2012-02-28 Selectmen’s Meeting

Town of Durham

Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes

February 28th 2012

Certification:  I, Jill S. Toher, Secretary to the Durham Board of Selectmen, certify the Audio/DVD Recording made by me this session, without interruption, are the legal records of this meeting.

____________________

Jill S. Toher, Secretary

CALL to ORDER:

Chairman Wakeman called the regular meeting of the Selectmen to order at 6:30 p.m.

Members Present:  Chairman Jeffrey Wakeman, Vice Chairman Deborah Larrabee,  Philip Gilikson, Barry Baldwin.  Kirk Heald, excused.

Also Present:  Administrative Assistant Janet Smith, Fire Chief/EMA Director William St. Michel, Interim Road Commissioner Shawn Bennett, Secretary Jill Toher.

Establishment of Quorum:  Chairman Wakeman declared a quorum has been met with four                             

                        members present.

Amendments to Agenda:  Vice Chairman Larrabee wants to discuss Job Description Workshops under Administration.

Vice Chairman Larrabee would like to add request for use of River Park by Gina Keith, Davis Road under Public Comments.

Administrative Assistant Janet Smith would like to add a Special Workshop with Pownal Selectmen, Tuesday, March 6th 2012 at 6:30 p.m. at the Durham Town office.

Selectman Baldwin would like to remove his request from Administration.

Public Present:  Gina Keith a resident of Davis Road, Natasha Keith of Davis Road and her fiance, Noel Skelton.

Public Comments:  Gina Keith, resident of the Davis Road presented completed application including a fifty dollar deposit, and special event certificate of insurance for the Board’s consideration to use the River Park on Saturday, August 11th 2012, for her daughter, Natasha’s wedding. 

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Vice Chairman Larrabee Moves to allow Natasha Keith and Noel Shelton to hold their wedding at the River Park on August 11th 2012. The application is complete.  There is a damage deposit in the amount of $50.00, and they have adequate insurance.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried. 

FIRE DEPARTMENT:

William St. Michel, Fire Chief/EMA Director: presented the Board with his Selectperson Report dated February 28th 2012, one page.  (Attachment #1).  The Fire Chief/EMA Director’s one page report, hereinafter referred to as Attachment #1, is attached hereto and incorporated herein, and made a part of these Minutes.

Chief St. Michel reported that the managers working on Lisbon Dispatch did not attend the County Commissioner’s meting, as dispatch was not on the agenda.

The Fire Chief requested that the proposed Lock Box Ordinance be added to the Town Warrant now that it has been edited by the Town attorney.

Chief St. Michel reported that Durham’s request for a 2011 Homeland Security Grant has been approved.  The Department has been awarded $12,300.00 for the purchase and installation of a 17 KW Generator, a transfer switch and propane connection for the Eureka Community Center, with the condition that the Eureka Community Center be used as a local short term warming shelter with a current capacity of forty-eight persons.

A brief discussion regarding the Town’s warming centers followed.

The Fire Chief requested authorization to sign and return the Memorandum of Understanding including attachments.

Selectman Baldwin Moves to accept and have the Fire Chief/EMA Director sign the Homeland Security Grant in the amount of twelve thousand three hundred ($12,300.00) dollars.  Chairman Wakeman Second.  Motion Carried.

Chief St. Michel advised that he has been successful in obtaining a Grant for the HazMat Operations Training Refresher in the amount of one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars.

Chairman Wakeman advised that he received a suggestion to alternate meetings that the Fire Chief and Interim Road Commissioner report to the Board, and asked for feedback.  He added that if there was something pressing, then it could be added to the agenda.

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The Board decided to hear the Fire Chief/EMA Director on the first regularly scheduled meeting of the month and the Interim Road Commissioner on the second regularly scheduled meeting of the month.  The Interim Road Commissioner advised he will not be available to start the schedule this month as he has alternative plans, so the schedule was switched for March, 2012.

ROADS:

Shawn Bennett Interim Road Commissioner:   presented the Board with his Report dated  February 9th 2012 through February 27th 2012, two pages.  (Attachment #2).  The Interim Road Commissioner’s two page report, hereinafter referred to as Attachment #2, is attached hereto and incorporated herein, and made a part of these Minutes.

