- 2006- 9
September 11, 2019
1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER / PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Fire Department lead Pledge of Allegiance followed by a moment of silence in honor of 911.
2. TOWN ADMINISTRATOR WEEKLY UPDATE
There were one hundred and thirteen tax liens at the Registry of Deeds.
Sand bid was released – Smart Shopper, website, cables and mailed to all companies deemed interested.
The Boat & Traveler, 1992 Truck, and Paramedic Position have been advertised in the Smart Shopper, website and on cable.
School Update from the Superintendent: The School Committee meetings for 2019/2020 are going to be held on the 2nd Thursdays at 5 pm, Acton Elementary School. Next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 5pm in the Acton School Library and year 2021 school budget meetings will be scheduled in advance. The Superintendent will have a schedule to share with the Warrant & Finance Committee in early January. Most likely the meetings will begin in January or early February.
Freedom of Information – There are 3 requests currently in house requests for the same information; Young's Ridge Road subdivision. These requests are being dealt with as they come in, one by one. They eventually communicated amongst themselves with a little help and they all decided they would take 1 set of everything and they assigned 1 person as a contact. This was all done via email so that there is backup documentation. They have received a majority of what they had wanted. The last thing on this request is the maps. They are looking for maps of a particular subdivision plans that are located downstairs. There are 32 maps that they want copies of. Staples does not copy them, Zippy Copy does not copy them, however, there is one place in town found that could copy this size map at $10.00 per map. The individual was emailed tonight with this information and the request to come in and pay for this work in advance. Based on policy, anything that we deem over a $100 value, the requester must put a deposit down. The requester will be in to do that. Same requester also had some concerns regarding the history of 4.3.3 of when it was first voted in and what the changes were over the years. Extensive research. The Town Administrator and the requester came to the conclusion that he is going to come in and look on his own. There are zoning books that are public information; someone will basically oversee as he just goes through the books and digs out what he is looking for; he can then put his questions together and in writing. The other request, the Selectmen will get under new business because the Town Administrator needs the Selectmen to sign off on it.
Higgins Update – A firm email was sent out. Between the auditor and the new billing company, the Town has resent the list of write-offs that was determined as right offs after we asked her for a list of things, specifically, when was this run billed, who billed it, did they have insurance, etc. All the questions pertaining to each individual run. There has been no response as of yet.
FYI – There is a class being held on October 1, 2019 here at the Town Hall. It's the basic and advanced erosion control practices. The class had asked some time ago to use the hall. The Town Administrator had sent the information to the Chair of the Road Committee, the Selectmen and the Road Commissioners and anybody else that was interested in it. The information will also be listed on cable. This class is available if anyone wants to go.
After review of last week's meeting minutes and the conversations over the purchase policy, the Town Administrator asked to approach the Board about dealing with policies a little differently and do them in the same manner that Shapleigh handles them. Example: In Acton, we have all these policies on the website and as things come up, we make changes to them. What is done in Shapleigh is, once a year, over a period of three meetings, the Selectmen after the elections, start reviewing all of the policies. For example, last week would have been a good time when the subject came up regarding the $1,000 on the purchase policy and discussions were held with the Treasurer regarding the gravel, she responded they generally don't buy more than a $1,000 at a time. The bill might be over a $1,000 by the time the end of the month comes, but she didn't think it breaks policy because it is $400 here and $400 there, it is not just billed all together. The Town Administrator continued that it got her thinking that it would probably be a good idea because there are many policies out there that unless you go on the website and look at all of those, there could be policies in place three, four or five years old that one may not even be familiar with until it comes up. So what the Town Administrator wanted to do it o print off all of the policies, put them in a book and have the Selectmen start reviewing them a couple each week. If this process is done each time there is an election change, then it at least makes it so the new Board still agrees with those policies because some of the policies were set by a completely different group.
Loop Road wanted to thank David for his referral to Chris Swaney. Mr. Swaney came in the very next day and got the W-9 that was needed and the check was sent out. Leslie Berlan also replied to the e-mail a day or so later when she got back in town and provided another one but by then we had it settled, but the good news is, it is done and they took the check.
