|PREVIOUS YEARS 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003-2000. Attachments are generally not included with minutes (unless specifically requested) but can be viewed at the Town Office.
2009 MINUTES FOLLOW IN REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.
|SELECTMEN MEET EVERY WEDNESDAY OF EACH MONTH: MINUTES ARE PLACED ONLINE AFTER APPROVAL.|
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
DECEMBER 23, 2009
Chairman Price called the meeting to order at 6:05 with the following present: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman & Chair), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte.), Basil Barnes, Jerry Spaulding (Road Commissioner), Scott Holmes (ACO), Spaulding Twins, Glen Bridges (Secretary).
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from Dec. 16 were accepted with one typo corrected and placed on file.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Basil Barnes questioned the increase in his taxes and the breakdown of acreage on his tax evaluation records, especially his swamp land. The Board examined the records on his land, and after a lengthy discussion, the consensus was that he was paying the least amount of taxes as his land is currently categorized.
TREASURERS REPORT: The payroll this week is $983.65. The A/P warrant is $11,117.93, including the end-of-year FVFD capital improvement account payment. The checkbook balance is $187,004.87.
Clint moved to sign the payroll; motion passed. Clint moved to sign the A/P warrant; motion passed.
TOWN CLERK: The Board would like to see a year-end report from Cindy.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Jerry discussed the tradition of residents taking sand from the Towns winter sand pile. Clint said that we have always allowed it, but Carol suggested that it should be buckets-full, not pick-up truck loads.
Jerry reported that two accidents occurred on the No. Palermo road in different locations of the same hill. No. Palermo road is so beat up that the plows wont reach down into the holes, and it has been too cold for salt to work. Clint said that too much sand will also become slippery. The deputy sheriff told Jerry that five other towns are having the same problem, which is excessive speed on ice. Drivers need to slow down.
Bob Herman fixed the loader, re-built the starter. Lee Bros. is supposed to bring gravel for the loading ramp at the Town garage.
Damon Ingraham is training to drive a plow truck.
Discussion followed about policy on physicals and drug testing on newly hired employees. Clint said that some time ago policy was adopted that required a license, physical, and random drug testing. Carol moved to adopt that policy, but because it needs to be written policy, it was decided that Ron and Carol would collaborate on a written policy to present at the next meeting.
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER: Scott Holmes reported 3 calls: one dog hit by a school bus, one lost dog that returned home on its own, and one report of a Montville resident not feeding animals, which Scott passed on to the Montville ACO.
COMP. PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave Bridges reported that Fred Snow will be attending the Jan. 5 meeting of the committee to finalize plans for the Pizza for Planning event. He passed around the attractive poster designed by students at the Waldo Co. Technical School to advertise the event.
OLD BUSINESS: Carol will call Doug Van Horn to schedule the Budget Committees work in preparation for the Town Report/annual meeting starting the first week of January.
NEW BUSINESS: Ron reported a call from a Montville Selectman regarding issues at the intersection of Goosepecker and Penney Road. Jeff Richardson has parked a truck and trailer on the edge of his land blocking plow trucks, and they would like some assistance from Freedom Selectmen to deal with the problem. Clint said that Montville plows a small section of Freedom roads, and Freedom plows a small section of Montville roads; we need to determine exact property lines. After discussion and several suggestions, Clint volunteered to work with Montville, to visit Jeff and explain that his vehicles will be towed. Ron will call Glen Widmer to tell him the Board will work with the Montville Board to resolve this.
The Selectmen agreed to meet at the Town Office just to sign next weeks warrant at noon on Dec. 30th.
The next Select Board meeting will be January 13, 2010.
Motion to adjourn passed at 7:40 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
NOVEMBER 18, 2009
Meeting called to order by Chairman Price at 6 PM. Present were: Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Carol Richardson (Selectman), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Jay Guber (CEO), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Committee), and Sallyann Hadyniak.
REVIEW MINUTES: The Nov. 4, 2009 minutes were accepted as written and placed on file.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Jay reported that he attending training on Shoreland Zoning, Floodplain regulation, cell tower and wind ordinances, indoor air quality, and on the new Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.
Dave Scholfield will be covering for Jay from Nov. 23 until Dec. 8th. On Dec. 9, Jay would like to use the new building for a CEO training seminar for Central and Midcoast Maine CEOs with Val Whittier. He has asked Andy Price to speak and provide a site visit at Beaver Ridge.
An intent-to-harvest notification was received from Randy Pottle for 5 acres of land owned by Michael Buckley, Map 1 Lot 05.
Two building permits have been granted, to Prentice Grassi for a hoop greenhouse, and to Ingrid Robitaille, Rollins Rd., for a woodshed (roof on posts).
CORRESPONDENCE: A letter was received complaining about a dog. Ron will talk to Scott (ACO) about it.
CITIZENS ISSUES: None.
TOWN OFFICIALS REPORTS:
TREASURER: Ron reported for Erna that all the new tax bills have gone out with the exception of a few errors. [Ernas report will follow later in the meeting.]
Ron moved to go into executive session as authorized by MRSA 405(6), Title 23-3028, seconded by Clint and passed at 6:17 PM. The Selectmen returned at 6:25 with no decisions made and no vote necessary.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: In Jerrys absence, Ron reported that the Town needs to establish its boundary lines on Goosepecker. Water is running down the Penney Road; we need to know if it is Freedoms or Montvilles responsibility. All the paving is done, and Rollins Road is finished.
FIRE CHIEF: Jim reported that the $600 received from the sale of the truck would go through several hands, eventually to Erna.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE: One application was processed this week.
PLANNING BOARD: Glen Bridges reported that the PB is inquiring about the process to amend the Building Ordinance. After discussion, the Select Board decided that the PB should handle this.
COMP. PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave Bridges reported that the Committee plans to host a pizza dinner for the Town on Jan. 10, 2010 at 12 noon in the Church basement. Pizza, salads, beverages, and desserts will be served at no cost. Fred Snow will lead a visioning session. Town officials are encouraged to come along with all residents.
OLD BUSINESS: Ron asked if the blind person sign had been put up yet on Greeley Rd. Carol replied that she needs to order it.
NEW BUSINESS: The flags outside the Town Office are in poor condition, and need to be replaced. Discussion followed about the cost of a new flagpole, but to hold off on that. Carol moved to replace both the American and State flags. Motion passed.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported that the payroll this week was $1475.80, with a checkbook balance of $288,889.47. The A/P (Accounts Payable) was $31.080.40. A check came in from MRC for $721.53. So far the pay for re-commitment is $1358.00.
Clint moved to approve and sign the payroll warrant; motion passed.
Clint moved to approve and sign the A/P; motion passed.
The Selectmen discussed the issue of paying for the extra time to re-do the tax bills, refunds, and etc. After discussion of how hours were kept separate from regular hours and recorded, and what funds should be used, Carol moved to use funds for Administration designated legal expenses. Motion passed. $14/hour was the pay for this work, which should have been $14 for Cindy and Erna and $10 for others, but with no previous decision made before payment, the consensus was to let it stand.
Erna reported that MMA said the Town has no obligation to pay interest to taxpayers on the amounts overpaid.
The Selectmen will come in Nov. 25 at noon to sign next weeks warrant.
The next meetings are Dec. 9th and Dec. 23rd.
Motion to adjourn at 7:20 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING
NOVEMBER 4, 2009, TOWN OFFICE
Ron Price opened the meeting at 6:01 PM. Present were: Ron Price (Chair, Selectman), Carol Richardson (Selectman), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Sallyann Hadyniak, Erna Keller (Treasurer), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte.), Glen Bridges (Secretary).
REVIEW MINUTES: Motion to approve minutes of October 28 passed. The Secretary handed out to the Selectmen MMAs written determination about including the names of subjects of discussions in minutes.
CITIZENS ISSUES: None
CORRESPONDENCE: Letters were received from Gunner Wood and Bill Pickford regarding the open Planning Board position.
SOLID WASTE: In the absence of Freedoms UARC representative, Dave Bridges reported that UARC now will take plastics #1, 3, 5, and 7. Newspapers should now be separated from mail, which goes with magazines.
FIRE CHIEF: An offer of $600 has been accepted for the old GMC fire truck.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Tom Fleming has asked the Town to replace the missing blind person caution signs.
Clint looked at the work going on at Goosepecker Ridge Rd., and suggested both sides of the road be properly ditched as long as the excavator is already there. Carol moved to ditch both sides of Goosepecker Ridge Rd. Motion passed.
A discussion followed about the origins of a long pipe across the Penney Rd. Goosepecker intersection, which was assumed to never have worked properly. Ron expressed concern about the drainage there being directed off the intersection.
PLANNING BOARD: The next meeting will be Nov. 10th at 6 PM. Motion by Carol passed to appoint Gunner Wood to the Planning Board.
COMP. PLAN CMTE: The next meeting will be Nov. 10 at 7 PM. Three volunteers offered free coffee and survey polls to voters on Election Day until about 6 PM. The response was good with 64 surveys filled out, and two new volunteers for the committee.
OLD BUSINESS: Carol moved to consider previously tabled letters submitted by five residents. Ron reported that MMA advised the Board has no obligation other than to file the letters as any correspondence, and that he will recuse himself from the matter because of his own involvement in the issue. Further, Ron made two points: 1. He was not happy with his own conduct, and felt his own behavior was inappropriate. 2. Ron has never felt physically threatened by anyone in this Town.
Carol said that although she hasnt read the letters, she felt everyone should be treated equal. Clint said he hasnt had time yet to read the letters.
Sallyann objected that both sides of the story werent told in the minutes. The Secretary responded that she can only report what took place at a meeting; she cannot report what did not take place. The Selectman permitted the Secretary to read briefly from MMAs determination, quote: There is nothing wrong with having included this persons name in the minutes. Minutes are intended to accurately reflect what transpires at a meeting, and it is common to include the name of a person who is the subject of a discussion, whether good or bad.
Clint moved to table the letters again until Nov. 11th. The motion failed for lack of second. Letters will be filed due to no action taken.
TREASURER: The payroll warrant this week is $1690.63, with a checkbook balance of $338,904.68. The A/P this week is $27,799.65 after adjusting for one bill subtracted. Clint explained that 100 of the work on the Penney/Goosepecker intersection can come out of URIP funds.
Ron asked who is responsible for applying to State for reimbursement for the ramps, etc. on the new building? Erna replied that Cindy is, and thinks it has been sent in.
Discussion followed about specific expenditures.
Clint moved to sign the A/P warrant. Motion passed. Motion by Clint to sign the payroll warrant passed.
Clint moved to approve a training class that Erna and Cindy need to attend in Augusta on Nov. 17th.
Carol moved that Erna should keep a separate time card for her work cutting checks for tax refunds. Motion passed. The office will be closed Nov. 5 and 6 to get out new tax bills. Carol said there are 609 tax bills, and Sallyann offered to help stuff envelopes as a volunteer.
Clint moved to authorize Cindy to find new rails and ropes for voting areas so that Freedoms antique map remains protected, and that she look for good office chairs at the State Surplus facility. Motion passed.
NEW BUSINESS: Sallyann asked Dave to get any column info to her by 12 on Friday.
Clint moved to close the Town Office Nov. 27th, the day after Thanksgiving. Motion passed.
Carol listed office supplies needed for new tax bills and refunds; purchase orders were signed for those items.
Ron reported that he inspected the boiler room, and is not happy with the condition of it. He wants authorization to have it cleaned out again. Only cleaning supplies may be stored in the boiler room. The Selectmen agreed, with Carol asking the minutes to quote her, No more putting junk in the boiler room !!!
The Selectmen will meet briefly to sign the new tax commitment form at 5 PM Nov. 10th. There will be no Selectmans meeting on Nov. 11th, Veterans Day. The next regular Selectmens meeting will be Nov. 18th, 2009
Motion to adjourn at 7:45 PM.
APPROVED MINUTES /FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
OCTOBER 28, 2009
Chairman Price called the meeting to order at 6 PM, with the following persons present: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Basil Barnes, Jerry Spaulding (Road Commissioner), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte.), and Sallyann Hadyniak.
REVIEW MINUTES: The Oct. 21 minutes were approved with two additions.
The Secretary asked permission to speak about the results of research into Roberts Rules, and read sections that specifically directed that discussions should be included in minutes when discourse is not followed by a vote or in the event of an unruly, disruptive meeting attendee, with handouts for each Selectman.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Jerry spoke about the difficulty and cost of covering the sand pile. To balance the cost of 3 rolls of plastic ($250 each), Jerry said the Town would have to lose 96 yards of sand and salt uncovered. Clint said that water does penetrate the pile, but plastic kept it dry. The Selectmen voted to cover the sand pile at a previous meeting, and still agreed on that. Jerry suggested that he could cover the sand pile with one roll of plastic, leaving the face open.
Jerry related a conversation with Carol about who should be hired for plow truck drivers. He prefers to hire younger drivers who can be trained for the job, are more physically capable, and would stay with it for years. He said he does not discriminate against any driver. He picked Craig Smith as primary driver if he is interested. Jerry himself is the main plow driver.
As the discussion turned into a personnel issue, Ron moved the debate into executive session under the authority of MRSA 405 (6), Title 23-3028 at 6:20 PM., with Carol declining to participate. The session was over at 6:31, with no decisions made or vote required.
Clint explained that policy for hiring has been that an application has to be filled out. Ron moved that an application for employment be filled out for any applicant for any paying job, and the applications kept on file. Motion passed.
Clint mentioned that Jerry can rent a larger chipper for $215 a day from Works.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Basil Barnes questioned why his taxes went up over $1000 this year, from $2800 to $3900 when he has 650 acres with no road frontage in Freedom. In Albion his taxes didnt go up. Carol said that the tree growth determined by the State doubled, so his taxes doubled. Basil said his land was in open space/farmland, not tree growth. Carol thought that Basils property on Rollins Rd. caused an increase. Basil was invited by both Carol and Ron to come in to the office to review his tax calculations next Wednesday Nov. 4th.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported that the payroll warrant is $2799.49, the checkbook balance $346,893.44 and the A/P is $9473.26. A refund for truck excise was received for $258.18.
Erna is prepared to be here Nov. 5 and 6 after 2 PM. to work with TRIO. Discussion followed about how the process should work with print-outs to preceed each check. Carol mentioned the controversy over whether the taxpayer should receive the refund or the mortgage holder should receive it. Ron determined that a call to MMA will resolve the question.
Clint moved to sign the payroll. Motion passed. Clint moved to sign the A/P. Motion passed.
Ron asked why bills havent been received for the door(s) on the double-wide.
A brief discussion followed about purchase orders for the Road Commissioner. Erna said Jerry needs to fill out more information if he opens new accounts.
CORRESPONDENCE: The Selectmen reviewed mail from the State confirming 2004 training that Clint and Ron attended. Workshops from KVCOG were offered : Thursday Nov 5 will address wind development, open space subdivisions, and cell towers. On Nov. 12 is a Board of Appeals workshop.
An Annual Certification Form needs to be signed and sent back to the State for the Town to receive URIP funds. This was due last July, and needs to be filled out with a history of how URIP funds have been used. The State would like to pay the Towns Sept. 1 payment.
A commitment to pay TRIO at $125/hour for a total of up t 8 hours was signed.
Ron read a request to read letters from five Sibley Road citizens. Ron doubted if the Board has any obligation to do so. Following discussion, Clint moved to table any action until next meeting. Motion passed, with Carol abstaining.
EMD: The Emergency Management Director could not attend tonights meeting, but plans to attend soon.
PLANNING BOARD: The Board appointed Elaine Kertez to a 2 year term following a motion by Carol. No other applications have come in. A 3 year term still needs to be filled.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY: Erna questioned paying $2500 owed to the Historical Society from 2005. Ron replied that there was nothing mentioned in the audit about it, and he would not want to make the expenditure without a Town vote. Payment has been requested to help with a grant. Ron suggested they put in a request with the Budget Committee for next Town meeting.
RECREATION COMMITTEE: Ron asked Cindy for a financial report on Field Days, but Cindy said she cant get the final figures until the soda is all sold. People have asked for it; Ron will ask for one for next week.
COMP. PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave Bridges reported that on Nov. 3rd, the Planning Board and Comp. Plan Committee will be serving free coffee, and ask a few survey questions and offer a hand-out. A meeting will be held with Fred Snow on Nov. 10. The Planning Board will meet at 6 PM, with the Comp. Plan Cmte. following at 7 PM.
