1,240/year) – David Berry, owner of the Sagadahoc Recycling Company. Mr. Berry gave the Board a drawing of the barn showing the area that is being leased by the town and the area not leased but used by the town. He stated that in the original lease agreement, the leased space was from the boiler room to the west (toward Post Road) and encompassed all three floors with the exception of the third floor studio space that he rents out. Over time, the leased area has grown as a result of the 1993 composting project at the east end of the barn and the addition of the household hazardous waste area (48’ x 12’). A 16’ x 14’ loading dock was also added. Mr. Berry explained that materials originally stored on the second and third floors had to be moved to the first floor (non-leased area) because they could no longer be supported on the upper floors. Also, the increased leased area allows more materials to be stored in an effort to wait for the market prices to increase. Mr. Berry also stated that when the town purchased the new truck with the higher sideboards, fewer trips were needed in shipping the materials but more storage space was needed to store the materials between shipments. Chair Whittlesey acknowledged that the lease should reflect the uses and should be amended as the leased area expands. Mr. Berry stated that the area that was used for sorting materials (glass, plastic, etc.) is no longer used but that the area used by the worm composting area makes up for it. Chair Whittlesey stated that the barn continues to be a Bowdoinham icon; a symbol of the way Bowdoinham functions in relationship to its recycling consciousness but that the lease must reflect the usage especially for liability purposes. The question of who is responsible for what needs to be outlined in the lease agreement. The Board also agreed that the space that is leased by the town must be used for the exclusive purposes of the town. Mr. Berry acknowledged this and said that neither he nor his agents use the leased area other than for town purposes. The current lease expires in June 2010 and the Board agreed that a new lease would need to be more specific. Selectperson Hobart moved to accept the gift of space beyond the current lease, seconded by Chair Whittlesey. The vote was 2-0 in favor.


      Mr. Berry then asked the Board for permission to lift the current ban on having children under  the age of 12 years from going up to the second floor. The Manager stated that she was  uncomfortable recommending the lifting of the ban until the town’s insurance representative  could inspect it for safety. Mr. Berry then asked the Board if the small building adjacent to the  barn that was built in 1988 and was used to collect materials at the town office could be moved.  The building is owned by the town though Mr. Berry furnished siding and roofing materials for  the building. Mr. Berry expressed an interest in purchasing the building from the town. Moving  the building would give additional parking space. The Board agreed that removing the building  seemed to make sense, but that as it was Town property, it should come before the Board  through the normal channel for disposing of property. 

      Lastly, Mr. Berry stated that he has been using his own equipment to warm up the bailer on cold  mornings and requested permission to use his own equipment for such purposes, or that the  Town purchases one for the barn. The Chair stated this was more of an operational issue to be  taken up directly with the Town Manager.  

Item 6:  Town Manager’s Report - 

Item 1:  February Newsletter – Bowdoinham News – The Manager reported that resident Jennifer Foley has volunteered to write the February edition of the Bowdoinham News. The Manager reported that originally there were no plans for a February edition but due to the large amount of news, a February edition was needed. The deadline for news articles is January 20, 2010. 

Item 2:  Special Municipal Election – February 2nd – The Manager reported that the Town Clerk would like to schedule the special election for 10 am to 8 pm in the Selectmen’s meeting room. The Board agreed with the Clerk’s recommendation. The Manager stated that the warrant will be prepared for the Board’s signature at its next meeting. Absentee voting began Monday, January 4. 

Item 3:  Old Fire Station Land – The Manager recommended that the Board schedule a public meeting for Thursday, February 11 at 6:30 pm to discuss the future of the land. The Board agreed.  

Item 4:  Public Works building – The Manager reported that the roof was repaired and the stairs were also replaced at the public works garage.  

Item 5:  The Manager provided a list of properties in jeopardy of foreclosure for unpaid taxes. She reported that the automatic foreclosure date is January 16th. There are ten properties remaining for a total balance of $7,035.71. 

Item 7:  Consent Items  

      A.  Assessing Agent Property Tax Abatements for the following: 

      Abatements for FY2010 

#14   Eger, Robert, 1459 Augusta Road, Bowdoin, ME  04287 (1111 Post Road), Map R04 Lot 053-003 $158.36 – Same Mobile Home assessed twice.  

Selectperson Hobart moved to approve the abatement, seconded by Chair Whittlesey. The vote was 2-0 in favor. 

Item 8:  Consideration of FY10 Treasurer’s Warrant #13 Accounts Payable:  $251,368.54

                                                Payroll (check date12/23/09)    $24,216.12

                                                Total    $275,584.66 

Selectperson Hobart moved to approve Treasurer’s Warrant #13, seconded by Chair Whittlesey. The vote was 2-0 in favor.  

Item 9:  Selectperson’s Request for Agenda Items for next meeting (January 19, 2010) – Discussion of the TIF budget 

Item 10:  Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events  

  • January 6 @ 6:30 pm – Solid Waste Committee Meeting
  • January 18 – Town Office Closed – Martin Luther King Day
  • January 19 @ 6:30 pm – Regular Select Board Meeting
  • January 21 @ 6:30 pm – Finance Advisory Meeting
  • February 2 – Special Municipal Election

 Item 11:  Adjourn – The Chair adjourned the meeting at 9:10 pm.