Tax bill sample to proof was disbursed last week to the Selectmen; the Town Administrator also had a few others proof and the bills are now out and should be hitting mailboxes tomorrow if by chance you did not get them today. The master has been put online so all the bills are now online. Our copies here have been received and filed away.
The Town Administrator and Treasurer had some conversations last week while discussing the Road Commissioner Ordinance (an Ordinance that does not pertain to the Treasurer 100% and which she has not memorized, especially where it just was adopted a couple of months ago) where as there is a piece in the Ordinance that pertains to her (Section 2E). This section states that the Road Commissioner must plan ahead and discuss all repairs, maintenance and other projects with the Selectmen. This includes develop a line-item budget, work schedule detailing the work, and it basically spells out all that has to be done before anything can be paid. Okay. So working on the checks and balances for the auditor, a form had to be developed so that the Treasurer knows this has been done by the time the bill gets to her so that she knows this Ordinance was met. Using District 1 as an example, the Town Administrator presented a draft form for use to handle this process. The form was also reviewed with the District 2 Road Commissioner via telephone. While the Selectmen looked at the form, the Town Administrator explained. Also, project sheets and a copy of approved minutes where the Selectmen discusses their projects with the Selectmen (per the Ordinance) would be attached to the form which in turn would be attached to the bills creating a paper trail. Any other ideas or suggestions are welcome.
The Animal Control Officer, Town Administrator and contract Deputy met; there are currently 11 dogs still not registered from 2018. These are dogs who were registered in 2018 and were not renewed for 2019. Call and letters were sent. State mandates how this is handled. The Deputy walked through summons with the Animal Control Officer. The ACO received his summons book from the courts and will continue the pursuit.
The Treasurer wanted the Selectmen to be notified and review the following which will be added to future agendas:
Purchasing Order Policy – Previously discussed when the Flat Ground project went over and the Board assured the voters that purchase order system would be in place to avoid such situations in the future.
Uncollected debt from ambulance billing; believed to be in the works but wanted to make sure it did not fall by the wayside. Town Administrator is working on that diligently.
Hardship Waiver Application and Policy for Ambulance Bills without Insurance Coverage – Consideration of a policy that allows a waiver of fees or partial fees or discounts for those in poverty. This is something with the Boards approval, once the Town gets the write-offs addressed first, there is going to be a meeting with the new billing company. If the Board authorizes writing a policy for cash payments let's say the first ten days, a 10% deduction can be offered. This is another policy that will be put together; it's just not as important as the other one.
Ambulance subscription – once a new Fire Chief is in place, it might be something to consider reaching out to any subscription plan. Example: Shapleigh offers (which would release the patient from financial responsibility for the amount that the insurance company does not pay. Annual subscription is $25 or $50 for a business. Selectmen Walsh asked if a lot of towns did this; response from Town Administrator was yes.
Committee purchases, policies and procedures - The Town Administrator does not care who requests checks or orders, however, it should be one designate (a person from a committee regardless of formal written policies) should be in place. This is the standing policy which was recently discussed. If the Board looks at how we do these policies differently, this one can always be added in.
Capital Improvement Committee – There have been several discussions to assist in budgeting for future projects and repair wondering if it has gained any headway with the Board to come to fruition. Not since this Board has been elected. The Town Administrator will work on advertising more heavily if the Board would like. Selectmen Kimberly Stacey-Horn indicated that she would work on that. Roads has their own capital improvement plan, however, the Treasurer can be referring to this building or the Gym or the Firehouse; capital improvements of everything in the Town. At Warrant & Finance last year, there was a lot of talk about one of the buildings and capital improvements. It's just having a plan in place. The Town Administrator will start advertising to try and find some people for that committee. The Board would like to have 5 people on that committee.
FY21 budget time line draft was presented to the Board and the final should be distributed before the holiday season so the department heads and Warrant & Finance Committee members can clear their schedules and plan their meetings. The Town Administrator had not had a chance to yet go through this and wanted to see how it fell on the days. It will be put on the agenda for next week and released once the days can be checked.