OLD BUSINESS: Cindy has requested gravel to fill spaces near ramp so there is no lip. The vent covers are still protruding into the ramp passageway.
NEW BUSINESS: Ron asked if any more bills were received by Erna from Denny Robbins, and if reimbursement has been applied for from the State. Ron will ask Cindy.
Clint suggested that cards be sent to Fred Overlock, who is in very serious condition at Togus, and to Lorraine Overlock, who is in a Portland hospital with heart issues.
Carol moved to refund by check all monies due to taxpayers from the new tax commitment, and also any monies that are credits from overpayment in the past. Clint seconded. Passed.
Ron, along with others, wished Carol well on the medical procedure she will undergo later in the week.
Carol moved for the Select Board to meet weekly for November, on Nov. 4, 11, an 18th, but not the 25th because of Thanksgiving. Motion passed. When the tax issues are all settled, Selectmen will consider meeting every 2nd and 4th Wednesday starting in December.
Next meeting is Nov. 4th, 2009. Motion to adjourn at 7:35 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
OCTOBER 21, 2009
Chairman Price called the meeting to order at 6:05 PM. Present: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte.), Sallyann Hadyniak, Glen Bridges (Secretary).
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from Oct. 14 were approved with one correction; Carol had abstained from voting to approve the Oct. 7 minutes because she had not read them.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Sallyann objected to the detailed minutes of Oct. 7th, citing her research on the internet which found frequently asked questions about Roberts Rules, that minutes should only record actions, not discussions.
CORRESPONDENCE: A letter was received from Purdy, Powers & Co. offering to be the auditors for Freedom. They estimated that a normal audit would cost about $5000, or $12-18,000 is there are problems. Their letter was placed on file.
The Tree Growth Report due Oct. 9th needs to be re-sent to the State; apparently it was misplaced by the State.
A letter received from MRC (Municipal Review Committee, Inc.) inviting Freedom Selectmen to nominate a Board member. After discussion determining the function of this group, which oversees PERC & waste management, Clint moved, seconded by Carol, to nominate Ellery Keene to the Board for a 3 year term. Motion passed.
TREASURERS REPORT: PERC has raised their tipping fee by 50 cents. Ron reviewed the revenue and expense report, and noticed a $7000 difference in the year-to-date figures, and questioned the difference in figures. Carol said she would ask Erna.
Clint, in discussion about Freedoms Town report, pointed out that the vote on
LD #1 should be at the front of the agenda. Some discussion followed about Freedoms generosity with charitable donations, Mike Rogers remark (at the Oct. 15th information meeting) that Freedom spends a disproportionate amount of money on charity. Ron suggested people list charities they think should not be included. Carol said that Erna will be sending out letters to find out how much use of these organizations provide to Freedom residents.
Carol suggested e-mails be sent to Mike Rogers for a job well done.
The payroll warrant this week is $1974.81, with a checkbook balance of $332,454.56.
The A/P this week is $21,663.80, which includes $13,000 for winter road sand. A check was received from MRS for $6129.29.
Clint moved, seconded by Carol, to sign the payroll warrant. Motion passed.
Clint moved, seconded by Carol to sign the A/P warrant. Motion passed.
[Treasurers note: an error in the BMV figures discovered later increased the A/P to $21,733.80.]
EMD: Clint asked what Freedoms EMD is doing, and suggested he should be attending meetings and reporting to the Select Board. Ron suggested calling Craig to ask him to come to a meeting.
PLANNING BOARD: Glen Bridges asked if the Selectmen would write a letter thanking Nancy and Lillian for their years of service on the Board; the PB is also planning to do so. Carol would sign a letter if someone writes it. Carol reported two volunteers for the open PB seats, Elaine Kertez and Mrs. Rose. They can both be appointed on Oct. 28th.
OLD BUSINESS: Carol reported that she called MMA to find out what the Assessors options are for correcting the tax commitment error, and if Tim Biggs idea, to credit refunds against 2010 taxes, is possible.
MMA said no, according to Carol, regarding Tims idea.
There are two options:
2. by oath, which can lead to problems later on.
MMA & Mike Rogers recommended the cleanest way is to re-commit. Cindy will have a great deal of work to do. Carol outlined in detail how Cindy will refigure the tax bills. The taxpayer will have the option to have their credit carried over to 2010. Over 50 taxpayers have expressed that preference. Interest has to be reversed, and new 2% discounts offered, Carol said.
Ron questioned what if the Board does nothing; what if the error had never been discovered. Carol thought the Town could be sued by any taxpayer; she also said that the Town could (but wont) issue supplemental tax bills for recent years when the mil rate was too low in error. In 06 the mil rate was 12 points to low.
Ron estimated it will cost the Town $4-5000 to recommit and send out new tax bills. Ron recommends the whole process be under the supervision of TRIO. They charge $125/hour and 50 cents per mile. Ron thinks it would be better for town records to write every taxpayer a check, which they can return if they prefer a credit. Mike Rogers should review and approve the new commitment form.
Payment for TRIO can be paid out of administration budget.
Carol moved, seconded by Clint, to close the Town Office Nov. 5 and 6, to re-commit taxes, and contract with TRIO to come in to work with Cindy and also with Erna on audit figures. Motion passed.
Carol wanted to be sure two abatements are taken care of before recommitment.
The old commitment book needs to be wrapped and labeled invalid, so there is never any mix-up. Mike Rogers will help Carol figure out the new commitment. Ron remembered that Rogers wanted to do it again in case he didnt have all the correct figures.
Regarding the letter about paying the auditor, Ron said he would wait until TRIO has spent time with Erna.
NEW BUSINESS: The heat will be hooked up in the double-wide tomorrow.
Clint asked if the sand pile was going to be covered, and the tarp held in place with half tires. That is what Selectmen voted on.
The next Selectmens meeting will be Oct. 28, 2009.
The Assessors will meet to sign a new tax commitment Nov. 4, 2009 at 7:00 PM.
Selectmen will meet the second and fourth Wednesdays beginning in November.
Vote to adjourn at 7:30 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
OCTOBER 14, 2009
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Price at 6:03 PM with the following present: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Committee), Jim Waterman (Fire Chief), Sallyann Hadyniak, Glen Bridges (Secretary), Erna Keller (Treasurer), and Marion Bowers.
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from Oct. 7 were approved with one correction; Carol abstained because she had not read the minutes.
CITIZENS ISSUES: None.
CORRESPONDENCE: Carol received e-mail pertaining to town insurance from MMA.
FIRE CHIEF: Jim Waterman wondered why we dont buy heating oil in bulk? Ron replied that it would have cost a good deal more the last time they looked into it. Its too late for this year.
As part of the FD working with law enforcement & the Fire Marshalls office, when we have suspected arson or property damage caused by drunk drivers, we can seek restitution from the Courts. We have received a check for $200 restitution from a case of arson in Freedom, one among several cases of arson in Freedom.
Carol reported that the State Police returned a number of stolen street signs.
Jim mentioned that the Fire Department will pick up and deliver food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Jim has an electrical outlet on the other side of the firehouse that needs repair.
Ron will call Jesse Gibbs. The FD contact person is Steve Bara.
The chimneys are all cleaned but one, and the firehouse roof finished.
TREASURERS REPORT: Ron requested from the tax collector a report of how much excise tax has been collected so far this year. This shows vehicle excise taxes collected 77,238. The Town keeps boat excise, but ATVs and snowmobile taxes go to the State. We could approach $100,000 of excise tax this year.
The payroll warrant this week is $2314.24, with a later one for $121.11. The A/P is $814.76.
Clint moved, seconded by Carol, to sign the payroll of $2314.24; motion passed. Ron moved to sign a payroll of $121.11, seconded by Clint; motion passed.
Clint moved to sign the A/P warrant for $814.76, seconded by Carol; motion passed.
PLANNING BOARD: Glen reported a meeting Oct. 13 in conjunction with the Comp. Plan Committee. A pizza dinner, with salads, drinks, and desserts, will be held Jan. 10th in the Church basement, with an interactive visioning exercise with Fred Snow. Bill Pickford will remain acting Chair until elections after Town meeting.
MEMORIAL BENCH COOMMITTEE: Ron reported that he is to call in April to see if benches will be available for Freedom.
OLD BUSINESS: Carol reported that Mike Rogers, working in the Town Office today, saw problems with the way the Town budget is presented in the annual Town Report, using so many years of figures. He also discovered that the Town has been working with net budgets, when it should be using gross budgets. Errors have been found in this years and previous years tax calculations caused by this difference. Funds from trash stickers, Town of Knox, URIP monies, etc., which must be approved by the Town if used to off-set property taxes, should be budgeted into the tax commitment, but not subtracted out. This is the root of the error in this years calculation on the commitment form.
Carol said the tax commitment should have been $790,287 and she had it figured at $862,350. The Town is at 100% valuation this year.
A long discussion followed, trying to determine exactly how various revenues should be calculated into the budget, and figured on the yearly tax commitment form.
URIP monies are only permitted to be used for capital improvement projects, meaning roads that will last 10 years or more, and cannot be put into the general fund.
Carol said this year our mil rate should have been 14.2. We need to return $1.30 per thousand to taxpayers. Rogers advised to re-commit. Ron will get advice from MMA tomorrow to see how to do this, either re-commit or through abatements. Mike Rogers will be back in the office tomorrow to finish his work.
Ron asked what purpose it would serve for Rogers to go back to 05 and 06. Carol answered that Rogers wants to establish that serious errors began in 2004. In 08 the mil rate should have been 2.2 higher than it was.
In response to citizens questions, the Selectmen said the State does offer guidelines and training for Town assessors, and Mike Rogers can review our tax commitment before tax bills go out. Rogers said that the process of communication information broke down here; his office did not understand that Freedom was using net instead of gross budgets to calculate taxes when they reviewed Freedoms tax figures. Carol, and
Ron and Clint as well, accepted responsibility for this error.
In other old business, Ron asked Erna to explain the paperwork accounting for expenses paid for installing the double-wide. They reviewed the figures, and Ron asked exactly what was left in that account. The Town approved up to $20,000, and there is $3o95 left, with a reimbursement coming back from the State for the ramps, etc. of about $2500-28oo. That would mean a balance of over $5000.
Ron had a long talk with Craig Costello, the auditor, who feels that the Town does not know how to work with the TRIO program and that we need help. Erna said it would be good to have someone from TRIO here along with the auditor. One day of training from TRIO would cost about $500. Erna worked with them one day back when she first started, and has attended some of their training sessions. Ron asked if the Town could find the funds to pay for training. Erna suggested we could take monies out of the administration budget. Ron thought that the auditor might not want to be here at the same time as TRIO.
Ron and Erna reviewed work on the 2006 audit, one day of which was wasted because of conflicting figures from the auditor. When the auditor finishes an audit, he provides figures to start off the next year, but these figures did not work in the TRIO program.
Ron moved, seconded by Clint, to authorize Erna to hire TRIO to come work with her for one or two days for up to $1000, to move the audit along. Motion passed.
NEW BUSINESS: Clint moved, seconded by Carol, to approve two purchase orders for Jerry Spaulding for cutting edges for the plows, and for oil. Motion passed.
Carol reported that Mike Rogers questioned that if taxes had been lower, some residents might have paid their taxes earlier, and perhaps the Town should offer a 2% discount for another 30 days.
Ron reported a proposal from T.E. Berry for grading, gravel, loam, seed, and mulch to finish up the area around the double-wide for $1800. Clint moved to accept that quote, not to exceed $1800, seconded by Carol. Motion passed.
The Board also voted to approve the purchase of crushed stone for the walkway.
The heat needs to be hooked up, doors need to be moved or replaced, but there was some confusion over how many new doors have been ordered. The vent also needs to be replaced to not interfere with wheelchair access.
Clint moved to change the Selectmens meetings to the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month beginning in November. Carol seconded; motion passed.
The next meeting is October 21st.
Vote to adjourn at 7:53 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
OCTOBER 7, 2009
Meeting called to order by Chairman Ron Price at 6:05 PM with the following present: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectmen & Chair), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Sallyann Hadyniak, Scott Holmes (ACO), Marion Bowers, Jerry Spaulding (Road Commissioner), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte.), Chuck Hadyniak, Bill Pickford (Planning Board Chair), Dottie Chase, Kevin Lane from Lane Construction, John & Jennifer Works, John Cranowski and partner.
REVIEW MINUTES: Minutes from Sept. 23 were approved, to be placed on file.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Sallyann and Bill Pickford both asked if the selectmen were going to hold another informational meeting on taxes. Ron replied that it will be discussed later in the meeting.
CORRESPONDENCE: A letter was received from Thressa Abbott resigning from the Comprehensive Plan Committee.
A commitment to pay for the 06 audit to be signed by Selectmen for the auditor was received. Ron wanted to read it before signing it, and has some issues to discuss about the audit.
The State wants to know Freedoms guidelines for General Assistance. Carol moved, seconded by Clint, to accept the State guidelines, and sign the form. Motion passed.
Some information came in about block grants, which will be filed.
OLD BUSINESS: (Taken out of order for the convenience of guests attending)
The six sand and salt pile bids were reviewed.
John Cranowski said that his sand was tested by the State, and it is not dead sand. He was concerned that complaints about his sand from a few years ago will hurt his reputation, and Clint and Ron assured him that no one meant to imply that his product is not good quality. John Works pointed out that the sand all comes from the same ridge.
Discussion followed about how Jerry wants the sand pile pushed up, with a dozer and Freedoms loader, and the problems with covering it with plastic.
Jerry recommended accepting Works bid because of the good performance of last years sand. The lowest bids were using a larger screen, which resulted in numerous complaints about rocks. Clint moved to accept F.C. Works bid, seconded by Ron. Motion passed with Carol abstaining.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Jerry has drawn up a scope of work, with figures, and FEMA figures, for the rebuilding of the Goosepecker Rd. from Mitchell to Penney Road. This includes 910 feet, excavated 6-12 as needed, with no less than one ft. crushed stone (4), and no less than 6 of crushed of 2 minus gravel graded & left smooth for paving. The intersection of Penney Rd. and Goosepecker will be to the same specs. Doing it this way will only use about $10,000 of Freedoms paving account.
Discussion followed with the Works about the need for rip-rap along a ditch, the tapering of transitions between old and new road to make it smooth as possible, and the tight schedule for getting it done before freezing weather. F.C. Works was the only one to give the Town a quote.
Clint moved to accept F.C. Works to do the work on Goosepecker Ridge Road for $33,892.90, seconded by Carol, and passed.
Clint moved, seconded by Carol, to accept Lane Constructions quote of $19,404 to pave the 910. Discussion followed about the width of paving (FEMA figured 18, Works figured 20). Clint asked Kevin Lane to agree that he wont exceed that quote, and Lane agreed. Lane will only charge for material used, at $84/ton. Motion passed with 3 votes.
The intersection apron at Penney Rd. and Goosepecker is for $110/ton, total $4620. Ron asked why the difference, and Lane explained that its a much harder paving job because of the shape of an apron. Clint moved to accept Lanes quote, seconded by Carol. Motion passed. All of the quotes were signed.
The Selectmen asked F.C. Works to draw up a contract for the sand pile, and need a time frame. KVCOGs salt is $70/ton delivered; we need 164 tons.
Jerry said that after this work is done, there will be $10,112 left in URIP monies, and recommended that a section of Rollins Rd. can be done for a maximum of that amount. Carol moved, seconded by Ron, to accept the quote to repair the section of Rollins Road. Motion passed, with Clint abstaining.
Scott and Bob have been cutting brush, and will rent a chipper when the brushing is finished. Jerry asked Scott to move the brush cutting over to the Rollins Rd., and then return to finish Mitchell.
The payroll warrant this week is $2162.38, with a checkbook balance of $377,461.29. The Accounts Payable warrant is $25,106.71. Clint moved to sign the payroll warrant, seconded by Carol; motion passed.
Next years LD 1 average growth is 1.78%. Ron said this means that we cannot increase spending; Carol said that last year it was 2.2%.
Clint moved to sign the A/P warrant, seconded by Carol, and passed. Clint asked Erna where we are on school payments; we are paid through November.