Shawn Bennett advised that he took Pat Morse around today and pointed out areas where roadside brush should be cut and piled prior to chipping, weather permitting.

He advised he was contacted by a person from On Target regarding CMP’s concerns about bringing work equipment on to roads that are posted.  He advised that there is an exemption for utilities since most of their work is off-road.  He said he was reassured that they will try to make certain equipment is moved when it is cold and try to keep within the parameters set by the MDOT.

Administrative Assistant stated that she and Vice Chairman Larrabee reviewed the Ordinances regarding postings.  Shawn Bennett suggested the Board consider establishing some kind of Traffic Ordinance.  The Interim Road Commissioner offered to provide a copy of Pownal’s Traffic Ordinance.

Shawn Bennett asked for some direction on how to plan for the summer work, advising paving bids should be going into process soon.  He offered to bid Durham and Pownal simultaneously. 

The Administrative Assistant noted that a stipulation should be included as Durham may not have the funds available until mid-August, 2012, due to property tax receipts.

The Interim Road Commissioner advised that he includes the Greater Portland Council of Governments in the bidding/purchase process as there is a great savings on just about anything the Town uses.  Administrative Assistant wanted to know what is the fee for a non-member.  Shawn Bennett thought it was somewhere between two and three (2% and 3%) percent. 

Shawn Bennett advised he will be out of Town from march 14th through March 27th 2012 and wanted to know who the Board wanted him to deal with work for the crew.  He continued that road postings could be the biggest problem

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Chairman Wakeman suggested addressing this topic again at the March  13th 2012 meeting, to establish an emergency contact.

Administrative Assistant Smith presented a price comparison for replacing road signs versus adding a “private” topper to existing signs.  The cost for a new sign is twenty-four dollars and ninety-five ($24.95) cents.  The cost for a private road topper is eleven dollars and seventy-five ($11.75) cents.  There are about twenty-five (25) signs currently involved.  The difference between replacement versus topper is three hundred thirty ($330.00) dollars. 

There was a brief discussion regarding signs. It was the general consensus of the Board that, if the proposed ordinance should pass, then the signs should be completely replaced.  The Fire Chief suggested the signs should be placed in a standard location and should be a standard height.

Selectman Baldwin advised that at the corner of Brickyard Hill Road and Route #9, there is no sign on Route #9 to show there’s an intersection and added it is hard to see the intersection due to the hump on Route #9.  The Interim Road Commissioner will contact the MDOT regarding the situation. 

ADMINISTRATION:

Solid Waste Recycling Rate for 2011:

Administrative Assistant Smith advised that Durham received a letter from the Maine State Planning office advising that Durham’s recycling rate is 28.45%, which is an increase of 3.45% over last year’s figure of twenty-five (25%) percent.  She added that the State’s recycling goal is fifty (50%) percent. 

Memorial Day Parade Committee – Request for Parking: 

Chairman Wakeman advised he received an e-mail from Joe Howe for permission to use the River Park for parking for the parade participants.  The parade plans to line up on Davis Road.  The Committee will need to complete an application for tracking purposes for the Town.

A brief discussion followed.  Administrative Assistant Smith advised that since the parade is a Town function that participants parking at River Park would be covered under the Town’s insurance. She did caution that there be parking attendants to handle parking traffic.  She suggested that the Committee work with the Fire Department regarding egress from the parking lot after the festivities. Chief St. Michel advised he will contact the Sheriff’s Office to set plans in place.

Selectmen’s Minutes 2-28-2012       page 4 of 12

Proposed Ordinance(s) Review:

Administrative Assistant Smith advised the following proposed Ordinances will be on the Town Warrant:  PACE Ordinance, Payroll and State Fees Disbursements:  Durham Lock Box; Subdivision Ordinance, add Section Section #7 (Signage E-9-1-1 Ordinance), and Street Signs (colors/lettering, installation/maintenance).

Set Date for Informational Meeting:

She advised that there will be an informational meeting for proposed Ordinances with Amendments for residents which would allow Selectmen to answer any questions plus a presentation regarding the results of the Government Study Committee.

The Board discussed potential dates and set Tuesday, March 20th 2012, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  The Administrative Assistant will contact the school to secure the sue of the gym or cafeteria for the meeting.  The meeting will be announced in the March, 2012 Durham Newsletter and on the website and Town Channel. 