Purchase order policy was discussed. What you do for one department needs to be done for all departments. There are pros and cons; decisions will need to be made for certain things and certain amounts. A dollar amount would be set. The purchase policy was considered because roads were the biggest area of concern but has now been taken care of with the new forms. The biggest thing is to verify the money is there. This item has been tabled.
Fire Chief positing has not been posted yet. Town Administrator was waiting on a response regarding how far someone should live from the Town of Acton. Discussion ensued on whether is should be based on time or mileage. The Board decided 20 miles from the Town Hall. Posting will be posted.
Mr. Letourneau sent an email on project work and will placed on the agenda for next week. Recommended that he use the same or similar form as Mr. Langley. Everything needs to be broken down.
Emergency maintenance can be taken care of as needed.
4. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Selectmen David Winchell made a motion to approve the agenda; seconded by Selectmen Kimberly Stacey-Horn. No discussion. All in favor.
5. MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
Selectmen Kimberly Stacey-Horn made a motion to approve the minutes of August 28, 2019 and September 4, 2019; seconded by Selectmen David Winchell. No discussion. All in favor. Selectmen abstained from Sept. 4th vote as
he was absent.
6. DEPARTMENT HEAD / COMMITTEE CHAIR UPDATES
A. Road Commissioner Dist 1
Road Commissioner District 1, Mr. William Langley updated the Board that last week he went to the Former Road Commissioners and got back all the equipment including the Sander and 13 culverts. The Sander does need some work. It needs a motor for the spinner which is leaking. Mr. Langley told the Board he received a price quote of $480 for the spinner. It is a piece of equipment that will be used. Selectmen Walsh asked how the other Sander was. Selectmen Winchell responded it is working but some of the bearing can be changed out and operational in about 1.5 hours. The Board agreed to approve the repair. The money will be coming out of Mr. Langley's maintenance account.
A. J. Stone quoted $475 to re-cement the post and attach a new gate at Balch Lake gate; Newfield will be contacted by the Town Administrator to see if they will reimburse half of the cost. Board agreed and approved. Tuesday the gate was locked and master key was given to Town Administrator.
Abbott Hills – cutting has been done overhead over by the Orchard up on H Road. There are 6 trees they are going to cut down between Thursday and Friday.
Garvin Road project will be started. The culverts were all put into place on Tuesday and ditching will be started tomorrow (Thursday).
B. Recreation Committee
Rec Committee Chair, Lisa Long thanked Selectmen Kimberly Stacey-Horn for coming to their meeting her attendance was invaluable. The committee is looking to potentially start up their Cheerleading program again. It has been several years since the program was available and there are several girls looking forward to doing it.
A lot of work has gone into the Rec Field the last few weeks to month. The broken bleachers have been removed. The old half-rotted hay bales are gone. The full trash barrel is gone. Dirt mounds located in various places through out the fields have been moved or spread out. It looks really great up there. The soccer field has been lined. A local resident in Town did drone video of the field and it looks like someone professionally did the field. The committee also met with Mr. Will Langley to discuss potentially doing some work on the fields and their related costs; cleaning out ditches and other small issues that need to be taken care of. This has been previously budgeted for.
Soccer update – The Rec has a total of roughly 65 kids, which is up from previous years, that have register. There are new uniforms so that everyone will have a uniform; expected arrival is Friday. The Soccer Liaison has scheduled games with Wakefield and Lebanon. It is the first time in years the program has been able to get games in other towns; the kids are thrilled with the prospect.
The Rec Committee has worked on getting a well up at the Rec Fields for a long time and their installer, Streeter & Sons has a target date of mid- to end of November for that work to be in and done.
The Concession Stand has been cleaned out. A donation was made for the shelving and an actual counter; everything is in and looks great. There is a newly expanded menu at the concession stand, so the Rec Committee is hoping to drum up a little extra business by offering hot food, popcorn, coffee, breakfast sandwiches, etc. Come ready to eat. The refrigerator is in and other concession stand equipment was ordered and arrived for use there as well.
The Rec Committee has been talking about the potential of building a Rec Center. It is a very long and drawn out process. It will not happen this year or next, but the Rec Committee wanted the Selectmen know that they were still working on that. The Rec Committee has been working with Mr. Paul to try and figure out what their options are and how to move forward.