ACO: Scott reported that he was notified 9/15 at midnight of a loose horse near Freedom General Store. After a short search, the horse returned to his stall (across from the P.O)
Scott was subpoenaed to testify in court on Oct. 13 regarding the Robert Muhlmanns dogs.
RECREATION COMMITTEE: Carol said a few people have asked for a report on Field Days.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave Bridges reported that the committee will meet Oct. 13th at 6:30 following the Planning Board meeting, and the PB will be working with the CPC.
OLD BUSINESS: Mike Rogers called Carol and explained that his sick child caused him to forget the scheduled meeting Sept. 30th. Bill Pickford asked the Selectmen to give some consideration to holding another meeting, hoped that the Selectmen would not be exposed to the same abuse as the last time, and suggested having a moderator and ground rules. Scott agreed that we should have another meeting, and also have a deputy sheriff. Carol said that will also cost money. Carol said she has heard from people who came only to hear Rogers address the tax issues.
Ron said he would call Jackie Robbins about attending. Clint said he would agree to another meeting, but was not interested in attending. He felt that both a moderator and deputy would be necessary. Bill thought that Don Berry would be able to control people.
Sallyann thought that a moderator or deputy would not be necessary if Mike Rogers is there, and that the people in the corner were just trying to ask questions.
Dave Bridges recalled two separate meetings requested by citizens which were both destroyed by one person in Town, one man who, on both occasions, tried to provoke our first Selectman [Ron Price] into a fist fight. A call to MMA will solve this problem there is a way to prevent this man from attending meetings because his behavior cannot be trusted. The public has a right to expect civil discourse, and Roberts Rules, which is based simply on manners, gives the Selectmen the authority to control/ or expel people who will not behave.
Discussion followed about Carols call to the Sheriff asking about a restraining order against Steve Bennett. Carol thought that the deputy said you cannot ban a citizen from meetings, Glen remembered that while he said a restraining order would not work in such a non-specific situation, you can ban a person causing disruption. Glen said that if a citizen is being threatening and violent, there must be a way to protect people, and a call to MMA would be the solution.
Discussion followed about Scotts involvement in trying to prevent a fight; Scott said he did not touch Steve Bennett, and Bennett struck him, and threatened him.
Ron explained that he lost control of the meeting early on, and that it should be known that he will never serve as moderator of a meeting again as long as he is a Selectman. Part of the control problem, besides Bennett, was Carol, who would not respect any moderating Ron was trying to do.
Ron reviewed the other occasion, at the TIF meeting in the Church basement, when Bennett advanced toward him threatening a fist fight. Ron tried to end the meeting, tried to expel Bennett, but got no support from other Selectmen.
Dave Bridges pointed out that even though Rogers was at the TIF meeting in the Church basement, the meeting got out of hand, Ron was again invited into a fist fight, and Daves wife was verbally abused by an out-of-control Bennett.
Ron accepted responsibility for his own actions, but pointed out that Bennett was equally advancing toward him at this recent meeting.
Bill asked to move on to the future meeting: does the Board want to have another meeting with Rogers and a moderator? Ron replied that many people want a better understanding of how taxes are computed and have that right to that, and that law enforcement should be there.
Discussion followed, speculating about the cost of a moderator and deputy. Scott pointed out that it is the Selectmens responsibility to protect the resident's safety regardless of the cost.
Carol moved to hold a meeting on Oct. 15th at 7 PM if Don Berry, Mike Rogers, and the Grange are free, and to have a moderator and a deputy. Clint seconded, motion passed unanimously.
Glen Bridges brought up the book exchange idea and requested a vote of approval from the Selectmen. Discussion followed about where shelves could be fit into the wall space of the Town Office. Carol moved to have Glen to create a book exchange. Clint seconded, motion passed.
NEW BUSINESS: Regarding the 2006 audit, Erna reported that they all worked all day on adjustments from 2005, but she is having trouble with the TRIO program. Her work from all day today could be saved on the computer.
Ron talked to the auditor this afternoon:
1. This auditor who was here all day does not know how to use the TRIO program.
2. The Town needs to have people here in the office that are educated in the TRIO program to make it conform with what the auditor needs for the standards to do the audit.
Erna said all the adjustments made today were unnecessary according to Craig Costello, the whole day was wasted. Ron said the Town is not going to pay for an internal problem of the auditors.
Ron wants to have a face-to-face meeting with the auditor. Clint agreed, and refused to sign an agreement until this is settled. Clint quoted Bob, the auditor, as saying that it will take 1 _ years to clean up this mess, and that he advised to switch to QuickBooks. Carol said Craig advised not to use QuickBooks because it is not safe, but Ron Said Craig denied ever saying that.
Clint asked to have an electrician come to check on a problem in the new building; Ron said he would call Jesse Gibbs. Cindy pointed out to Carol that the air exchange vent would interfere with wheel chair access, and needs to be replaced with a flat vent. Carol reported that the State is paying for the ramp, the fax machine and telephone line for voting. Clint suggested that the exit area between the buildings needs the ground improved; Carol said crushed rock would be a solution.
Carol clarified that she will call Mike Rogers, and the Grange or Church. Ron will call the Sheriff.
Motion to adjourn at 8:10.
Chairman Price re-opened the meeting because of business not attended to. Clint asked about how house lots are assessed, and felt that in some cases the Town is taxing double the value. One base lot is 2 acres @ $14,000, improved is $23,000, and business lot is $25,000. Discussion followed about a case where a property owner has a house and business on one 2 acre lot and being valued at $48,000. Ron and Clint want this looked into further, suggesting it was unfair.
The Selectmen signed a number of abatements that had already been signed by Jackie Robbins.
The next meeting is October 14th, 2009.
Motion to adjourn passed at 8:23 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
SEPTEMBER 23, 2009
Meeting called to order at 6:10 PM. Present: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Marion Bowers, Sallyann Hadyniak, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte.)
REVIEW MINUTES: Minutes from Sept. 16 were approved with one clarification noted.
CORRESPONDENCE: Carol brought up for discussion An Act to Extend the Right to Vote Absentee at Town Meetings, but it appeared this was never enacted into law. Carol will look into it.
The proposed State evaluations list for Waldo County towns was received, along with a document on how to appeal. Both Selectmen agreed that Freedom should appeal Freedoms evaluation, as it seemed unreasonably high in comparison to other towns.
TREASURERS REPORT: The payroll this week is $4488.41, and includes pay for Selectmen, ACO, CEO, and PI. The A/P this week is $45,150.99 including the Nov. school payment, all charity donations, and the pagers for the FD. Checks were received from FEMA - $5956.64 for Smithton Rd. and $31,699 for Goosepecker Ridge Rd.
The checkbook balance is $355.995.26
Ron moved to sign the payroll warrant, seconded by Carol and passed.
Ron moved to sign the A/P warrant, Carol seconded, and passed. Ron asked Erna to wait until December to pay the Dec. school payment.
Erna requested the accounting for the Historical Society be attached to minutes.
ACO: Carol reported that Scott had to chase a loose horse.
TOWN BOARDS/COMMITTEE REPORTS: None
OLD BUSINESS: Letters to the Town residents regarding upcoming meeting are in the mail. Figures have been sent to Mike Rogers.
Ron and Carol scheduled a meeting for Monday Sept. 28th to prepare for the 9/30 meeting. Carol will call Clint, who is absent tonight, about it. Carol will create a spread sheet to be available at the meeting.
The total Freedom budget this year is $851,776, $52,000 more than last year. This includes monies raised and appropriated at Town meeting, $10,000 more than last year, county tax, school tax, Knox FD payment, URIP funds, and $120,000 other revenues. The last three figures are subtracted to determine the net budget.
Ron has not yet learned whether or not the Veterans Memorial Bench program will be available next year.
Dennis Robbins has been given the go-ahead to work on the new building, and has capped his labor cost at $750. The electrical hook-up will cost $600, and Ron will contact Thompsons about the heating system.
If Lee Bros. cant do the ditching, the job should go to whoever will be doing the road improvements.
Lindahl Chase waited for 4 hours in the Town truck for Lee Brothers, who was scheduled to do ditching, but didnt show up, and the truck ended up being run off the road by another vehicle. Carol had to have copies of insurance cards faxed to the office.
The tax informational meeting is scheduled at the Grange at 7 PM Sept. 30th. The next Selectmens meeting will be Oct. 7th.
Motion to adjourn at 6:55 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
[Attachment: accounting for Historical Society]
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
SEPT. 16, 2009
The meeting was called to order at 6:07 PM, with the following present: Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Carol Richardson (Selectman), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte.), Sallyann Hadyniak, Jim Waterman (Fire Chief), Marion Bowers, Jay Guber (CEO), Lorraine Overlock.
REVIEW MINUTES: Ron & Carol voted to approve minutes and place on file.
CITIZENS QUESTIONS/ISSUES: Dave Bridges objected to the Pepsi machine newly installed in the Town Office; it does not give a good impression or promote any local products, such as milk.
Lorraine Overlock inquired if any other Town organizations are banned from approaching the Town Treasurer as the Historical Society has been; she feels this is discrimination. Lorraine said, Erna has reported that the H.S. has $6,000, but actually they are in the red. Lorraine also reported that she is no longer writing grants. Carol explained that the H.S. monies are held in their account until Dec. 31st, so they can collect interest. They have $1200 in bills paid, with $2500 coming Dec. 31st. Eventually, the $2500 form 2005 will be paid into their account. Jim Waterman said that he understands the accounting, and will explain it to the H.S. Carol added that MMA says that the H.S. is a Town organization, with meetings to be posted and held in a public place.
CORRESPONDENCE: Carol sent figures to Mike Rogers that he requested for the Sept. 30th informational meeting. For 2010, the Town evaluation is about 5 million below the States. Ron has the letter to the Town half written; will finish it by next meeting.
Letters were received from Willa Dibner and Nancy Bailey Farrar both volunteering to be appointed to the Budget Committee. Brian Mitchell has resigned; Glen Bridges resigned months ago.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported the payroll warrant this week is $1536.22, with a checkbook balance of $312,125.54. The A/P this week is $1275.33. A check was received from FEMA for $5956.64.
The Board voted to sign the payroll warrant and the A/P warrant.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: George Sebolt on No. Palermo Rd. was granted a permit for a storage trailer.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Jerry, Ron, and Tom Berry met Sept. 15th to inspect the roads (the Smithton/Penney intersection, and down Smithton Rd.) One bid has been received so far.
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER: We need Scott to visit the owners of unregistered dogs. Ron will check with him.
FIRE DEPARTMENT: Jim asked which is the new driveway on Smithton (Richard Prorie). Jim reported that he went to the county Fire Chiefs meeting. He may be able to get 3 more pagers for 20% of the usual cost. A NIMS (National Incident Management System) class is mandatory for Town staff who would be involved in an incident. Erna, Clint, Carol R., Jerry Spaulding, Sandra Gould should get together and choose a Saturday they prefer. October 17th was tentatively chosen.
Jim had a notice on a talk about the Minnesota bridge collapse.
No word yet on grants.
PLANNING BOARD: Glen reported that the Planning Board decided to join forces and work with the Comp. Plan Committee until the Plan is complete. Meetings will be the second Tuesdays of the month, with the Planning Board doing their business at 6 PM, and the CPC beginning when their business is finished (6:30-7PM). Bill Pickford asked for the Selectmen to post the 2 PB positions and include a notice of it in the mailing going out to the Town, which she gave to Carol. Kim Holmes resigned her position due to scheduling conflicts. Bill will post the meeting schedule change.
OLD BUSINESS: Jay Guber requested that the assessors provide him with a written explanation of how they arrive at values for a landlocked parcel owned by Dave Leland. Carol advised Jay to call the State Property Tax Division, but Jay felt it was the Board of Assessors job to explain, and get it in writing. Jay stated that it is not appropriate to assess a landlocked parcel at $800 per acre. Carol said it is not legal for a piece of land to be inaccessible; Jay said there is a letter from a surveyor claiming it is not accessible.
The Memorial Veterans Benches are no longer available. Ron advised to put the project on hold, and see if the program is available next year. This is what comes from debating an issue for years and getting nothing done, Ron commented.
Discussion of materials needed, and to be returned, for gutters and downspouts for the Town Office.
Ron requested that before Dennis begins work on the new building, either the building or the ramp, we have him agree to a cap on his costs, and not an open-ended per hour charge.
Carol said that a vote is needed to replace monies into accounts as per the 2005 audit. Ron would prefer the Town vote on it; Erna is expecting the auditor to send her a list of any monies that should be replaced.
The Board voted to approve the appointments of Willa Dibner and Nancy Bailey Farrar to the Budget Committee.
Next meeting September 23rd. Vote to adjourn at 7:23 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMENS MEETING
SEPTEMBER 9, 2009
The meeting was called to order at 6:10 PM. Present were Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Chair, Selectman), Sallyann Hadyniak, Glen Bridges (Secretary), Marion Bowers, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte.), Jim Waterman (Fire Chief), Jerry Spaulding (Road Commissioner).
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from Sept. 2 were approved, to be placed on file.
CITIZENS QUESTIONS/ISSUES: Marion asked about clean up at the trailer site on Stevens Road. Carol replied that we dont have any legal standing to request yards be cleaned up. There are 6-7 places which may be health hazards, that the Town Health Official could be asked to inspect.
TOWN CLERK: Cindy informed the Selectmen in a note that she would be using her last vacation days on Sept. 24 and 25th. Joanne will cover for her.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported the payroll warrant this week is $1294.26. Checkbook balance is $403,929.48. The A/P this week is $113,463.79, and includes the Waldo County tax of $76,142.81 and October school payment of $32,540. Checks have been received from MMA totaling $730.
Erna and Cindy would like to attend a Cash Management Workshop in Freeport on Oct. 15th.
ACO: Ron reported for Scott that he went to a meeting about Equine Encephalitis; that horses should be vaccinated and people should avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
FIRE CHIEF: The roof is being finished. The radio communications license has been renewed. Chimney cleaning is coming up. Every year the Fire Dept. voluntarily cleans residents chimneys.
SOLID WASTE DIRECTOR: No one has contacted Meredith Coffin yet to ask her to come to a meeting to brainstorm ways to increase Town recycling.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIR.: Ron will contact him to come the next meeting.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Jerry reported that worksheets have been received from FEMA. So far John Works is the only one willing/able to do the complete job except for the paving. Rollins and Smithton need the paving, which we will have to tap into our paving account for. Jerry and three Selectmen will meet at 6 PM Sept. 14th to inspect the sites, and to discuss the figures and bids. Ron asked Jerry for a list of all the needed road projects, including brushing, chipping, filling holes, and larger projects so we can figure out the spending budget. Carol added that an apron is needed at the Penney Rd/Goosepecker intersection.
Street signs were installed today, and brushing is being started.
Plow driver positions were discussed.
PLANNING BOARD: Glen asked to specify that her appointment will be to fill Lillians position, up in 2011. Carol will get the appointment papers ready Friday.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave reported on a meeting with Fred Snow last night. Discussion was about how to energize the Town another pot luck dinner will be planned. Stakeholders need to be interviewed and invited. The committee needs to poll residents with a few questions, such as if a Town newsletter would be a good idea. The group would benefit from a Selectman being present at these meetings. We discussed the need for a budget; Carol thought she remembered the auditor saying that there was CPC money carried over. Dave asked the Selectmen to find out where 3-phase power is available in Town. The committee meets Oct. 13th, and with Fred Snow again Nov. 10th.
Sallyann asked Jerry if he would join the CPC we need young residents input.
OLD BUSINESS: Ron reported the work to install the Memorial benches should be done in the next couple of weeks.
Also the double-wide needs to be fixed up to use for voting. We need a ramp, electricity and heat, and grading and seeding of the gravel pad. Ron will check into what the legal requirements are for a ramp.
NEW BUSINESS: The old truck is paid for and gone. The buyer offered $100 for the two old sanders. Carol moved, seconded by Ron, to try to get $150 for the sanders. Motion passed.
The screen for screening sand is in very poor condition and needs to be beefed up. Also, Ron suggested coving the sand pile and securing it with split tires tied together.
Carol moved to research it and purchase the necessary materials; motion passed.
Ron will draft a letter by next meeting to inform residents of the informational meeting on taxes scheduled for Sept. 30th. Mike Rogers want the appropriation lists from 2006 through 2009 sent to him ASAP.