The Administrative Assistant announced  there will be an increase in Comcast’s rates due to an increase beginning May 1st 2012.  She stated homeowners will be receiving notifications with their bills.

Administrative Assistant Smith announced the ballot for April’s election has been sent to the printer.  She noted that no one took out papers for the position of a three year term for Selectmen/Assessor, there are three openings for a three year term on the Budget Committee, and one candidate vacancy for the RSU#5 Board.

Job Description Process:

Vice Chairman Larrabee suggested that the Selectmen consider taking the first Thursday of each month to work on job descriptions and anticipates the job descriptions could be completed in about three months.

Selectman Gilikson advised he has a continuing conflict on Thursday nights.

Selectman Baldwin suggested keeping the job descriptions on the agenda, asking the Administrative Assistant to give the Selectmen a list of which job descriptions are left to complete so the Board can work on them on a priority basis. 

It was suggested that the Board work on the Code Enforcement Officer, Building, Plumbing, Electrical Inspector and Administrative Assistant job descriptions next, and Chairman Wakeman suggested that the subject be revisited after Town Meeting.

Selectmen’s Minutes 2-28-2012          page 5 of 12

Budget Review & Approval of Annual Town Meeting Warrant:

Article #1:  Selectman Baldwin moves to approve Article #1 as presented.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #2:  Vice Chairman Larrabee moves to approve Article #2 as presented.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #3:  Vice Chairman Larrabee moves to approve Article #3 as presented.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Chairman Wakeman advised that now that both the Selectmen’s and Budget Committee’s recommendations are ready, the Selectmen need to make a final review prior to the information being prepared for printing.

Selectman Wakeman advised there were nine lines where the Budget Committee’s recommendations differed from the Selectmen’s recommendations, some differed in amounts and some differed in the way for which they be paid. 

Article #4:  Chairman Wakeman stated that Article #4 is the only article that is different.  The Selectmen originally recommended $100.00 for the chair of the Appeals Board and $50.00 for each member.  Chairman Wakeman opened the matter up for discussion.  Vice Chairman Larrabee feels that the Appeals Board is an important part of the Town’s governmental process.  Selectman Baldwin stated he agreed with the Vice Chairman, however the Appeals Board did not ask for a stipend.

Chairman Wakeman suggested that a letter of thanks be sent to all committee members for their service to the Town.

Chairman Wakeman stated he feels very strongly that the Board’s raise recommendations are warranted for the Tax Collector/Treasurer, the Town Clerk and the Fire Chief. Selectman Gilikson concurred.

Administrative Assistant Smith feels that from an employee’s standpoint as well as in her position as Administrative Assistant, she feels that if the Board changes their recommendations, then there wasn’t a basis for the recommendations in the first place.  She requests the Board stick with their original recommendations because they were made with foundation, and let it go to the Town floor.  She pointed out that the Budget Committee is not as knowledgeable when it comes to an employee’s performance as it pertains to raises.

Selectman Baldwin added that the Board has the ability to take the Budget Committee’s

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recommendations under advisement, but does not have to abide with them.  The Board has the ability to consider and weigh each Budget Committee recommendation, then formulate a final decision.  A general discussion followed.

Selectman Gilikson stated that during this past year, he has noticed that the office is a lot more productive and runs smoother than in the past.  He feels that a three (3%) raise is more than warranted. 

Article # 4:  Vice Chairman Larrabee moves to approve Article #4 with zero dollars for the Appeals Board.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried with Selectman Baldwin Opposing.

Article #5:  Vice Chairman Larrabee Moves to approve Article #5, as written and presented.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #6:  Administrative Assistant Smith stated that the Budget Committee’s recommendation of $145,219.00, was in the realm of being workable. Chairman Wakeman concurred.  Vice Chairman Larrabee moves that the Selectmen recommend follow the Budget Committee’s recommendation to approve  Article #6 in the amount of $145,219.00.  Selectman Baldwin Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #7:  Selectman Baldwin moves to go along with the Budget Committee’s recommendation of $13,269.00 for Animal Control.  Vice Chairman Larrabee Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #8:  Vice Chairman Larrabee moves to approve Article #8 as written and presented, for $19,200.00, for Assessing.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #9:  Selectman Baldwin moves to appropriate $6,000.00, by transferring $2,000.00 from Cemetery Trust Fund for perpetual care and raising $4,000.00.   Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #10:  Vice Chairman Larrabee moves to approve Article #10 as written and presented.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #11:  Selectman Gilikson moves to approve Article #11 as written and presented for County Tax.  Vice Chairman Larrabee Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #12:  Vice Chairman Larrabee moves to approve Article #12 as written and presented.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried. 