The Tree Lighting Ceremony – the Rec Committee was asked if they would consider taking that over and the Committee voted yes. Selectmen Stacey-Horn offered to donate the tree.
Mrs. Long formally requested a paper copy of any and all policies that pertain to herself as Chair or the Rec Committee; she requested to have a copy for every member on the Committee.
Lastly, Mrs. Long asked that in the future if herself or her position as the Chair of the Rec Committee was going to be discussed by the Selectmen at a public meeting, she asked that she receive a professional courtesy of a 24-hour notice so that she can be in attendance.
The Board thank Mrs. Long and stated it was great to hear about all the new programs and the number of kids involved.
The Town Administrator will print off the policies and provide them to the Rec Committee.
C. Leslie Berlan, Road Committee Chair
The Road Committee met and went over the HEB Engineer Report. Mrs. Berlan wanted to summarize the 3 options that HEB offered:
1. A 40-foot span at a cost of $890,000. This proposal does not meet Maine or New Hampshire stream crossing requirements. It also does not meet Maine's DOT Hydraulic requirement for a 50-year storm, however, it does meet New Hampshire's 50-year storm requirements.
2. A 62-foot span at a cost of $1.4 million. This proposal still does not meet Maine's DOT hydraulic requirement for a 50-year storm.
3. A temporary fix approximate cost of $95,000 and this does not solve the problem and regular maintenance will be imperative. The Road Committee believes a workshop with HEB should be the first step. The report states meeting Maine's Bridge Standards is not feasible without significant roadway design. Removal of upstream dam or significant channel restructuring, so HEB would be best being able to answer how difficult permitting will be.
Selectmen Winchell asked, will one of the solutions be removing the dam? Mrs. Berlan stated she pulled this right from the engineering report. Selectmen Winchell further commented he had watched the meeting and was curious. Mrs. Berlan stated she wouldn't know as she does not have the technical expertise to go through it all. Selectmen Winchell stated nothing meets standards why spend the money if it doesn't even meet standards? The Road Committee did not choose the Engineering Firm; all they have to work with is what was reported. Selectmen Winchell stated this is not feasible. Agrees a meeting is in order. Discussion ensued regarding Milton not interested and the costs of the presented solutions. An explanation is definitely in order. The Town Administrator will set up a 5 pm workshop.
Turnaround easement work will be started. District 1 information has been received. Waiting on District 2. Selectmen Winchell advised that resident did not want to sign paperwork for a turnaround easement.
Round 2 of Stream Crossing grants opened up on Tuesday. The Committee will be gearing up to do heavy hitting work. Selectmen Stacey-Horn asked if the grant indicated what was needed if not accepted. Mrs. Berlan stated the grant was revised to better compare apples to apples. Biggest obstacle is having 2 Road Commissioners and unfamiliarity of stream crossing requirements. Maximum grant is $95,000. Numbers will need to be evaluated. Road Committee may need assistance on approaching what they need to provide. Fish passages was key.
Mrs. Berlan's and the Board discussed email communications and meeting notifications. Even if a person on the committee does not have an email address, the information related to all committee communications must be available to that member. The Road Committee ordinance requires this protocol. Emails are designed to be one statement passages to relay meeting times and important information; thorough discussions should not be conducted on email.
Discussion turned to Mrs. Berlan's reaction to the Auditors comments about Article 43 and the Road Committee. The Town Administrator, as during the update portion of the meeting, relayed to the Selectmen a brief conversation and items being looked at by the Auditor. One item was on who checking the Article 43 applications. Mrs. Berlan took a defensive position and rebuttaled with an email which the Selectmen took offense to. Discussion ensued regarding Auditors comments, Mrs. Berlan's rebuttal and the Selectmen actions to the Auditor. This issue was of out place because the Auditors recommendations have not yet been received; the Selectmen did not react to the Auditor's comments as they were still waiting for final recommendations and meeting with the Auditor; and Mrs. Berlan's concern may have no weight. The Town Administrator was doing what was expected of her position and just notifying the Selectmen.
