- 2021- 13
- 2006- 9
May 6, 2020
6:00pm - ZOOM
1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER / PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
2. TOWN ADMINISTRATOR WEEKLY UPDATE
- Mass Gathering Permits – Town Administrator asked Board their thoughts on giving out mass gathering permits due to executive order limiting gatherings to 50 people in June/July/August. Discussion ensued. Mass gatherings usually refer to 250 people or more and at this time the Board will not consider issuing any permits.
- Stipend for Videographers – Town Administrator asked the Board for direction on paying Videographer stipends. Discussion ensued with Treasurer regarding budgeted amounts. Board decided to continue to pay as is being paid now until June and then revisit.
- Article 43 – The Town Administrator reminded the Board that Article 43 was left with agency changes to be made. These will be emailed to the Board and this item will be placed on next week’s agenda.
- The Town Administrator responded to a question from Ed Walsh regarding a comparison of Town articles due to them being condensed and whether it would be provided to the Town to review. This would be just the Town portion of the warrant. The answer was yes.
- Gym – The Town Administrator asked the
Board for direction on what to do with the gym equipment as she has
received numerous emails and messages regarding its disposal.
Discussion ensued on the gym’s disposition and ownership of equipment.
Outcomes was if the gym closes, the Fire Department would go through the
equipment to see if it was useable or needed by the Fire Department and
the remainder would be disposed of by selling.
Spurred during these discussions was a side discussion on ability to run meetings live if needed and whether the Selectmen should go back into the town hall for meetings. Mentioned was the fact that this process is working and APAT is putting the Zoom meetings on Youtube. Selectmen Ed Walsh summarized that the Board will continue to watch the situation and respond as needed.
- Hall Rental in June/July/August – With the executive order stating the ability for 50 people to meet during these months, would the Board entertain allowing the Town Hall to be rented? Discussion ensued. The Board was concerned regarding the cleaning of the hall after being used. The responsibility would still lie on the Board. At this time the Board decided not to book the hall for May, June or July and revisit this at the end of July.
- Paving bid – The Road Commissioners asked to review last year’s bid. The Road Commissioners indicated they were good with last year’s bid and was seeking the Board’s input. The Town Administrator read out the bid from last year. Selectmen David Winchell suggested the bid good through date be changed to June 30, 2021 to put it on the Town’s fiscal year. The Board was all in agreement. The Town Administrator will confirm with the Road Commissioner’s that this is an acceptable change.
Station – The Transfer Station Department Head has been working on some
ideas to open recycling; plans on talking with Selectmen Ed Walsh and/or
David Winchell to fine tune. A proposal will be given to the Board
next week to review.
4. 4. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Selectmen Kimberly Stacey-Horn made a motion to accept the agenda as written; seconded by Selectmen David Winchell. No discussion. All in favor.
5. 5. MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
Selectmen Kimberly Stacey-Horn made a motion to approve the minutes of April 29, 2020; seconded by Selectmen David Winchell. All in favor.
Minutes of February 26, 2020 were tabled.
7. OLD BUSINESS
The Town Administrator and Treasurer presented a draft of the Warrant to be voted on July 13, 2020 for the Board to review. This is a work in progress and the numbers will be changed on the final document.
- The top portion has not been completed as the Town Administrator is waiting on legal’s response on the proper wording of this section.
- Articles 5 – 23 will not be reviewed as they are School Articles.
- The Zoning articles were removed to be considered at a later date when a Special Town Meeting would be held. The Code Enforcement Officer is good with this decision as long as it is addressed by the end of the year. Selectmen David Winchell commented this was a good idea and that other business could also be conducted during said same Special Town Meeting that needs to be done.
- Article 23, 24, 25 27 - No changes.
- Article 28, 29, 30
and 31 – The Treasurer and Town Administrator worked on these articles to
combine as one article. The Treasurer read out this new article.
Selectmen Ed Walsh asked about the 9% interest rate and the Treasurer explained how the rate was derived, what was done in the past, and what could be done this year because the revenues is impacting this article.