Reports from Cindy were reviewed, including supplemental tax bills still due, 2009 taxes outstanding, boat excise taxes, and auto excise taxes collected (so far more has come in than in all of 08). All monies taken in by the Town so far this year total $991,902. A purchase order was signed for cleaning supplies.
Ron moved to pay the payroll warrant and A/P warrant with one small adjustment to the A/P warrant because of a refund to the Fire Dept. Motion passed.
Next Selectmens meeting is Sept. 16th, 2009.
Vote to adjourn at 7:32 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING
SEPT. 2, 2009
Chairman Price called the meeting to order at 6:05 PM. Present were Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Christopher Spaulding, Kathy Cunningham (MSAD 3 Director), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte)., Jay Guber (CEO), Scott Holmes (ACO).
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from Aug. 26 were approved with minor corrections.
SCHOOL DIRECTOR: Kathy Cunningham reported that the new school will add to the evaluation for towns, and that the state will be cutting back on state subsidies to schools, painting a worsening economic picture. The dedication of the new school was well attended on Sunday. The Superintendent will be moving into new offices in Unity Elementary.
The Town should appreciate how valuable Future MSAD 3 has been to the new school and the talented hard work of Alicia Nichols.
Ron advised townspeople to call their legislatures; our subsidy is going down because the state is reducing their share, not because of the new school. Ron asked how our teacher salaries compare with other school districts. Kathy replied that they are slightly below Belfast, but comparable to MCI and Waterville. Our teachers do not have their contracts yet.
CORRESPONDENCE: A letter was received from Glen Bridges repeating her interest in a Planning Board position. Carol moved, seconded by Clint, to appoint Glen to the Planning Board, and motion passed.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported the payroll warrant for this week is $1279.74. Checkbook balance is $325,354.36. The accounts payable is $128,563.65, including two school payments (Aug. & Sept.) and return of the $50,000 borrowed from Capital Improvement.
Checks have been received from the state for reimbursement of tree growth for $2209.56 and homestead exemption for $11,759. Checkbook balance after paying the warrant will be $196,790.71. The report Ron requested on the double wide is in the Selectmens folder.
Scott (ACO) needs a Hav-a-Heart trap, but was advised to track down the existing one, in addition to a large dog crate that were in the possession of previous ACOs.
Clint moved, seconded by Carol to pay the A/P warrant. Motion passed.
Carol moved to pay the payroll warrant, Clint seconded, motion passed.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Clint reported for Jerry that bids are coming in for the road work. Clint requested that Jerry inspect a paved driveway with a bump in it on Waning Road that he has received complaints about if the culvert is not rotten, then the Town is not responsible.
ACO: Scott reported that he tended to one lost dog, 3 stray kittens, and went to a meeting at Mt. View about the recent Equine Encephalitis horse deaths. Ron pointed out that the ACO is only responsible for domestic animals, not nuisance wild animals.
SOLID WASTE DIRECTOR: Meredith is not here, but Selectmen would like her to come to a meeting to figure out ways to increase Town recycling to reduce the tonnage and cost of garbage disposal.
COMP. PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave reported a productive meeting last night that was in preparation for the meeting Sept. 8th with Fred Snow of KVCOG.
OLD BUSINESS: The Memorial Bench committee proposed to move the Veterans memorial from the cemetery to the Freedom Academy lot. Carol moved, seconded by Clint to move the memorial to the Academy lot, motion passed.
Regarding an informational meeting for Town taxpayers, Carol contacted Mike Rogers, who can meet any Wednesday night. Clint moved, seconded by Carol, for Ron to draft a letter to the Town informing them of a meeting Sept. 30th. Motion passed.
NEW BUSINESS: Clint requested to revisit the question of meeting every Wednesday versus the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays. The consensus was to meet every Wednesday through September because there is a lot going on, and to bring it up again in early October.
Road work needs to be done now: Holes patched, sand & salt pile up, trimming roadsides and chipping.
Carol moved to seek bids for sand, seconded and passed.
Ron reported that there is $4800 left of what the Town authorized for the double-wide. The end needs to be made presentable, a ramp built, and grading and seeding the gravel pad.
Clint established that one ramp, not two, would satisfy the legal requirements and cost less money. The Selectmen authorized Ron to seek estimates to get the building useable. Regarding paint that was purchased for the ceiling, Clint suggested the expensive gallon of BIN be exchanged for a quart. There are new paints that will cover water stains and cost less.
CEO: Jay submitted a bill for $25 dues for the Maine Building Inspectors organization.
A permit was granted for a dwelling and barn on Hutchins lane, and for a guest house and sheds on Hardwood Lane. Brian Jones filed an intent to harvest 20 acres beginning Aug. 4, 2009.
Jay visited a half dozen properties with Amy Lemelin from DEP. Ron Price asked about the designation of significant wildlife habitat for Shoreland Zoning. Jay explained that the DEP and a state biologist determine if waterfront is significant habitat or not.
Next Selectmens meeting is Sept. 9. Motion to adjourn at 7:28 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/TOWN OF FREEDOM SELECTMENS MEETING
AUGUST 26, 2009
Meeting called to order by Chairman Ron Price at 6 PM. Present were Carol Richardson (Selectman), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte.), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Sallyann Hadyniak, Nancy Bailey Farrar, Willa Dibner, Jim Waterman (Fire Chief), Jerry Spaulding (Road Commissioner).
REVIEW MINUTES: Clint moved, seconded by Carol, to approve the minutes from August 19th. Glen thanked Sallyann for taking minutes for the last two meetings.
CITIZENS ISSUES/QUESTIONS: Sallyann asked if the Beaver Ridge Road would be mowed? (Yes.)
Nancy, following up on Bill Pickfords request for an informational meeting, asked, Do you believe the citizens deserve an explanation of whats going on with the rise in taxes? She also asked why taxes didnt go down with the addition of taxes from the wind turbines.
Ron explained that the monies raised by taxes consist of:
A. Monies raised and appropriated at annual Town meeting to run the Town for a year.
B. School tax.
C. County tax.
The total is nearly $900,000.
The State evaluates the Town every year based on real estate sales. If there is too much difference between the State valuation and the Town valuation, we do not receive full subsidies and reimbursements from the State.
Nancy asked where the tax from Beaver Ridge Wind has gone, and why Palermo values back land at $300 per acre while we are at $800. Carol advised against comparing with other towns because we dont know all of their figures.
A long discussion followed about citizen involvement in determining taxes, the unnecessary increases which came from the floor at Town meeting, the lack of attendance at Town meeting, and that Freedom has no control over county or school taxes.
Willa pointed out that citizens are frightened at not being able to afford to pay their taxes, especially in this economy.
Ron asserted that Freedom is not worth the States valuation of $50 million (without windmills), and that people should talk to their legislators.
Glen suggested that Town spending needs to be reduced, and asked if a property tax cap would be a solution. Clint thought a tax cap would hinder the running of the Town, since the road budget and other expenses have gone up. Basically we have a tax cap built into the annual meeting articles by the State LD #1, but the citizens vote every year to go over the cap.
Finally, the Board voted that Ron will draft a letter to the Town about an upcoming informational meeting, and Carol will call Mike Rogers to see when he can be there. Ron would like to prepare a formal presentation, with figures on a display board.
CORRESPONDENCE: Notice received about a meeting on TABOR and the excise tax citizens initiative, Sept. 9 at 6 PM.
Letters of resignation received from Planning Board members Nancy Bailey Farrar and Lillian Phillips. The Board voted to accept the resignations.
Ron moved, seconded by Carol, to swear in members of the Historical Society (in order to qualify them for insurance). Ron moved, seconded by Carol, to purchase accident insurance for Town volunteers for under $200 per year.
A letter was received from the State regarding potential re-organization of the State road classification system & construction standards.
TREASURERS REPORT: This weeks payroll warrant is $2495.53. The checkbook balance is $118, 682.93, with over half of that in checks waiting to clear. The A/P is $38,631.22 including Julys school payment.
Checks have been received for the Fire department totaling $14,664 related to the chemical spill in Knox, and the repair to the truck door.
Carol moved to accept the Treasurers report, seconded by Clint and passed. Carol moved, seconded by Clint, to sign the payroll and accounts payable (A/P) warrants. Motion passed.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Jerry reported that he rode around town with Ray Robbins from FEMA. Two small projects will be funded (a section of Goosepecker Ridge Rd. and Smithton Rd. We will have to do part of Goosepecker in order for FEMA to pay for the rest.
Lane Construction came to look at the projects. Bids will have to be based on the FEMA money. The cost of paving is a backbreaker; there may not be enough money to get the intersection of Goosepecker/Penney Road done. A long discussion followed about getting projects done properly with FEMA monies.
Jerrys contact info is 382-3010, or cell 322-5054. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hans Schmidt is the new owner of the old plow truck, bidding $700, and can take possession of it as soon as he pays the Town.
Jerry introduced Chris Casey to the Selectmen. Chris moved to Freedom from New Hampshire, and will be a plow truck driver this winter.
FIRE CHIEF: The claim has been paid for the hazardous spill on Rte. 137, some of which will be spent on new equipment. The FD has two new volunteers. The barbeque at Field Days was a success. The roofing job needs to be finished.
RECREATION COMMITTEE: Ron reported that getting volunteers was impossible; Cindy got no help at all preparing for Field Days. With such poor community support, Ron recommends canceling Field Days next year.
COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING COMMITTEE: The committee will meet Sept. 1 to prepare for the meeting with Fred Snow of KVCOG on Sept. 8.
MEMORIAL BENCH COMMITTEE: The committee will meet Monday, Aug. 31st at 6 PM.
OLD BUSINESS: Ron moved, seconded by Clint, to sign the 2009 Municipal Valuation Return.
Abatements on buildings have been signed by Jackie Robbins. The discount for taxes ends Sept. 5.
The Board voted to send a sympathy card to the Lee family, who lost Ingrid at age 42.
The next meeting will be Sept. 2, 2009.
Vote to adjourn at 8:00 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTORS
AUGUST 19, 2009
Meeting was called to order at 6:07 pm. Present were Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Carol Richardson (Selector), Clint Spaulding, (Selectman) Sallyann Hadyniak, (Acting Secretary), Erna Keller, (Treasurer), Jerry Spaulding, (Road Commissioner), Lorraine Overlock, Viola Greeley, Floyd and Sandra Babcock, Bill Pickford.
REVIEW MINUTES: A motion to accept the minutes from the August 12 meeting as written by Clint Spaulding and Carol Richardson second the motion. All in favor
There were questions by those that attended the meeting regarding the increase in their taxes and the Board did their best to explain why. The Board responded individually to Mr. & Mrs. Babcock, Viola Greeley and Lorraine Overlock.in order for them to understand. All outbuildings increased!
Bill Pickford came in later and had the same questions. Once again the Board explained in a manner that Bill can pass the information on. Bill suggested that there be a public meeting with a representative from the state in attendance so that the representative could explain about the state rules, etc. Another suggestion was that there be an informative meeting between the Board of Selectors and the people that dont understand why their taxes went up. They can attend the meeting and try to understand. the explanation. Bill stated that he understood the explanation and accepted it. Bill also questioned how much the windmill are being taxed, and Ron responded with the windmills and Central Maine Power tax bill is $157,807.00
Bill also stated that Nancy Bailey Farrar and Lillian Phillips resigned their positions on the Planning Board. The Board received letters to that effect but failed to read them due to the taxes overriding everything else. They will be read at the next meeting.
I just want to add that a good portion of the meeting was regarding the discussions of the increased taxes. A very lengthy discussion regarding taxes took up most of the meeting.
Ron Price made a motion that Jackie Robinson is to make all changes on all the buildings and Clint Spaulding seconds the motion. Motion made and carried, all in favor.
Ron Price read a letter from the town attorney Bill Kelly saying that the status of roads court case will be dismissed shortly and was surprised because the case would have gone to court this month. All parties have now signed the stipulations that must be filed today and those stipulations were, making sure that certain testimony that was given by the residents of the town be kept on record. Mr. Kelly has closed his file and wished the Board luck as they finish their terms of office.
Loretta Lewis living on 1075 North Palermo Road would like a hidden drive or school bus stop sign be put in. Ron Price said he would call her to let her know that she must contact DOT.
The total amount in the checkbook is $155,159.96 of which $28,009.00 is out of state checks and we have to wait one week for them to clear.
Erna reported that the payroll warrant is in the amount of $1,427.17.
A motion made by Ron to pay the payroll warrant in the amount if $1,427.17 and all were in favor.
The A/P warrant is in the amount of $35,344.42 less the school payment of $32,541.00 leaving a balance on the warrant in the amount of $2,803.42. Motion was made by Clint Spaulding to accept the a/p warrant in the amount of $2,803.42 and second by Ron Price. All were in favor.
Ron Price wanted to know the total of outstanding taxes for 2008 and Erna reported they are in the amount of $127,466.76.
Outstanding taxes for 2007 are $2,195.67
Outstanding taxes for 2009 are $757,255.75
A very lengthy conversation continued regarding tax money, etc. between the Board and Erna.
Jerry Spaulding reported that Scott Holmes scrubbed, power washed the Town Office, double wide and also weed whacked! Bo Spaulding is doing the mowing along the roadside; Jerry attended the FEMA meeting and is still confused! Ron Price stated he had and offer on the ole plow truck in the amount of $700.00 as is and Carol Richardson made a motion to accept his offer and Clint Spaulding second it. All in favor The truck is being sold to Hans Schmidt for $700.00 as is. He has two weeks to get it out of town.
Jerry spoke in detail about FEMA, small projects, large projects, etc. Jerry put Ron down as the other contact and he needs help. Small projects are Smithton Road, Pleasant Street, Greeley Road and Goosepecker Ridge. Pictures of damages must be taken and submitted. Jerrys head is spinning!
Ron Price suggested that Jerry contact Julian at FEMA and tell them he has jobs that qualify and put in for $135,000.00 and wants to know what his first step of action should be. If its considered all emergency, what will he do to get into that classification and if its non emergency, what needs to be done to get into that classification, the bottom line is get a hold of Julian and he will guide Jerry through it and if he cant there are people there that can.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE: Nothing to report
RECCREATION COMMITTEE: Needs volunteers! Ron volunteered to bring some chairs down to the park.
MEMORIAL BENCH COMMITTEE:
Carol had nothing to report because she was busy tending Arthur in the hospital.
Tax bills in the amount of $853.000.00 were sent out. (600 Bills)
Tax bills paid to date: $177,967.70 includes abatements, corrections, etc.
More discussion held. Questions, answers, etc.
Ron is looking into the signs for Sibley Road, he thought Jerry was going to do it but it wasnt done.
Next Meeting will be Wednesday, August 26, 2009 starting at 6 pm.
Meeting adjourned at 8:18 pm all in favor
Sallyann Hadyniak (acting Secretary)
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTORS
AUGUST 12, 2009
Meeting was called to order at 6:03 pm. Present were Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Carol Richardson (Selector), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Sallyann Hadyniak (Acting Secretary), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Jerry Spaulding (Road Commissioner), Scott Holmes (ACO), Clint Spaulding (son) Derek & Travis Spaulding (sons), Mike Smith and Willa.
REVIEW MINUTES: minutes from August 5 meeting were approved as written with the exception of Sallyanns name being scratched off as a volunteer of the Bench Committee. Clint Spaulding made a motion to accept the minutes and Ron Price second it. All in favor
Sallyann reported that the sign below the Dead End sign on Beaver
Ridge Road was missing. It read no parking in driveways, etc. Ron asked if the tilted Stop sign was fixed and Jerry Spaulding said no, and will be taken care of tomorrow. In the meantime, he was asked to see if he could find the missing smaller white sign.
Ron Price read correspondence from the United States Department of Commerce regarding the U. S. Census Bureau which included a form to be filled out. It was regarding a New Construction program and the board will look into it further.
Also from the Waldo County Emergency Management Disaster Recovery notifying board that there will be a Municipal Officials Public Assistance (PA) Meeting on Tuesday August 18 at 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm at the Waldo County EMA Office 45A Congress Street in Belfast.
Jerry Spaulding had a bid for salt in the amount of $70.00 per ton delivered and totaled $11,500.00. It is available at any time. He submitted a form to FEMA for $135,000.00 under the advisement of Craig Overlock and Clint Spaulding. He will also be attending the Waldo County EMDR meeting on August 18 in Belfast.