The next issue discussed was Mrs. Berlan's email to the Town Administrator. When the Town Administrator asked for the Road Committee's minutes to be placed on the Town's website, Mrs. Berlan responded with an email indicating that she had contact a variety of sources and the Road Committee did not need to provide minute, that the video sufficed. The Town Administrator had no way of knowing that a precedence of not taking minutes was enacted and no where did anyone question whether or not the Road Committee had to be taking minutes. However, there were more discussions. The Town Administrator asked when this decision was discussed and voted upon by the Road Committee. Mrs. Berlan responded, it was not discussed and voted on. The minutes were still being taken. Mrs. Berlan's discussion with resources was taken on upon herself and not on behalf of the Road Committee. The Town Administrator reminded Mrs. Berlan that the website tab was a request from the Road Committee and cost tax payer dollars and a lot of administrative time to implement and maintain. The Board of Selectmen were in agreement that the Road Committee should be doing minutes so they can know what is being said and by whom. If minutes are taken, you are an elected committee and you are required by law to turn them over. However it is stated, the Board of Selectmen are asking for and requesting for those minutes. It was confirmed with Maine Municipal and the Board of Selectmen do have that right.The Road Committee minutes are to be provided to the Board of Selectmen to be placed on the website before the next BOS meeting. Thank you.
D. Dave Langley, Interim Fire Chief
Updated the Board on the Fire Department. Annual testings have been complete. There will need to be some replacement of hoses which are budgeted for and passed. In June/July the department's spendig was frozen until the department changes were straightened out. Now that all is settled, the monies will be utilized. It will be expense to replace the hoses but quotes will be forthcoming for the Board to review and accept. After the annual pump test, it was determined that Engine 2 and Tank 7 had passed. Engine 1 needed work; the work has been done and everything is back up and running. Maintenance budget numbers will be tight, but being only 3 months in, the hopes are that the problems have been resolved.
Staff training was conducted on the Paxman Service. There was a ½ day work station and then placement of equipment on the trucks. The department currently has 17 packs, 34 bottles, and 16 spare batteries in the charging station.
Numbers for the month of July were as follows:
Combined fire and rescue calls handled was 52.
There were 2 building fires first alarm.
There was a 2 alarm structure fire in Sanford.
As of tonight, for September, there have been 19 calls and 1 life flight out of Acton for a medical patient. In the last 3 months, the total of calls has been 122 out of station. The Fire Department really appreciates the support of the people and this update is to let you all know the numbers to bring it closer to home.
7. OLD BUSINESS
A. Hopper Road Damage
The Town Administrator reported that she had sent an email to the individual involved looking for a date of the damage and an invoice. The invoice has been received as of tonight. Once the date is received, everything will be put together the Board and Town's attorney will get a chance to review.
B. Sanford Dam Billing
The Town Administrator updated the Board that there is nothing new on this subject and she is still waiting for the City of Sanford to give Acton a final bill so that the 25% owed can be figured out.
C. Loop Road Update
D. Fire Chief Position
Position advertisement will go out tomorrow.
8. NEW BUSINESS
A. Three Rivers Letter
The Town Administrator presented the Board with a drafted letter for continuance on Goat Hill for ADA compliance work.
Selectmen David Winchell made a motion in support, sign the letter; seconded by Selectmen Kimberly Stacey-Horn. No discussion. All in favor.
B. Freedom of Information
The Town Administrator presented to the Board a Freedom of Information request regarding Buzzel Road. Selectmen Walsh read out the request from Charles Crespi. This subdivision has long been done. However, based on policy the request needs to be fulfilled, acknowledged in public and signed. The Code Enforcement Officer and Town Administrator will work together on this.
C. Clerk's Workshop Thursday, Sept 19
Due to a Clerk's workshop this Thursday, September 19, 2019, the Town Administrator asked permission from the Board to close the office for her and the Deputy clerk to attend. Board granted permission.
D. Christmas/New Years Holiday
The Town Administrator updated the Board that Christmas falls on a Wednesday this year and that the Transfer Station will be closed. Regarding the Town Hall, she asked which days will be listed as closed. The Board agreed to closing the Town Hall at noon on December 24, 2019 and to remain closed for both Wednesday, December 25 and Thursday, December 26, 2019. PTO will be used by staff to cover these holidays.