Article #13:  Selectman Gilikson moves to transfer $3,550.00 from the Designated fund balance:  Eureka Revenues.  Selectman Baldwin Second.  Motion Carried.

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Article #14:  Selectman Baldwin moves to transfer $246,026.00 from undesignated funds for the Durham Fire and Rescue Operating Budget.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Chief St. Michel advised that he went back to see if he could restructure the amount requested, per the Budget Committee’s request.  He said, that including no pay increases, he could come within $2,000.00, of the Budget Committee’s recommendation of $240,000.00.  He added that with fuel prices on the rise, that would probably not be a firm decrease by the end of next year.  He added that he could also restructure dues, but not by too much.

Article #15:  Vice Chairman Larrabee moves to accept Article #15 as written and presented.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #16:  Selectman Gilikson moves to approve the transfer of $25,000.00 from undesignated funds, per the Budget Committee’s recommendation.  Selectman Baldwin Second.   Motion Fails.

Chief St. Michel stated he requested the $30,000.00, because nothing was allocated last year as well as a pressing need to replace the Town’s 1984 truck which will cost an estimated $250,000.00.

Vice Chairman Larrabee added that the condition of the Town’s fire apparatus is very important as both residents and firefighters alike depend on it to handle life and safety issues.  She stated she feels, that even with a weak economy, the Selectmen should advocate for the $30,000.00 requested.

Article #16:  Motion #2:  Vice Chairman Larrabee moves to approve article #16 as written and presented by transferring $30,000.00 from undesignated funds. Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Chairman Wakeman suggested flipping Article #15 and Article #16 before the Articles go for printing.

 
Article #17:  Selectman Baldwin moves to transfer $32,323.00 from the Fire Department Capital Improvement account.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #18:  Vice Chairman Larrabee moves to transfer $40,736.00 from the Fire Capital Improvement Fund for payment #10 of #14 for the loan payment for the Fire Station.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #19:  Vice Chairman Larrabee moves to approve Article #19 as written and presented.  Selectman Baldwin Second.  Motion Carried.

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Article #20:  Selectman Baldwin moves to approve Article #20 as written and presented.  Vice Chairman Larrabee Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #21:  Vice Chairman Larrabee moves to transfer $10,000.00, per the Budget Committee’s recommendation from designated funds, Municipal Building Account.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #22:  Vice Chairman Larrabee moves to approve Article #22 as written and presented for the Memorial Day Celebration. Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #23:  Selectman Baldwin moves to approve Article #23 as written and presented.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #24:  Selectman Baldwin moves to raise $6,105.00 per the Budget Committee’s recommendation.  Vice Chairman Larrabee Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #25:  After considerable discussion Chairman Wakeman moves to change the Selectmen’s recommendation from $366,828.00 to $359,828.00 by transferring from URIP designated funds $61,320.00 and transferring 298,508.00 from Auto Excise.  Selectman Baldwin Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #26:  Selectman Baldwin moves to go along with the Budget Committee’s recommendation of transferring $204,000.00 from the designated fund balance – Auto Excise.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried. 

A brief conversation followed regarding several road repairs.  Selectman Baldwin suggested that the Interim Road Commissioner be prepared with some plans.

Article #27:  Chairman Wakeman moves to recommend $637,643.00 by transferring $110,246.00 from designated fund balance  Auto Excise; transfer $55,000.00 from undesignated fund balance, and raise $472,397.00.  Selectman Baldwin Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #28:  Selectman Gilikson moves to approve the Solid Waste Article as written and presented.  Selectman Baldwin Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #29:  Selectman Baldwin moves to approve Article #29, Telecommunications, as written and presented.  Selectmen Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #30:  Budget Committee recommends raising $25,000.00 for legal fees and related expenses should the Town receive a favorable vote to seek withdrawal from RSU#5 at a Special Town Meeting to be held on June 12th 2012.