The cold patch is holding up well.
The FEMA package asked if we need public help. Jerry filled out the information and sent it in.
The Road Commissioner cannot fill out a form and submit it to FEMA asking for assistance on discontinued roads. It is up the residents on the discontinued roads to maintain them and possibly form a Road Association.
Ron brought up the subject of the truck. He stated that Ralph Sullivan offered to purchase the truck, plow and dust pan for $600.00. After a discussion regarding the price and parts, Clint requested a few days to think about it and will get in touch with Ray White who Jerry has not been able to contact. It was decided to wait one more week so Clint can get information.
Carol Richardson felt that if we can get $600.00 take the money and get rid of that truck that has been around for a long time. Its been out for bid with not bites and the most they were previously offered was $400.00. No one ever showed any interest in it and its been around for lots of years.
Ron Price made it clear that by next Wednesday the truck is going one way or another.
Clint and Jerry will do inventory on what is needed in the garage and on the trucks.
Mike Smith and Willa came in to discuss their taxes and Ron asked that they come back to the Town Office tomorrow night because he does not want to use up the time at a Selectors meeting. Ron suggested tomorrow night will be the assessors meeting. starting at 6:00 p.m. Mike made an offer to the fire department regarding an old truck that the fire department might be interested in burning or training. They just want to donate it to the town there arent any fees involved. They then left the meeting.
Erna reported that the payroll warrant is $1,289.10. The checkbook balance is $56,728.05. Clint made a motion to accept the payroll amount and Ron second it. Motion made and carried. All in favor
A motion to accept the A/P warrant in the amount of $41,082.93 was made by Ron (this included the adjustment to the $150.00 of $128.94 to Erna and the $100.00 voided duplicate amount) Clint second the motion. Motion made and carried. All in favor
On the A/P warrant several charitable donations were listed. A check was received from the State of Maine for Veteran Exemption for 2008 n the amount of $633.00.
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER:
Scott Holmes received his certification last week from the state and can now write out summons, has a co pilot and does not need a deputy anymore.
Scott has issues with the resident on 49 Carey Lane. Resident claims his dogs are never off of his property and Scott said he has seen them off the property before becoming CEO and since. The resident has two court cases coming up in August that Scott will be attending.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE: Clean nothing to report.
MEMORIAL BENCH COMMITTEE:
Carol Richardson reported that she has been busy with taxes and will try to get more volunteers beside Lorraine Overlock, Viola Greeley. She also reported that Ron Price volunteered and that it was in the paper looking for volunteers and she will get a meeting set up pretty quick in order to get the bench site set up.
There was a discussion on the handicap ramp for the trailer and Carol Richardson stated that Dennis Robbins went to two places and found that Viking was the cheapest. The materials would cost $1,875.00 and he would charge $15.00 per hour to put in handicap ramps (two) on the double wide etc... After a discussion regarding the double wide, doors, ramps. and lawn mower it was decided to put it on the agenda for the next meeting and look it over to see what the consensus will be.
Ron did some research regarding the signs and found out that the Sheriffs department nor do the police post the signs on the road. It is the job of the DOT. Ron will continue to keep looking. for further information.
Carol received a call regarding Ron Luhn who has waterfront by the mill. and discussed the property and checked out the maps. She also presented the Selectmen with a list of supplements and abatements of which all three selectors signed. Ron and Clint also agreed that Jackie Robins be at the meeting tomorrow night.
Ron made a motion to have two 25 MPH signs on Sibley Road half way up and 2 signs saying Children at Play. Carol second the motion. Motion made and carried. All in favor
A DISCUSSION REGARDING WAGES AND STATE WAGES WAS HELD.
Scott Holmes reported that there has been an outbreak of a virus similar to the West Nile virus and is effecting horses. It had been reported in Troy and a horse had to be put down. Ron stated that the horses can be inoculated for it.
Carol made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:35 pm second by Ron, motion made and carried, all in favor.
Next meeting August 19, 2009, 6 pm.
Sallyann Hadyniak, acting Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES /FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
JULY 22, 2009
The meeting was called to order by the Chairman at 6:03 PM. Present were Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Scott Holmes (ACO), Sallyann Hadyniak, Cindy Abbot (Town Clerk), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte.)
REVIEW MINUTES: Carol asked that girls (4th paragraph, page 3) be changed to boys, meaning the Hadyniak twins. Ron moved, seconded by Clint to accept the minutes as corrected. Motion passed.
Clint moved, seconded by Ron, to revisit the discussion about pay for common labor. Clint felt that $8 should be enough, and amended his motion add that starting pay for common labor should be $8 per hour.
Ron disagreed, suggesting that is not enough for one-time jobs. Clint pointed out that Public Works Dept. should be in charge of this hiring and contracting. Vote failed, so pay for common labor goes back to the $10/hr. decided at the July 17 meeting.
Clint moved to discuss and determine if the July 17 meeting was legal, not being posted according to Freedom tradition. Motion failed with no second.
Discussion followed about the proper requirements for posting, with no agreement reached.
Carol moved to change the Selectmens meetings to every Wednesday, seconded by Ron, and passed. The Secretary mentioned that this change would have to be posted.
Ron moved to go into executive session according to MRSA 405 (6) to discuss a personnel issue. The session lasted 10 minutes and no decisions or votes took place.
CORRESPONDENCE: Scott Holmes ACO expense allowance has been used up by the costly rabies shots. Clint moved, seconded by Carol, to take Scotts mileage from the $250 deputy ACO pay (Tina resigned). Motion passed. Had we known, less expensive rabies shots are available from the Workplace Health program at Seton in Waterville.
Carol reported that someone is using the dumpster at the boat landing for their personal trash. Carol presented a letter she wrote for the Selectmen to sign demanding a $50 fine from the person, or the Sheriff will be notified. Clint moved to sign the letter, seconded by Ron, and passed. [letter attached]
A supplemental tax bill is going out for $364, and possibly another one.
TREASURERS REPORT: The payroll warrant is $1623.86 this week, with a checkbook balance of $24,458.69. The A/P warrant is $4040.39.
Two checks were received from MRS totaling $8672.83. The ACO account is over budget because of the rabies shots coming to $1278.21, and some other accounts are over budget (noted in the folder). We are behind two school payments.
Jackie Robbins took photos of a couple of buildings, and found the problem with the TRIO program, who helped Carol with it. Jackie advised not to commit taxes until the glitch is fixed. Ron would like TRIO to come to the office; this program has a history of problems.
New figures show about a 15.6 mil rate. The Selectmen reviewed the proposed tax commitment and discussed how the figures were arrived at.
Carol said she hoped they could sign the commitment on July 29 and send out the tax bills August 4.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Jerry went over the needed road repairs with a contractor, and discussed the problem of water running under the paved portion of Goosepecker Ridge Rd.
Jerry asked if questions about the fire truck for sale can be referred to Jim Waterman. (Yes).
Jerry is waiting for the loader to be repaired. The 164 tons of salt is ordered. Two thousand yards of sand is needed; bids need to go out by mid August so the sand pile can be up by the end of September.
ACO: Scott needs summonses. He was told he can order them from Hutchins printers, or get them from the Sheriff.
FIRE DPEARTMENT: The Fire Chief needs 6 bundles of shingles to finish the roof, and needs a hole dug to bury the old shingles.
OLD BUSINESS: Carol presented a sketch for placement of the Memorial Veterans benches, and said she will appoint a committee of veterans, Historical Committee members, and citizens to work on this project. Clint said we have to get the benches, and mark the plan on the ground.
Regarding a ramp to the new building, Carol reported that Dennis Robbins charges $15/hr., and quoted $1800 for pressure treated lumber & materials. Clint said the Selectmen need to hold off on any more spending on the building, and that he wants to keep the offices in the Town Office to avoid having to heat the building.
Carol moved, seconded by Clint, that the Select Board hereby agrees to execute the Stipulation of Dismissal drafted as of July 13, 2009, conditioned upon acceptance of all parties to sign the same Stipulation. Motion passed with two votes in favor; Ron recused himself.
Carol suggested that legal depositions stay on record in the event of a future
NEW BUSINESS: None
Next meeting will be July 29, 2009
Vote to adjourn at 8:20 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
JULY 17, 2009
The meeting was called to order at 6:03 PM by Chairman Price. Present were: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Committee), Sallyann Hadyniak, Sandra Gould (Health Official), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Glen Bridges (Secretary). Clint Spaulding absent.
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from July 8 were approved as written.
CORRESPONDENCE: Jay Guber received a letter from the head of DEP, representing Gov. Baldacci, saying that removal of solid waste is the generators responsibility (regarding Skidgels). [letter attached]
Carol received a memo from MMA about an excise tax worksheet.
The volunteer fire department needs their insurance renewed.
Harris from TRIO has told Carol that she needs training on the assessors software. Discussion followed about the problem of finding errors, indicated by zeros, in the TRIO program. Jackie Robbins was raising outbuildings by 1.25 %.
TREASURERS REPORT: The Treasurers report is attached because Erna expressed concerns that she wanted reflected in the minutes. Erna wants to work out with Selectmen a way to be sure they are scrutinizing her figures for payroll, A/P warrant, etc.. A meeting was scheduled for Tuesday July 21 at 6 PM with Erna and the Selectmen to address her concerns.
Erna explained that she is asking the auditor to come and work with her on the 2006 audit, and that instead of spending unnecessary money ($13,410) to do double the work reconciling TRIO with QuickBooks, only TRIO will be used for the 2006 audit. Erna is still waiting for the updates from the auditor. Carol said a normal audit should cost a town $3000.
Erna also asked about two time cards from Carols granddaughters, and how much to pay them. Carol wants to pay them $10.00/hour. (Minimum wage is $7.25)
The payroll warrant this week is $1383.03. The A/P warrant is $45,334.51. Subtracting the school payment of $31,947 leaves a warrant total of $13,387.51. Balance in the checkbook will be $9693.01.
Erna also asked the Selectmen to adopt a policy and rules for using purchase orders by all town entities.
A long discussion followed about the community service work done by the Hadyniak twins and Carols granddaughters, and the idea of paying two of them. Carol argued that her granddaughters should be paid the same as election clerks ($10.00).
Ron moved to pay them $8 per hour, but withdrew his motion when Glen reminded Carol that she has a conflict of interest here, and shouldnt vote or be part of the discussion. Carol proceeded to argue further that her granddaughters worked very hard, and gave examples of other common labor pay that she thinks her granddaughters deserve. Erna pointed out that Kathy Kershaw earns $10/hr. after years at the job.
Carol said that washing the outside of the double-wide will be community service, so will not cost any money.
Carol asked how much Sallyann will be paid for helping Carol. Ron replied that he thought Sallyann was volunteering.
Carol suggested the Board needs to vote on a figure for pay for all common labor, and that way she could vote.
Ron then moved to pay $10 for any common labor, seconded by Carol and passed. Ron added that from now on the Select Board must decide on pay before someone is hired.
Ron moved to pay the A/P warrant for $13387.51, seconded and passed.
Ron moved to pay the payroll warrant for $1383.03, seconded and passed.
HEALTH OFFICIAL: Sandra Gould introduced herself, and her duties as the new town health official were discussed.
1. Report to the Board about health alerts.
2. Making the Selectmen aware of residents at risk, elderly or sick and unable to function.
3. Inspecting any health hazards on Freedom properties; condemning
properties when necessary.
The swine flu was discussed; Sandra considered the media attention as exaggerating the danger of this flu.
COMP. PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave Bridges reported that the committee met with Fred Snow on July 14th, and meetings were scheduled for Aug. 4 and Sept. 8. Unfortunately there were no folding chairs in the room, so Fred had to stand. Carol said she had borrowed them and Scott hadnt removed them when she asked, so they were in her van for 4 days.
OLD BUSINESS: On property taxes, Carol has worked with Mike Rogers and come up with a mil rate of about 15.8. She is waiting for a figure to assess above-ground tanks. The turbines are valued at nearly $9.8 million and CMP lines valued at $1,148,347. Without this project, the mil rate would be 19.8. Homestead will be reimbursed at 100% this year.
Carol has most of the proof-reading done on property cards. The commitment can be signed July 22nd. Tax bills can go out July 24th.
Jay Guber asked if Nickerson is going to come back to dig a hole to bury the shingles, and Carol wants him to check the level of the building, and erosion on the new bank.
Carol wants to replace three doors on the new building, and to start Dennis Robbins on building the ramp. Also, it was questioned if Dennis has liability insurance.
The Hadyniak twins will be cleaning the outside of the building for community service as soon as Jerry has time to help with the power sprayer.
NEXT MEETING: Meetings scheduled for July 22 and July 29th.
Carol asked if she can hire help for proofing property tax cards. Ron asked how much more help she will need, and Carol estimated 6 hours Monday and another six hours Tuesday. Ron moved to authorize Carol to hire help from Sallyann for up to 20 hours. Seconded, and passed.
Motion to adjourn passed at 7:20 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM SELECTMENS MEETING
JULY 8, 2009
Meeting called to order at 6:05 PM. Present were: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Sallyann Hadyniak, Glen Bridges (Secretary), Jerry Spaulding (Road Commissioner), Jay Guber (CEO), and Bill Kelly (Town attorney).
Ron moved to go into executive session pursuant to MRSA 406(6), Title 23-3028 to discuss the dismissal of the lawsuit regarding status of roads. Carol seconded, motion passed. Ron did not participate.
Bill Kelly announced that Clint will participate by speaker phone. Kelly anticipates no need for any vote, just discussion. The session lasted ten minutes.
REVIEW MINUTES: Minutes from June 24 were approved with corrections.
TREASURERS REPORT: The payroll warrant this week is $1297.18. The checkbook balance is $21,650.67.
This weeks A/P warrant totals $54,686.67. Subtracting the June school payment of $31,947 and a bill that is being questioned from the auditor for $8310, the Accounts Payable warrant this week will be $14,429.67, leaving $7221 in the checkbook.
Discussion followed about the auditors bills; the 2005 audit is turning out to cost $13,410, well over the expected amount. The auditor said he had to do double the work comparing TRIO to Quickbooks.
Carol moved, to pay the A/P warrant of $14,429.67 and the payroll warrant of $1297.18. Ron seconded the motion; passed.
Carol moved to accept the Treasurers Report, seconded and passed.
CEO: Jay received a letter of approval from DEP regarding Freedoms amendments to the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance, requiring the deletion of one word.
Jay reported that Steve Bennett has approval for a pond, no permit required, and was granted a permit for a pool building. The permit is in place for the Town to fill in the proposed area at the park. A harvest notification was received for Jason Dimmetts 4+ acres on Greeley Road.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Jerry reported he bought insulation from Macs Hardware. Matt Lee is coming Friday to install the culvert on Mitchell Road, with an expected cost of under $1100. Dana Roberts is coming Friday to work on equipment. Jerry has Mark Whittaker and Scott Holmes ready to start brush cutting. The Selectmen agreed that they should get started; a chipper can be rented later on.
Coming up are the cold patch, road repairs, and sand pile. Jerry needs to know how much salt is needed, because if we order it from KVCOG, we need to order it by the end of the month.
Carol asked Jerry to come in Thursday or Friday to write up the ad for bids on the truck for her.
RECREATION COMMITTEE: A lot of Rec Committee equipment has been moved out to the new building, along with the voting booths. The Hadyniak twins worked on cleaning and moving for community service.
Jerry suggested the Selectmen talk to Nick Nickerson about problems with the building of a door sprung, and a separation in the roof. There are no locks. Discussion followed about having a locksmith put in locks that match the office door.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE: On July 14 there will be a meeting with the committee and Fred Snow.
OLD BUSINESS: Ron will meet with the Memorial Bench committee; measurements have to be taken and a plan drawn up.
The Selectmen approved the library idea. Glen reported that she has volunteers to build shelves, and she will get to work on the project in the fall.
Ron asked if there is any information from Mike Rogers about taxing CMPs new lines. Carol replied that Rogers says the assessed value is $96,000 per mile on lines. Carol has counted 45 new poles, CMP counts 26. Ron suggested the Selectmen/Assessors count the poles and measure the mileage and tax CMP for whatever is determined.