The Board was good with the new wording and combination.
- Article 32 – No change.
- Article 33 – The
Town Administrator indicated this is an article that can be pulled out of
the warrant until the Special Town Meeting occurs as the revenues from
this warrant do not come to fruition until January 2021. The Board was in
agreement to pull and hold until Special Town Meeting.
Selectmen David Winchell indicated that he would be interested in getting a list of all the trails that are maintained for the Town by the Snowmobile Club.
- Article 34 – No changes.
The Treasurer made a side comment to inform the Board that COVID-19 related purchases not previously budgeted for can be reimbursed; base amount to qualify has already been met.
- Article 35 – The Town Administrator is waiting for legal’s opinion on what needs to be on the article and whether a supplement document can be created to accompany the article.
- Article 36 and 37 – No changes.
- Article 38 – Overdraft is lower than last year; well within the 15% parameter. This is a mandated article and will stay.
- Article 39 – This is currently grayed out as the Town Administrator is trying to figure out how to write and either summarize or list out.
- Article 40 – Can’t be changed; must stay as is.
- Article 41 – This is currently grayed out as the Town Administrator is trying to figure out how to write.
- Article 42 – This article related to the Fire Truck is needed. There is a loan in consideration for 5 years at 4% interest. The Treasurer expects a maximum of 6 payments will be required out of this fiscal year. The word new was removed to allow for flexibility in the type of vehicle to be considered and/or purchased (i.e., demo vehicle).
- Article 43 – This article reflects a slight increase under Animal Control and Communications.
- Article 44 – This article needs the Road Commissioner’s to review. A Zoom meeting has been scheduled for Friday, May 8, 2020 to address.
- Article 45 – Most road budget lines were flat lined. There is a slight increase of 51,000 for each side allotting $150,000 per side for paving.
- Article 46 – No change.
- Article 47 and 48 – Decide to keep these separate on not combine.
- Article 49 – No change.
- Article 50 – This is the article related to Social Services. Discussion ensued on whether to separate or leave combined. The Treasurer indicated that the 2 social services (Maine Public TV and Shelter in Lewiston which were new requests were not listed and the Board agreed as they want to keep funds local. The Board decided to leave the article with all Social Services listed together.
- Article 51 – An increase is listed under the annual maintenance for the Dam. Sanford has not approved anything yet. Selectmen David Winchell asked the Town Administrator to request from Sanford a detail of costs for this from Sanford and then have the Finance Committee review.
- Article 52 and 53 – The Town Administrator and Treasurer combined this article. The Treasurer read the new wording out for the Board to review. New wording was accepted.
- Article 54, 55 and 56 was discussed to be combined. This is an article the Recreation Committee needs to meet on to discuss. Not knowing what is going to happen or whether events will be held, article 56 regarding fundraising could be negated. The Board’s opinion was to leave as is with the raise and appropriate $23,972. The Town Administrator will reach out to the Recreation Committee to meet Monday and/or Tuesday to discuss; the Board will revisit after that meeting.
- Article 57 – The Town Administrator recommended that this article be pulled and placed on the Special Town Meeting when it is scheduled. Discussion ensued regarding whether it was decided this article would reflect accepting plan or enacting plan. The Board agreed for the article to be removed and placed on Special Town Meeting.
- In conclusion of this warrant review, the Treasurer recommended that W&F be instructed when they give their recommendations to either to pass or not pass articles as written because any dollar amount changed cannot be voted on under this forum.
8. NEW BUSINESS
The Town Administrator and Fire Chief Rick Smith presented Wayne Ham as the Deputy Fire Chief and the process of selecting him to this post. Selectmen David Winchell read out the appointment.
was made by Kimberly Stacey-Horn to appoint Wayne Ham as Deputy Fire Chief
pursuant to Title 30A M.R.S.A. 2602 effective until 11/01/2022; seconded by
Selectmen David Winchell. No discussion. All in favor.
B. Grant Letter – The Saco River Corridor Commission submitted a letter requesting the Board’s support on their activities. The Town Administrator will give to the Board to review for next week.