E. Retirement Celebration
The Town Administrator informed the Board that there will be a retirement celebration to honor Perry Mee on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at Iron tails.
F. Transfer Station Fees
The Transfer Station's metal contractor J&M has determine to charge a fee due to the fact that metal prices have dropped. These fees will be:
$2.00 Air Conditioners/Humidifiers
$5.00 Large Propane Tanks
$1.00 Small Propane Tanks
Mr. Bob Mann reported that he has $1,800 in an account to cover freon removal. He will let the Board know when this is depleted and needs to go out to bid.
G. GA Public Hearing
The Town Administrator notified the Board that a General Assistance Public Hearing has been scheduled for the beginning of the October 2 Board of Selectmen's meeting at 6pm.
Selectmen Walsh rad out an appointment for Jenny Norwald to join the Recreation Committee.
A motion was made by Selectmen David Winchell to appoint Jenny Norwald as Rec Committee Member until June 30, 2020; seconded by Selectmen Kimberly Stacey-Horn. No discussion. All in favor.
I. Road Committee Link
The Town Administrator reported to the Board that the Road Committee link was done.
J. Policy for Conduct of Elected & Appointed Officials
The Town Administrator presented the final copy of the Policy for Conduct of Elected & Appointed Officials for signatures.
A motion was made by Selectmen Kimberly Stacey-Horn to approve the Policy for Conduct of Elected & Appointed Officials; seconded by Selectmen David Winchell. No discussion. All in favor.
9. PUBLIC COMMENT
Dennis Long commented that at the last Planning Board meeting a senior citizen fell, but was not hurt bad. Stated that hopefully exterior lights will be put on. The Town Administrator duly noted and replied the timer will be adjusted. The Town Administrator also requested resident's name after the meeting for paperwork.
Mr. Long also made a suggestion to the Board with regards to new committee members that the policy reflect that a class be provided or taken by new committee members. The Town Administrator will provide a current schedule of classes being offered.
Mrs. Joyce Bakshi approached the Board to comment that there was also a place outside the Town Hall door where the level changes and is a tripping hazard. Mr. Robin Ham spoke up and said he will take care of it and fix it.
Susan Meehan approached the Board to ask if the auditor is finished and when will a Q&A session be scheduled. The Town Administrator responded that as soon as the Auditor was done she would be notified. It was also suggested by the Auditor that questions be written down and provided in advance so that the Auditor can give proper responses during the Q&A. The Town Administrator also noted that she will try and find out tomorrow but the auditing processing time might be months. The Audit report is always the last thing received to be included in the Town Report.
Carol K. told the Board that the 4 individuals recruited to handle the younger Pre K - 1st grade girls have dropped; there are now 14 girls without a leader. Mrs. K. asked the Boards permission to post campaign sign on the corner, and if anyone was interested in leading said group to contact her or the Membership Manager of Girl Scouts.
Mrs. K. also thanked Selectmen Kimberly Stacey-Horn for committing to donating a Christmas Tree. The Girl Scouts are looking to planting a tree on the Town property by the corner and then having a smaller tree up by the Town Hall for activities. The Scouts would like to seek permission to pursue. The Town Administrator indicated as long as no events were being held at the tree by the road, insurance will not be an issue.
Mr. Paul Plante asked the Board to clarify the requirement of the Fire Chief living within 20 miles and are New Hampshire residents considered or must they be from Maine. The Board responded that NH was ok as long as the candidate had Maine training and certifications.
Next Mr. Plante asked about whether the town as trying to acquire or sell road sand. The Town Administrator explained that there was currently a Town bid request for sealed bids to provide sand to the Town and it could be viewed on the website. Mr. Plante thanked her for the clarification.
Open seats on Boards/Committees:
Cemetery Committee – 1 seat
Bids currently online - sand, truck, boat & trailer and Paramedic position
Dam Drawdown starts October 1, 2019
William Langley, Lisa Long, Leslie Berlan, David Langley, Dennis Long, Joyce Bakshi, Susan Meehan, Carol K., Rollin Waterhouse and Paul LaPlante