Carol reported that there has been a flaw in the TRIO outbuilding code that has caused a delay on tax bills.
Clean-up day was budgeted at $2600, but cost $3951, $900 of that to set up the 6 dumpsters. Carol suggested using another company. Jerry pointed out that our loader helped a lot with costs by compressing the trash, and that Sullivans would have been paid for the scrap metal. Jerry has an idea for using a trailer next time that is already in Town.
NEW BUSINESS: Jerry asked how the purchase order system will work; should we have an amount over which a purchase order is required? Dave Bridges suggested that purchase orders be kept at the businesses the Town frequents the most, for previously determined amounts, then each purchase is charged against that. Jerry suggested Keays, Freedom General, Buxtons, Viking, Thorndike Auto Parts, and others. This requires planning ahead.
Ron moved that the Selectmen should meet with Erna, list the businesses and establish amounts for purchase orders. Carol seconded, passed.
Next Selectmens meetings: Friday July 17th, and Wed. July 22nd, 6pm
Respectfully submitted, Glen Bridges (Secretary)
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM SELECTMENS MINUTES
JUNE 24, 2009
Meeting called to order at 6:02 PM, with the following present: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Jim Waterman (Fire Chief), Scott Holmes (ACO), Tim Biggs, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte.), Sallyann Hadyniak, Chris Spaulding, and Glen Bridges (Secretary).
REVIEW MINUTES: Minutes from June 10 were approved with one correction.
CITIZENS ISSUES: None
CORRESPONDENCE: The final 2005 audit is in, and the Board was agreeable to Carols suggestion to give copies to the 2005 Board of Selectmen and Treasurer. The Town ended up owing monies to the Fire Dept. and Historical Society that werent transferred in 2005.
A discussion followed about an error (overpayment) in Cemetery accounts. Carol moved, seconded by Clint, to authorize Erna to pay all the interest from the perpetual care account to the Smithton Cemetery Association by the end of July. Motion passed.
According to the DEP, some changes will be required in Freedoms new Shoreland Zoning Ordinance. Carol suggested filing this letter until more information becomes available. Another letter from DEP concerned damage to a stream on the Ronnie Littlefield property.
The Board reviewed a legal document received from Bennett et als lawyer which states that the lawsuit involving the roads to Beaver Ridge is withdrawn, and the status of the roads will remain the same as before the suit was filed.
ACO: Scott reported he received complaints of loose dogs at Robert Muelmans, and served him a summons on June 21st to appear in court.
Scott asked if the Board would support him carrying pepper spray in case of vicious dogs, as suggested in his training session. The Selectmen agreed.
FIRE CHIEF: Jim Waterman inquired if the Board has received an agreement for IMAT training yet. (Not yet).
Jim encouraged the Selectmen to review prices for purchase of winter heating oil.
The truck door replacement is here; the cost (deductible) should come out of the FD Capital Improvement Account.
Jim reported that he needs to purchase 8 new SCBA air tanks to avoid the problem of all 16 tanks expiring at the same time. Jim would like to buy 2 at a time ($800 each) out of the Capital Improvement Account.
New turn-out gear is needed for new volunteers, the pants cost $700.
Clint moved, seconded by Carol, to authorize the Fire Chief to take large purchases from the FD Capital Improvement Account. Motion passed.
Jim asked where the camp is on Maple Lane, and advised that he should be informed of any new roads because he is in charge of naming roads (unless someone else wants to take it over) Carol thought that meant only roads with mailboxes, but Jim explained that it means any road because of 911 emergency access. The Board confirmed that Jim should continue being in charge of naming roads and numbering addresses. Discussion followed about the responsibility of keeping lanes, or private roads, clear and open for access belonging to the owner. Several private roads are currently in need of brush/foliage cutting.
Jim requested that the Board rescind its vote regarding his grant application for a new firehouse because the lot in question is not for sale. Ron moved to rescind that vote, and to authorize Jim to apply for the grant to remodel the present fire station, seconded by Clint and passed with Carol abstaining.
Jim asked if a minimum bid will be set for the 64 pumper truck. Carol requested Jim write out the details about the truck for her.
Lastly, Jim received a phone call from a financial institution related to a grant, inquiring about the status of our audits. We have to show credit worthiness.
HEALTH OFFICIAL: Clint will contact her to come to a meeting. Carol will speak to Cindy to find out how to get the health updates from the Maine Center for Disease Control sent to our new Health Official. Glen suggested we should be kept informed about the new swine flu, which Ron said is up to 72 cases in Maine.
TREASURER: Erna reported that for the week of June 18 the payroll was $2090.93. The Town should be reimbursed $672.79 for the school budget election. The A/P is $49,571.28 minus the school payment (not paid) of $31,947, leaving $17,624.28. Checkbook balance will be $14,541.07 before paying the final $5000 to Nick Nickerson.
This week the payroll is $5447.78, the checkbook balance is $48, 792.07. The Accounts Payable warrant is $37,257.49. A check was received from MRS for $4942.30. [Reports attached]
Erna asked if the Board wants to apply for credit cards from Sams, and Home Depot (to buy gutters, down spouts, etc.). Ronald and Clint both prefer to go to a system of purchase orders, and think the town should not have credit cards.
Ron asked Erna if we have a sweep account with Key Bank. We do. Erna reported that Key Bank charged the Town $300+ in service fees; she called them and convinced them to waive the fees and return the money to our account.
Erna reported that there is a balance still in Bangor Savings of over $7000 with a number of old checks still outstanding. Key bank balance is about $11,000. The selectmen authorized Erna to transfer $7000 from Bangor Savings to Key Bank.
Carol asked Tim is we had an article in the March Town Warrant to pay the 2% discounts on property taxes? We did for this year, but not back in 05.
Carol moved to pay the A/P of $37, 257.49, seconded by Clint and passed.
The upcoming lien notices were discussed.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Clint spoke to Jerry Spaulding. Several tires and refrigerators were left at the clean-up day site before Jerry got there, so the fees were not paid.
Jerry will call DigSafe tomorrow for a culvert on Mitchell Road.
Ron asked if brush cutting and grass cutting are on hold for now. (Yes)
Ron mentioned the need for patching potholes, and the Board agreed to authorize Jerry to buy a load of patch for $400-500. Clint suggested buying a lot since it doesnt go bad.
CEMETERY COMMITTEE: Carol bought a thank you card to send to Jon Willette in appreciation for his volunteer work mowing the cemeteries.
COMP. PLAN COMMITTEE: The committee met June 12th.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY: New doors have been installed on the old meeting house, and siding is going on.
MEMORIAL BENCH COMMITTEE: The group met June 16th and decided to locate the benches on the east side of the Town Office near the flagpole. Carol suggested the need for a sketch of a plan. Ron thought if it could happen quickly, Nickerson could get it done while he is still at the Town Office working on the trailer site.
Clint moved that the Selectmen take it from here, and figure out how to install the benches and a future monument. Motion was seconded by Ron, and passed with Carol abstaining.
OLD BUSINESS: None.
Carol reported the Assessors met with the State Property Tax Division and Mike Rogers on June 23. New evaluation figures [attached] have been proposed which will bring the Town to 84% of the State evaluation. The new figures have to be voted on and faxed to Mike Rogers. We have to be at 90% 93% in order to be reimbursed 100% for Homestead exemptions. Taxation of windmills and CMP were discussed, and Mike Rogers will research questions on taxing CMPs new lines. Fairpoint has to pay property taxes on buildings, but not on equipment.
Carol reported that she has given Jackie Robbins 4 pages of properties to justify her assessments. The TRIO system is having a problem that wont let Jackie correct figures. Carol pointed out that for $1500, Jackie should be doing the property sketches, taking pictures of buildings, and making necessary changes. Rogers said Jackie should be coding all the commercial properties so they dont affect our ratio. It was suggested that rental income properties also be coded & taxed commercial.
Ron reminded the Board that Jackie Robbins was only hired to assess buildings, not land, so that part is the Assessors responsibility.
Clint asked if we could get started on assessing new buildings/additions earlier next year, before April, using the list of building permits from Jay Guber.
Carol moved, seconded by Clint, to accept the new land assessment figures. Passed.
Glen Bridges proposed an idea for the Board to think about: that a space in the new building be considered for a small Town library, and she would volunteer to take on the project. Carol suggested space in the Town Office might also be considered.
The Board approved a new agenda format proposed by the Secretary.
The next Selectmens meeting is July 8, 2009.
Motion to adjourn passed at 8:33 Pm.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
1. Statement from Board about taxes.
2. Treasurers report
3. Approved new land evaluation figures.
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING
JUNE 10, 2009
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Price at 6:03 PM.
Present: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Sallyann Hadyniak, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte.), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Jay Guber (CEO).
REVIEW MINUTES: Clint Spaulding moved to approve the minutes from June 3 and place on file, seconded by Carol and passed.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Jay Guber asked about patching roads. Carol replied that we have to wait until property tax payments start coming in. The Emergency Management Director (EMD) should record what road work is needed in case there is any storm damage; then we can apply to FEMA for funds.
FIRE DEPT: Carol reported that the wires on the corner of the Town office were torn down by a construction truck, so phones were out temporarily. Repairs cost will be taken care of by Nickerson.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Most of the road signs have been put up. Maple Lane needs to be put on a tree because of ledge preventing a posthole being dug on that corner.
CEO: Jay Guber reported that he toured the Freedom dam and bridge with Amy Lemmelin from DEP. Jay recommends installing a hand rail along the narrow bridge, and noted that there is erosion at the dam. Jay granted permits to Justin Overlock (CMP hook-up) and Tom Clay to replace a shed. Jay will be on vacation from June 23 July 10; Dave Schofield will fill in.
Discussion about Jay becoming certified for land use: Jay explained he does not need to be certified until Freedom has a land use ordinance, but currently the State is not offering any programs anyway.
Jay has had no response from Collins or Snowe regarding the Skidgels situation. Ron suggested Jay re-send his original letter.
COMP. PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave Bridges reported that he meets with Fred Snow this Thursday, and the Comp. Plan Committee will meet Friday at 6 PM.
OLD BUSINESS: Regarding the issue of the memorial benches, Carol thinks the Town should decide where to locate them, not the Recreation Committee. She noted that the Mitchell monument was put in the wrong place; it was supposed to be on the area covered with crusher dust. Carol said there also was a $600 copper silhouette that was never delivered. Discussion followed about locating the benches and elm trees. Dave suggested setting up a workable process since this has not been settled over several years. A committee was formed with Sallyann as Chair, and members suggested were Carol R., Viola Greeley, Lorraine Overlock, Cindy Abbott and Jerry Spaulding.
A long discussion took place about the road access to Beaver Ridge. Ron has spoken with the abutters of the Sibley Road extension, explaining that if they want the road repaired, and drainage over the Keating property corrected, they need to drop their lawsuit. They replied they would drop the lawsuit if the Selectmen would insure that Beaver Ridge Rd. would become a private road. Discussion followed about the status of that road, Mr. Kellys opinion, and the possible cost of a lawsuit to the Town.
The Selectmen listed the abutters to that road who would be affected if the road were to be private above Olie Wards.
Ron asked how the Board feels about closing the road to the public. Clint and Carol replied that the Town would have to vote, but Carol added that as long as the lawsuit is in the courts, the Town cannot address it. Ron repeated his concern about saving the Town an estimated $20,000.
Jay Guber pointed out that town residents have historically used Beaver Ridge lands for recreation. Dave Bridges suggested the Selectmen consider the long-term best interests of the Town into the future. Carol pointed out that public safety (emergency access) can become a problem on privately maintained roads. Jay asked the cost of fixing the Sibley extension, and Ron estimated the cost of repairing the road at $16-20,000 (including re-routing drainage). If the lawsuit is not withdrawn, then BRW may repair only the road.
NEW BUSINESS: Jay Guber asked when tax bills are coming out; Carol replied as close to July 1 as possible.
Mike Rogers will be meeting with Assessors to review taxation of the wind turbines. Discussion followed about taxing wind turbines.
Dave Ledew called Carol to request a list of real estate sales for 2008. A long discussion followed about valuations on waterfront, other properties, and swimming pools. Jay questioned the fairness of recent evaluations.
Assessors will meet June 23 with Mike Rogers, time will be announced that day and Carol will call Clint and Ron.
Selectmen meet June 24th.
Motion to adjourn at 7:28 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
JUNE 3, 2009
Meeting called to order at 6:03 PM. Present: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Sallyann Hadyniak, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Committee Chair), Jim Waterman (Fire Chief), Arthur Richardson, Erna Keller (Treasurer), Jay Guber (CEO), Jerry Spaulding (Road Commissioner), Tim Biggs.
REVIEW MINUTES: Minutes from May 20 were reviewed and approved as written.
TREASURERS REPORT: Carol moved, seconded by Clint to sign a special warrant for $10,000 to pay Nick Nickerson for the cement slab.
The payroll warrant for the week of May 23 was $2458.46. This week the payroll warrant is $1252.97. Checkbook balance is $70,791.35. The A/P this week is $49, 913.16, including Aprils school payment. Weve received GA reimbursement for Feb. 09 of $184.95, URIP fourth quarter of $6636, Black Hills income of $38.34, and Knox for FVFD for $2000.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Dave Bridges reported that Gov. Baldacci and a congressional committee met with the Secretary of Energy to promote Maine as a center for research and development for alternative energy and manufacture of wind turbine parts. This could bring $20 billion into Maine and provide 15,000 jobs.
CORRESPONDENCE: Carol reported a letter from a Benton citizen who wants to search for metals on the closed dump site, but no such activity is permitted.
CEO: Jay reported that he took Amy Lemelin to the firehouse to look at the site proposed for burying old roof shingles; the site was approved. She also walked around the Skidgels site, and remarked that it is a situation that needs to be addressed. Jay and Amy also were guided to a classic vernal pool by Glen Bridges, located off the Mitchell Road. Glen described how two kinds of salamanders will migrate on the same spring night to lay their eggs in the same vernal pool where they were born. Mapping of vernal pools is voluntary by the property owners.
A building permit was granted to the Town for the cement slab for the double-wide trailer from SAD 3.
Avian Haven was given a permit for a flying owl building.
More calls have come in regarding Sandy Pond property for sale.
Ron inquired if a permit is needed for a cover-all shelter. Yup.
FIRE CHIEF: A new grant was announced by the US Dept. of Homeland Security, funded by federal stimulus money. No mandatory contribution is required from the Town. The funds may not be used for purchase of land.
Jim has had an estimate done for making improvements to the firehouse to use for the grant. Carol moved, seconded by Clint, to authorize Jim to apply for the grant. Passed.
Following discussion about whether to apply for monies to improve the existing firehouse or to build a new one, Carol moved, seconded by Clint to write the grant for a new more centrally located fire station. Passed.
Jim reported that a fire truck compartment door was damaged. The replacement door will be $1800, to be installed by the fire department at no cost. The insurance claim has been made.
Material will be delivered for roof repairs.
The 1988 GMC Model 4000 fire truck needs to be put out to bid along with the Town plow truck.
Training sessions are coming up for new Selectmen, required by NIMS (National Incident Management). Craig Overlock will have information.
Olga Rumney, at 338-3870 (EMA office) will have the class schedule.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: The other truck to be put out to bid is the 1988 GMC 7000 plow truck with Swenson sander, plow and wing, as is. The Town should reserve the right to reject any bids.
The road signs are assembled and ready to be put up.
ACO: Ron moved, seconded by Carol, to go into executive session as authorized by MRSA 405 (6), title 23 3028. The session lasted five minutes and no decisions were made. Ron inquired about Tina Freeman being proposed as Animal Control Officer deputy. This is so that she can go to court regarding outstanding dog warrants because Scott is not yet certified. Carol moved, seconded by Clint to appoint Tina as deputy ACO.
HEALTH OFFICER: Clint will talk to the new Health Officer about coming to a meeting.
RECREATION COMMITTEE: Raffle tickets are still being sold to raise money for a new backstop.
COMP PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave reported that a contract has been signed with KVCOG, and gave the contract to the Town, with copies for the committee.
OLD BUSINESS: The Town has a draft copy of the 2005 audit. The final copy should be received soon. The 2006 audit is expected to happen a lot quicker; Carol already has much of that work done.