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Chairman Wakeman moves to provide no recommendation.  Selectman Baldwin Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #31:  Chairman Wakeman moves to increase the property tax levy limit to $752,480.00 established for the Town of Durham by State Law in the event that the municipal budget approved under the preceding articles will result in a tax commitment that is greater than the tax levy limit.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried.

Article #32 through Article #48:  Chairman Wakeman moves to approve Articles #31 through #38 as written and presented amending the percentage to three (3%) percent on Article #44.  Selectman Baldwin Second.  Motion Carried.

Town Report Dedication/Recognition:

Chairman Wakeman stated he thought of dedicating the Annual Town Report to Jackson Tupper who died in early February, 2012.  He was a lifelong resident, a veteran of World War II, flying over thirty missions during his years in the service.  Chairman Wakeman added that Mr. Tupper loved the Town and did a lot of things over the years for the Town.

He also suggested that Katie Johnson be recognized for organizing her Girl Scout Troop to clean up the Crossman Corner, making it habitable for children to wait for the school bus.

Vice Chairman Larrabee added that there is a photograph with Mr. Tupper pushing Katie Johnson on the swing at the corner.

Chairman Wakeman Moves to Dedicate the Annual Town Report to Jackson Tupper and recognize Katie Johnson for her service to head the Crossman Corner clean-up.  Vice Chairman Larrabee Second.  Motion Carried.

Administrative Assistant Smith reminded all that the deadline for getting copy to her for the Annual Town Report is Monday, March 5th 2012.

STANDARD BUSINESS ITEMS:

Approval of Minutes:  

Chairman Wakeman Moves to accept the following Board of Selectmen’s Minutes as written and presented:  January 17th 2012, January 24th 2012, January 31st 2012, February 2nd 2012, February 14th 2012 and February 21st 2012.  The Minutes of February 13th 2012 are tabled due to lack of a voting quorum.  Vice Chairman Larrabee Second with Selectman Gilikson Abstaining.  Motion Carried.

Selectmen’s Minutes 2-28-2012       page 10 of 12

Approval of Treasurer’s Payables Warrant and Approval of Treasurer’s Payroll Warrant:

Selectman Baldwin Moves to approve the Treasurer’s Warrants Payables # 23  and Payroll #22 dated February 28th 2012.  Vice Chairman Larrabee Second.  Motion Carried.

SELECTMEN’S COMMENTS/ANNOUNCEMENTS – Upcoming Meetings:

Chairman Wakeman announced the Board will hold a Special Selectmen’s Meeting/Workshop with the Pownal Selectmen on Tuesday, March 6th 2012 at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Office.

Chairman Wakeman further announced there will be a regular Selectmen’s Meeting on Tuesday, March 13th 2012 and Tuesday, March 27th 2012 at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Office.

Vice Chairman Larrabee presented the Board with a Letter of Recusal regarding the Road Commissioner hiring Process. 

Chairman Wakeman Moves to accept Vice Chairman Larrabee’s Letter of Recusal.  Selectman Gilikson Second.  Motion Carried with Vice Chairman Larrabee Abstaining.

Vice Chairman Larrabee requested that the Secretary incorporate the Letter of Recusal into tonight’s Minutes.

Chairman Wakeman Moves the Board into Executive Session pursuant to Title #1,M.R.S.A. ss 405(6) – (A)(!):  Review of Road Commissioner Applications.

Respectfully submitted,

___________________

Jill S. Toher, Secretary

Entered into Executive Session:

Action Taken:  None

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ADJOURNMENT:

Motion by  Selectman Gilikson to adjourn at 9:46 p.m. Seconded by Selectman Baldwin.    Motion Carried 3-0.  Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

_____________________________

Janet Smith, Administrative Assistant

Attachment #1:  Selectperson Report dated February 28th 2012, one page.  (From:  William St. Michel, Fire Chief/EMA Director).

Attachment #2:  Interim Road Commissioner’s Report from February 9th 2012 through February 27th 2012, 2 pages.  (From:  Shawn Bennett, Interim Road Commissioner).

Attachment #3:  Letter of Recusal from Vice Chairman Larrabee dated February 28th 2012, signed in the presence of Jill S. Toher, a Notary Public in and for the State of Maine.

Selectmen’s Minutes 2-28-2012       page 12 of 12