C. Winter Salt – The Town Administrator received a request for action on bidding through the State for Winter Salt. Discussion ensued as this was presented earlier than when bids a normally sought. The Board decided to stick with their normal bidding process and forego accepting this opportunity.
9. PUBLIC COMMENT:
A. Town Administrator received 3
questions to be presented tonight. The first two questions are mute as they
have been answered earlier when reviewing the zoning article potion of the
warrant. They were related to removing Zoning from the warrant. It was
decided to move Zoning to Special Town Meeting.
B. The third question from Mr. Arnold Murray was read out.
After observing the committee chair meeting I have a few concerns. My takeaway was the reason we need to have a town meeting is to add new spending. Am I correct in that the budget will be reduced and new spending projects inserted and the budget will remained flat?
How does this election benefit the Acton taxpayer? Has there been any analysis about this (cost to benefit)? I haven't heard any discussion about cost, mailing, printing, administration, longer time to vote. What is the total cost of a new election? The benefit I think, was money for the fire department and added paving. Couldn't these wait for two months, instead of incurring the cost of this special process election in July? If the budget could be reduced, shouldn't we be saving the money for the anticipated revenue shortfall next year.
Are we ready for negative reaction of the voters? Lebanon vote to eliminated the 5 man police force, York one year had to lay off 14 people and Ogunquit voters wouldn't fund the clean up following the Fourth of July fireworks. In Jefferson ME one year the fire dept. and the school dept. budget were defeated.1
It was mentioned that we might have a recurrence of the Covid 19 in the future, we might not, You shouldn't use (what if) for making plans. A Cornell University study results state that 85% of what we worry about never materializes. “It doesn't make sense if you are just going to talk about what your challenges are without knowing what the numbers look like. We want to make out forecast based on data not just assumptions.”2 What is our estimated short fall?
I know it's not in the benefit of the petitioners of special projects, but I think, at this time it's best for the Acton taxpayers, that we don't incur the added work and cost of elections and stay the course of last year’s budget for a few months. We can follow the Maine statue LD 2167 signed by the governor on 3/18/2020 about how taxes can be committed and dispersed by the treasurer in the emergency of Covid 19.
· The Treasurer stated this budget is proposed to keep the tax rate flat. However, it does have a slight increase in amounts projected. But those were also cut before presented to keep tax rate the same.
· The Town Administrator responded that the total cost of election is a hard number to derive. There will be a need to rent a second machine to count ballots with the amount of ballots to be processed. However, these cost fall into the category where the state will reimburse a portion of the costs (90%) under the COVID-19 edict. The use of this machine benefits the tax payers as it makes voting available to every person in town. The days of the election will be reduced to one day which reduces costs. There is a higher expected vote rate.
· In answer to the part of the question, can budget be reduced and why can’t it be held a couple months later, the Treasurer responded that the Town must have this Town Meeting vote to move forward; revenues in budget impact this budget as well.
· Selectmen David Winchell commented on the Fire Truck and Road portions of the budget and the changes and time needed to handle those issues.
· Selectmen Ed Walsh summarized all the comments to reiterate that the Board and Town are on the right track.
· Selectmen David Winchell reminded all that by joining with the school, we’d could have well over 80 – 90 people in attendance which disqualifies the holding of the Town meeting as we have in the past.
· W/F Zoom Meeting, May 7, 2020 (School Budget), 6 pm
· BOS/Road Commissioners, May 8, 2020, 6 pm
11. MEMBERS PRESENT
Selectmen Ed Walsh, Selectmen David Winchell, Selectmen Kimberly Stacey-Horn, Treasurer Michelle Rumney and Town Administrator Jennifer Roux.
12. ATTENDANCE (screen names as designated on Zoom)
Dan Krampetz, Judy Shain, Rollin Waterhouse, Leslie Berlan, Charles Crespi, Richard, Isobel Michaud, PGP ipad3 (mini), Arnie, Deb Anderson, Molly, laptop (Cheryl Drisko).