NEW BUSINESS: Beaver Ridge Wind has contracted with Works & Son to repair the upper 1000 of Sibley Road, and would like a letter from the Town assuring them that they do have the right to do this work. Ron read from the Roads Manual allowing improvement of a public easement. BRW has a plan/design that was agreed to and added to by the abutting landowners. Carol refused to sign any letter. Clint moved to meet with the abutters about the road plan and then respond to Beaver Ridge Wind with a letter. Ron seconded; motion passed.
Ron called the Superintendent of Schools office to inquire about the trailer lottery. The trailers are all different sizes: 28 x 54, 24 x 54, 24 x 60. Nick cant haul a 28 trailer in one piece, and had the slab all ready to pour, so now the Town will have to tell the school which one well take.
Clint moved, seconded by Carol, to pay the Accounts Payable warrant, including the April school payment. Passed. This will leave less than $20,000 in the account.
Carol moved, seconded by Clint, to pay the payroll warrant. Passed.
Carol talked to Mike Rogers, who asked for Ron to contact CES to request the 706 form to be filled out. The 706 forms are kept confidential. Rogers will then come to a meeting with the Assessors. Carol asked Rogers about the farm land tax category, and told that penalties will be levied for any misuse of land that benefits from these reduced property tax programs. Carol also discussed her assessment on mobile home lots, and her figures are justified.
Fairpoint Telephone has never been taxed for its lines and buildings & equipment. This question needs to be looked into.
The next Selectmens meetings will be June 10th and 24th.
Motion to adjourn at 7:35 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
MAY 20, 2009
Meeting was called to order at 6 PM. Present: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Scott Holmes (Deputy ACO), Jay Guber (CEO), Sallyann Hadyniak, Nick Nickerson, Erna Keller (Treasurer), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Committee), Jerry Spaulding (Road Commissioner), Glen Bridges (Secretary).
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Jay reported that Amy Lemelin from the DEP is coming to Freedom to inspect a stream at the end of Hardwood Lane that has been graveled over, and to look at the non-conforming dwellings on Sandy Pond.
A citizen has been in touch with DEP over concerns about the wood cutting on a 100 acre lot owned by Bobby Joe Nichols near Beaver Ridge.
Jay has been in touch with Collins, Snowe and Baldaccis office in an ongoing attempt to get help with the Skidgel property.
Jay will be out of town from June 22 to July 10.
EXECUTIVE SESSION: Ron Price moved to go into executive session pursuant to MRSA 405 (6), Title 23 3028, seconded by Clint, passed. Selectmen were in executive session from 6:12 to 6:24 PM.
Carol moved to hire Nick Nickerson to do the complete job of moving the SAD 3 double wide trailer to the Town office site. Clint seconded, motion passed.
Clint suggested that Ron meet with the Superintendent and tell him we will be moving our unit in one piece so we can get one with a steel roof.
Discussion followed about a rumor that some other towns are planning to sell the units they have reserved in violation of the agreement to use them for town business.
REVIEW OF MINUTES: Minutes from May 13 were reviewed and approved as corrected.
CORRESPONDENCE: Sullivans has reviewed the contract, which is good until March 2010, when it will go out to bid. His previous contract expired in March 2009.
Other correspondence concerned an emergency response workshop that will be forwarded to Jim Waterman and Craig Overlock.
ACO: Scott Holmes has been getting the required rabies shots for his Deputy Animal Control Officer job. The Town has received a bill for over $800 per shot. Ron agreed to call the doctors office about this excessive amount.
Scott relayed an incident about a stray cat. Our ACO did not want to deliver it to the shelter because she heard they had an outbreak of parvo, so Scott took the cat to the shelter and took precautions.
Michelle Haskell delivered a letter of resignation to the Selectmen, which was read aloud. Carol disputed numerous points in the letter.
Carol moved, seconded by Ron, to accept Michelles resignation. Clint suggested speaking to her in person. Motion passed, with Clint abstaining.
Carol moved to appoint Scott as acting ACO for the remaining 6 months of the year, seconded by Ron and passed. Discussion followed about Tina Freeman giving Scott some training, and if she would want to be Deputy ACO. Scott will work on getting certified. Carol will call Tina. Scott was directed to go ahead with the final rabies vaccination.
HEALTH OFFICIAL: Ron suggested the newly appointed Health Officer attend a meeting so that Selectmen can meet her.
TREASURER: Erna reported the payroll was $1390.79. The checkbook balance is $41,365.17. The A/P warrant is $36,722.05, including a school payment for $31,947, which would leave a checkbook balance of only $4643.12. Without the school payment, the A/P would come to $4775.05.
Erna was instructed to not pay the bill for rabies shots.
Checks were received from Municipal Review Committee for $881.66, and from Municipal Revenue Sharing for May for $9633,24.
Erna asked for a written policy on reimbursement for mileage for road crew employees who use their own vehicles.
Ron moved, seconded by Clint, to pay road department employees by the hour plus mileage when they use their own trucks pick up the chipper (or do other errands) for the Town, both to and from the job site, but not while on the job site. Passed with 3 votes. It was noted that the supervisor should approve any request for mileage reimbursement.
Erna informed the Selectmen about workshops for elected officials being held June 16 and Dec. 2.
Carol moved to sign payroll warrant, seconded by Clint, and passed. Carol moved to sign the A/P warrant of $4775.05, excluding the April school payment until next week, seconded by Clint, and passed. Carol moved to accept the Treasurers Report, seconded by Clint and passed.
COMP. PLANNING COMMITTEE: Dave presented the contract from KVCOG to write the Freedom Comp. Plan, The project has been assigned to Fred Snow, and will start June 1 if the contract is signed. Carol moved, with Clints second, to sign the contract to complete the project in 2 phases. Passed. Ron signed the contract.
OLD BUSINESS: Carol talked to Jackie Robbins about outbuildings and trailers being valued too low; Jackie raised the assessment 25% across the board. Jackie will meet with Carol to come up with a ratio on real estate sales. Carol has to pick up deeds in Belfast.
Figures have been received on value of business property by Beaver Ridge Wind and Paul Flynn. No 706 forms have been returned.
Carol reported that the Town needs to be valued at $45 million in order to reach 85% of the state evaluation. She estimates that the mil rate will be no less than 16.5. Ron added that he is planning to review all the figures.
Carol reported that she doesnt know what is happening with the audit. MMA has received a copy, but Freedom has not.
Tim Biggs, regarding the location of the new building, thought that it should be moved forward so that the doors line up. Discussion followed about how that would look, and if it would be possible to move the doorway. Clint moved, seconded by Ron, to keep the building on the planned site. Passed.
Tim felt that an effort could be made to get one of the better units, which are 14 & 15, 22A & B, and 23A & B. Clint and Ron will go over to talk to the Superintendent.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Jerry dropped off the culverts for Burnham Hill Rd, which will have to be closed down while the work is being done.
Ron reported that John Work will be moving his equipment up to the road above Sibley. They will re-build the road and ditching up to the gate.
Next Select Board meeting is June 3, then June 10 and June 24.
Motion to adjourn passed at 7:40 PM.
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
MAY 13, 2009
Meeting called to order at 6:02 PM by Chairman Price. Present: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman and Chair), Sallyann Hadyniak, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan committee), Clayton Larrabee, Jerry Spaulding (Road Commissioner), Jim Waterman, Glen Bridges (Secretary).
CITIZENS ISSUES: Tim asked if the specification of 16 of compacted gravel for the double-wide trailer pad would raise the building higher than our Town Office. Clint replied that it will be done so the buildings are level, or near level with each other.
CORRESPONDENCE: A letter was reviewed from the CEO and Selectmen to Mr. Gordon about getting a permit, being mailed certified. Another letter was reviewed authorizing Jay Guber to proceed with DEP and EPA about the Skidgel property as requested by Susan Collins office. Nine letters have to be signed by Selectmen in connection to the upcoming school budget vote.
Bids for the preparation work for the SAD 3 trailer were opened and read. Clayton Larrrabee, Lee Bros., Joe Thornley, Nick Nickerson, Littlefield Paving, WTW Earthworks, and Shamrock Logging all bid on parts or all of the job.
FIRE CHIEF: Jim reported that someone has been building campfires at night on the Sandy Pond dam. If anyone sees a fire there, they should call 911. The sign forbids fires. State police recently responded to a bonfire on the Rollins Rd., so they will come.
A house was lost to fire today on the Stickney Road near Lake St. George in Liberty.
The fire house roof needs a section replaced which has been leaking in several places. They plan to use volunteer labor to strip and bury old shingles, replace rotted boards, and put on new roofing shingles. Jim can get materials for $2700 from Hancock Lumber. Jim has $3238 left in his building maintenance budget after paying Robbins $261 for weather stripping the door. Carol moved to authorize the Fire Department to proceed with the Fire House roof repair, seconded by Clint, and passed. Carol also recommended that Jim contact Jay Guber about burying the shingles.
Jim asked for guidance on how to access the money to repair the roof; Carol replied that it is in his account.
The Fire Department grant is due next Wed., May 20, asking for $236,000. $175,000 of that would be 5% from the Freedom Fire Dept., and 95% from the federal government. Two vehicles would be removed from service.
OSHA rules now require any truck over 52,000 lbs. to be inspected, because of a lot of accidents with fire equipment nationally.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY: Jim reported that they are selling cookbooks. Dennis Robbins is putting clapboards on the old meeting house being restored. He now is waiting for work to be done on doors and windows to finish the clapboards.
Jim and Jerry discussed the idea of trading work, suggesting the Fire Dept. could help the RC with brush burning, and the RC could help the Fire Dept. bury the roofing shingles. Jim would rather not burn brush at the Town Garage; Clint suggested there would be room to burn, with the required 100 setback from the closed dump, on the west end of the old dump site.
FREEDOM FIELD DAY: Jim reported there will be a chicken barbeque at the Fire House, inside if there is rain. Carol added that the Recreation Committee has a band coming, so five meals will need to be provided for the band members.
There will be a memorial service for Herb Abbott this Saturday, May 16th at 11 AM, with a gathering following at the Grange Hall.
TREASURER: The payroll this week was $1666.42, including the ACO for last month. The A/P warrant this week is $6035.91, which will leave $23,170.12 balance in the checkbook. We do not have enough to pay the school payment, but will try next week. Carol moved, seconded by Clint, to sign and pay the payroll warrant and the A/P. Motion passed. Ron asked if the written report could be made clearer from now on by putting the final checkbook balance at the end of the report.
MISCELLANEOUS: Carol reported for the Town Office that Jerry Sullivan will be picking up 21 dumpsters in town on a separate day from regular trash pick-up. Clint thought this will be Mondays. Sullivan offered to let the Town inspect his trucks anytime.
Carol reported that the new school budget will mean only a small increase in Freedoms share of SAD 3, amounting to about $3500 this year and $3500 the following year.
Marlin leasing will be reimbursing about $260 for late fees and insurance fees they should not have charged us. This should pay next months phone bill lease.
Jim Waterman asked when bids are taken for Town property plowing and if sand near the Fire House door could be added to the bid request. Bids are taken in Sept. at the latest, and Clint added that he wont be bidding on the job this year.
TOWN CLERK, TAX COLLECTOR: Carol reported for Cindy that $70,988 worth of liens will be filed May 18th, 2009. Pre-lien tax payments totaled $29,000.
Other overdue real estate and personal property taxes come to about $29,200.
An abatement for Rick Martin was rejected because he didnt apply within the required 180 days.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Jerry Spaulding sought some guidance for brush cutting along roads. Discussion focused on the best way to get brushing done and which roadsides need work. Burning chipping, or just piling the brush, and hiring the whole job out were discussed. Clint said that last year Greeley and Smithton Roads were started. Jerry said the boat landing road, Sibley, and Raven Rd. need brushing. Overhanging branches on Sibley are hitting the bigger trucks. The Public Works Dept. has 3 sets of safety gear (chaps and helmets) for wood cutting, and can borrow more from the Fire Department. The consensus was to rent a chipper and four workers for 3 days and see how much can get done. Jerry can come back to the Selectmen if that isnt sufficient.
Jerry has $27,168 left in his summer roads budget of $29,000. There is $1500 budgeted separately for brushing, but will not be enough. Ron moved to authorize the RC to use an additional $1000 from the summer roads budget for brushing, for a total of $2500, seconded by Clint. Passed.
A letter has been received from the state about the damaged bridge on Mitchell Road. It needs to be blocked off for safety.
The old plow truck will be towed off its present location (on private property), and put out to bid. An offer of $400 was already made by a citizen, who is willing to pay that regardless of the bid amounts.
Craig Smith will be hired to help clean up at the garage. Jeff Lindsay will take our waste oil.
Jerry called DigSafe about cutting paving on the Bryant Road. The grader will be here at the end of the week.
CEMETERY REPORT: Jon Willette has cleaned up the Hutchins, Penney, Russell Road, and Davis cemeteries.
COMP. PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave Bridges reported that the committee met with the Planning Board on May 7. A contract with KVCOG is being reviewed.
OLD BUSINESS: None
NEW BUSINESS: The special Town meeting will be at the Grange May 14 at 7 PM.
Meeting dates were discussed for Select Board meetings, agreeing to meet weekly as possible so tax bills can go out July 1st. Ron moved, with second by Carol to meet:
May 20, June 3, June10, and June 24. Motion passed. May 27th is the SAD 3 school budget meeting, moderated by Ron, and June 9 is the school budget voting day.
Carol has started working on Tree Growth property cards.
Ron asked the Secretary to create a chart of the bids for the double-wide trailer site prep. The Board reviewed and discussed the bids, some of which were for part of the job. Lee Bros., Nickerson, and WTW included the moving of the unit. Littlefield, Shamrock, Thornley, and Clayton Larrabee were bidding on the gravel pad only, or just the cement.
The Board decided to call Nickerson to ask if his bid ($14,100) included loam, seeding and mulching, and preferred his bid for both price and the idea of moving the unit in one piece.
Clint suggested asking for a duplicate bid from Manny Raven, whose bid couldnt be found.
Sallyann inquired if the Select Board has written job descriptions and duties; the reply was affirmative for the Road Commissioner position.
Sallyann asked about Town finances, only having $23,000 in the checkbook, and spending more every year, and never having enough money at this time of year. Carol disagreed, stating that late school payments have only happened in the last five years; that the Town needs to raise and appropriate enough to pay the bills. Ron also disagreed, explaining the method for appropriating monies, and not appropriating certain funds such as excise taxes so that monies can accumulate in the general fund. If the Town applies every last cent every year to the tax commitment to keep taxes down, then you end up with a checkbook balance of zero. This is what has happened in Freedom. Carol read from past property tax commitment papers, demonstrating that for four years there were not enough taxes raised, and mistakes were made leaving amounts off the commitment form. This may have reduced taxes, but left the Town broke. Now we are paying for that.
After Ron excluded some of the excise from last years commitment, the Town was able to keep up with the school bills. Carol explained further that we should be in better shape next year, if we stay within the budget and residents pay their taxes, and calculate the commitment properly.
Clint mentioned the financial problems Montville had, which took several years of 20 mils of recover.
Carol said that people will complain about the mil rate, which may be 16.4 or 16.5, but thanks to the wind mills, and the value of the new CMP lines, the Town will be able to make up for the deficit. A long discussion followed about changes in this years valuation figures, and the new higher state evaluation of $50 million, which is figured on real estate sales.
Clint moved to adjourn, seconded by Carol, motion passed at 8:40 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING
MAY 6, 2009
Meeting was called to order by Chairman Price at 6:08 PM. Present were Erna Keller (Treasurer), Jerry Spaulding (Road Commissioner), Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Rusty Higgins, Scott Holmes, Craig Overlock (EMD), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Committee), Jay Guber (CEO), Nick Nickerson, Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Christopher Spaulding, and Glen Bridges (Secretary), Tim Biggs.
REVIEW OF MINUTES: Minutes from April 22 meeting, and recessed meeting April 29, 2009 were approved with two corrections.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Nick Nickerson attended to hear about the specifications for moving the SAD 3 double-wide trailer to the Town office site. Tim would like to see the specs and bids separated into three sections:
1. Hauling and compacting gravel.
2. Pouring concrete.
3. Moving and setting up trailer.
Ron read from a letter from the Superintendent with instructions on the removal process: The mover needs proof of liability insurance, the moving date is from June 16 to 26th. Towns will not be able to reserve a particular trailer; that will be decided by lottery and moving schedule. Towns will receive a bill of sale for $1. The contact at school is Leon Armstrong. The units come with oil tank, steps, and skirting. Towns that reserve trailers and do not follow through and move them will be required to reimburse SAD 3 for up to $5000.
A long discussion followed about the best foundation to specify for bids. The consensus was, with input from Tim, Clint, Nick and others: Specs will include a graded and compacted 32 x 68 gravel pad 16 deep. Section 2 of specs will require a 5 _cement slab using 3000 lb. cement, underlain by 6 mil plastic, 1 Styrofoam, and using 4 x 4 wire mesh, re-bar around the perimeter, and J bolts and hurricane tie-downs according to state requirements. Section 3 of the specs will be moving and setting trailer onto foundation.
Ron made the point that such a good quality foundation would accommodate an addition to the Town office whenever the trailer needs to be replaced. Craig suggested the Town will have to hire an electrician to hook up the wiring, and a heating technician to set up the oil tank. The skirting is in poor condition, and probably cant be used.
Discussion then focused on how high the trailer should be set up, on one cinderblock or two with stairs and ramp, but consensus was the lower the better for disability access. Nick said he would prefer to haul the building in one piece 24 wide, and then could set it right down on its steel beams. Carol will fax Nick the specifications.
Jay suggested excavating down to lower the site, but upon inspection, that didnt seem the best option, but Nick did point out that the paving will have to be cut out.
Tim guessed that this project will cost $6,500, and to finish, up to $10,000.
Scott Holmes asked if the Town will be fixing up the road to the boat launch. Clint thought to really fix (re-build) it would be too costly; consensus was to grade it. Ron moved to add no more than two loads of gravel and grade the road; Carol amended the motion to grade the Clark Rd. at the same time and seconded it. Passed.
CORRESPONDENCE: Steve Bennett sent a note requesting a copy of the TIF proposal, and copy of the Beaver Ridge project costs. Ron replied that there is no TIF proposal, and Carol said that 706 materials are confidential. Ron added that these records are not public until assessment has been completed.
APPEALS BOARD: Dave Bridges reported that the Maine Supreme court ruled in favor of the Freedom Appeals Board and the CEO in the Bennett et al appeal of the Superior court decision. He read from the court decision, which upheld Jay Gubers original decision and stated that there was no evidence of bias on the part of a board member.
Ron cited as an example of wasted money on these lawsuits, that three different surveyors were hired to survey and research the road history by the three parties, essentially paying three times for the same job.
In regard to the lawsuit over road status, Kelly received notice that Bennett et al is going ahead with that in court.
BI-CENTENNIAL COMMITTEE: Carol proposed a letter to the Town to recruit volunteers for the committee. Ron moved, seconded by Clint, to approve the letter. Motion passed.
BUDGET COMMITTEE: The committee needs to meet once before the special Town meeting. Carol will call Doug VanHorn.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Jay reported that he contacted Steve Anderson again about cleaning up the trailer site on Stevens Road. They are working on it.
Carol reported that a complaint was received about the trailer yard next to the Post Office, but that it is already being cleaned up.
Jay reported a permit application by a Mr. Vihman to build a residence on the site of a camp that burned down.
Prospective buyers for land on Sandy Pond call Jay with inquiries; he directs them to the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance and other ordinances online or in the Town office.
Jay has started calling congressional representatives about the Skidgel property issue. Olympia Snowes Bangor office asked for the Selectmen to write a letter authorizing Jay to have them look into the lien, debris removal, and to deal with the DEP and EPA. Ron moved to authorize Jay with a letter as requested, seconded by Carol, and passed.
Ron asked Jay to go through the Select Board with any communications between him and the owners of Skidgels.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE: A meeting with Mac Stocco and the Planning Board will take place May 7 at 6:30 PM.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE OFFICER: Carol, as GA officer, was audited for last year, and was asked to shred a lot of old records. Carol moved to adopt the 2009 guidelines for General Assistance, and to accept the 44 cents per mile for applicants for work related expenses. Clint seconded, and motion passed.
HEALTH OFFICER: Sandra Gould was appointed unanimously as Freedoms health official. She is a registered nurse.
RECYCLING DIRECTOR: In the past, the Town rented Herb Abbotts pickup truck and driver, and that Town insurance would cover that situation. Carol moved to leave the recycling arrangement the way it has been. Ron seconded, passed.
PUBLIC WORKS/ ROAD COMMISSIONER: Jerry Spaulding reported that he has cleaned the trucks and the garage floor, which turned up various containers of hazardous waste that he needs to know what to do with. Also, in the Town garage yard is an assortment of scrap metal. (Carol pointed out that there is some scrap metal at the Town office too.)
Jerry has plans to ride the Town roads with Clint tomorrow for an inspection and some education. He has changed the oil on truck #7, and found 6 of 10 grease fittings wouldnt take grease. He plans to change the oil on the other truck, and it was suggested to do that before storage and to replace grease fittings where he can.
Clint added that when the truck rolled over, he requested an oil change, but was told it didnt need it.
Ron suggested to put the 88 GMC truck out to bid. After discussion, it was suggested to wait on selling the scrap metal until prices go back up.
Jerry proposed that the Selectmen consider other mechanics in an effort to save money, but after discussion, the consensus was that Dana Roberts is the only one who can be depended on to come out on a winter night for emergency repairs, so the Town will stay with him.
Clint suggested, and Ron agreed with the idea of negotiating a flat rate for Dana to inspect the Town trucks, and possibly a lower hourly rate.
Jerry stated that he wants to start out his job as RC with accountability, with the Town trucks in as good condition as possible.
The pinion seal on the front axle of the loader is shot; Jerry asked if Ron would make an appointment with Ingrahams to fix that and go over the whole loader.
RECREATION COMMITTEE: There is a 50/50 raffle going on to buy a backstop for the ball field.
TREASURER: Erna reported that payroll was $1271.39 for this week. The A/P warrant is $38,718 including the SAD 3 payment, or $6771 if the school payment is not made. The checkbook balance is $33.987.90.
Ron moved to sign the payroll, seconded by Clint, and passed. Carol moved to sign the warrant of $6771 without the school payment, seconded by Clint, passed.
Discussion followed about the outstanding property taxes for 2008, amounting to $76,000, and about $60,000 for 07. The Town cant borrow money because of the overdue audits. Tax bills will have to go out ASAP after the June 7 school budget vote. Erna said that the Capital Improvement account is owed $50,000.
Carol reported that she has given the auditor all the account figures for 05 and 06. A long discussion followed about whether or not the Town owes money to the Fire Dept. from 2005, and also $2500 to the Historical Society. Jim Waterman says no. Carol thinks we do because Town income was $25,000 more than expenses, and that we owe that money to the Fire dept. The Fire Dept. Capital Improvement Account currently amounts to about $90,000. Erna explained that the confusion has to do with a grant, and how monies were deposited and paid out, and suggested waiting until the auditor has all the figures together. Ron asked when the audit will be received from the auditor, and Carol replied possible by the end of the week. Ron asked why the 2005 audit wasnt ever done; Carol replied that the 2004 audit wasnt done until 2006.
Carol figures the mil rate will be 17; Ron wants to go over the figures.
OLD BUSINESS: In reviewing the proposed articles for the special Town meeting, Clint moved to delete #9 (raise money for a used plow truck), seconded by Carol, and passed. Ron moved, seconded by Clint, to delete #5 (changing the pay year from the fiscal year to April 1 to March 31) after discussion and advice from Erna not to change it. Motion passed.
Selectmen agreed to recommend an amount of $20,000 to move the double-wide.
Carol will write the articles, and Ron will come in to check it over by noon tomorrow. The word Ordinance was added to article #2 (adopt new Shoreland Zoning), and article #4 was re-written for clarity.
Clint raised the subject of weekly trash pick-up, suggesting that it be put out to bid our contract with Sullivans is up. Carol suggested tabling this until the Selectmen can talk to Jerry Sullivan; that he be invited to the next meeting. Carol pointed out that our trash tonnage would decrease if we could be sure dumpsters, which are paid privately by residents who contract privately, are not being added to Town trash pick-up. Carol did speak to Sullivan, and he agreed to change the pick-up day for dumpsters. Carol suggested that the contract with Sullivans could be extended. Ron moved, seconded by Carol to extend the contract until March Town meeting. Motion passed.
Next meeting will be May 13th, 2009. Meetings will be weekly temporarily.
Motion to adjourn at 9:25 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/TOWN OF FREEDOM SELECTMENS MEETING
APRIL 22, 2009
Meeting was called to order at 6:08 PM by the Chair. Present were: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Ron Price (Chair, Selectman), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Drew Fales, Nancy Bailey- Farrar (Planning Board Chair), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Committee), Jay Guber (CEO), April Turner, Tim Biggs, and MacGregor Stocco (KVCOG).
Dave Bridges introduced Mac Stocco from KVCOG. Mac thanked the Town and Town officials for supporting the Comprehensive Plan project. Raising the needed funds in two phases will be a model for other towns.
Freedom has a lot of good existing research accomplished for the plan. Macs job would focus on organizing stakeholders, and attending meetings. He would discuss changes in state rules and the re-formatting of Comp Plan requirements to concentrate on implementation of strategies. Mac would meet individually with stakeholders, and meet every other month with specific stakeholder groups.
In reviewing Freedoms past Plan, he liked the effect of artwork by schoolchildren, and suggested organizing a similar effort this fall projecting the image of Freedom from a students perspective.
Dave asked about the role of the committee. Mac replied the committee should hold meetings every other month, bring stakeholder groups to meetings, identify issues (roads, public facilities, economic development, land use, housing, etc.). The writing of chapters will be done in 2010, and Mac will be writing the Plan. Mac defined a stakeholder as anyone who has a stake in the results.
The new rules require more public engagement and a regional approach, getting neighboring towns involved, which builds potential for collaboration in the future.
Mac will write a letter with an outline and a timeline to residents to go out with a mailing the Town is sending regarding upcoming Town clean-up day and election.
Nancy asked about the most problematic issues of getting citizens involved and getting the Plan adopted. Mac replied that meeting with stakeholders/influential citizens personally will help. Nancy announced that the Planning Board is changing its regular meeting date to the second Thursday of the month beginning in June. May will be the first Thursday, May 7. Mac would like a list of business names, major landowners, and the community leaders of the town, before May 7, and he will attend that meeting.
Carol commented that Freedom is full of friendly people, but they are against new rules. Mac explained that they will be convinced that the Plan is in their best interests.
Dave asked about the small core committee of a half dozen or so usually these committees are 15 to 20 members. Mac replied that all the town officers and committees may be considered members of the committee, but they only need to attend the meetings that are related to their responsibilities.
Mac said he will put together a proposed contract and mail it to the Selectmen. We will meet again May 7 at 6:30 with the Planning Board and others.
CITIZENS QUESTIONS AND ISSUES: April Turner came to thank the Town for the $100 donation for the Farm Team, and to request a key so they can use the snack shack and be able to store gear in it. The first game is May 2, and the season runs to the end of June for Little League and the Farm Team. Carol suggested April talk to Cindy about a key, which should be returned at the end of the season, and also to contact the Church (Dottie Holmes) about use of their parking lot.
Ron inquired about the shed sitting on the other side of the Fire House. Clint replied that it was given to the Town, the Town gave it to the Fire Dept. Jim Waterman has offered to clean it out and give it back to the Town. It could be used to store the Town lawn mower. Ron moved to move the shed back to the concrete slab near the basketball court, seconded by Carol, and passed.
REVIEW OF MINUTES: Clint listened to the March 11/16 tapes along with the written minutes, and moved to accept the minutes as written with the tapes on file as back-up. Discussion followed about the written minutes always being kept on file and available to the public. Tapes will be available for the public to listen to or copy, but not to be removed from the office, and kept locked up. Motion seconded by Ron and passed, with Carol abstaining.
Clint moved to accept the March 25, 2009 minutes as written. Carol seconded and passed. Later in the meeting, the Secretary requested one change: the size of the Mt. View trailers to 60 x 24. Correction approved.
Clint moved, seconded by Carol, to accept the April 8, 2009 minutes as written. Motion passed.
TOWN OFFICIALS AND BOARDS:
ACO: Ron moved to sign the dog warrant, which includes a third offense by a pit bull on the Burnham Hill Road owned by Eric Jones.
HEALTH NURSE: Marion Bowers has resigned as Health Official due to ill health. It was decided to post the position since there may be other registered nurses in Town, and ask Sallyann Hadyniak to include it in her column.
APPEALS BOARD: Pete Bower's term is up on the Appeals Board, and he doesnt feel well enough to continue. Tim Biggs volunteered to fill that position, so Clint moved, seconded by Carol, to appoint Tim to the Appeals Board for five years.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported last weeks payroll was $883.56, and the A/P (Accounts Payable) warrant was $2625.78 for the BMV.
This weeks payroll is $1011.07. The A/P this week was paid from Bangor Savings for $4702.14 (already signed). A second A/P is $330.10, which will be paid from Key Bank.
The new check scanner system is set up for the new checking account with key Bank. The machine was free, but the service is $50/month. The balance in Key Bank is $27,377.26. All regular accounts have been transferred (FVFD, Historical Society, etc.)
The total in Bangor Savings, after subtracting outstanding checks, is $6913.74. Erna is reconciling the accounts daily. Freedoms URIP funds will come to $29,984. A state wages increase is included in the payroll folder.
Ron moved to sign the Key Bank warrant, seconded by Carol and passed.
Clint moved to sign the payroll of 1011.07, seconded by Carol and passed.
Town accounts total about $30,000, and Carol reported that 30-day notices have gone out, so money is coming in. The Town should be able to pay the April SAD 3 bill in May. Ron moved to accept the Treasurers Report, seconded & passed.
Carol reported that the 706 forms have gone out by certified mail. Discussion followed about business equipment taxes. Ron asked if there were any others in Town who should be sent a 706 form, and one business was identified the General Stores storage tanks.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Clint recommends the Select Board conduct interviews of applicants. Ron added that a job description should be provided. We have three applicants so far.
Discussion followed about whether or not the RC should be a full-time plow driver. Clint felt he should be part-time & relief driver because he has other obligations, such a responding to phone calls, attending to problems. Ron agreed. Carol disagreed, as did Tim Biggs, saying he should be a working road commissioner for $17,000 per year. Clint moved, seconded by Ron, to delete the sentence in the job description of full-time driver, but that he will be a working Road Commissioner (as opposed to supervisory). Motion passed, with Carol abstaining.
The Selectmen decided to set up interviews Monday April 27th with Keith Overlock at 6:30, Joe Richardson at 7 PM, and Jerry Spaulding at 7:30. Matt Lee was expected to apply, but so far has not.
The plow trucks were put away empty of sand, but have not been power-washed yet. Tim mentioned that in Knox, two trucks have to be replaced because of damage from not being cleaned out promptly.
PLUMBING INSPECTOR: Dave Schofield said he would accept the salary/expenses voted by the Town. Clint moved to appoint Dave for the 2009-2010 year, seconded by Ron and passed.
CEO: Jay Guber agreed to accept the salary of $4000 with $500 expenses. Carol moved to appoint Jay as CEO for the 2009-2010 year, seconded by Ron and passed.
Jay reported that he has given out two permits: one to Linda Therrian for a storage building on Bryant Road and to Shawn Raven for a barn on Raven Road.
Jay met with Amy Lemenin from DEP to look at a site for a pond on Tim Randalls property. He did not need a permit from DEP.
Jay had a telephone conference with Tina Hennessy, the head of EPA in Mass., and their attorney, Michelle Lauerback. The bottom line is that the EPA will not remove their lien on the Skidgel property of $375,000 regardless of what happens there. Discussion followed about finishing the clean-up, the potential health and fire hazards, and the question of whether or not the EPA is legally liable for these hazards. Jay thinks it would cost over $100,000 to finish the clean-up. He is convinced that there are still toxic substances in the areas of buildings deemed by the EPA to be too dangerous to enter.
Ron noted that the property, or pieces of it, cannot be sold with the lien, so the Town cannot proceed with the sand/salt facility, which would require more land. Jay recommended having Bill Kelly write a letter to the EPA requesting that they finish the clean-up, and suggesting that EPA will be liable for any problems resulting in their abandoning the project. He feels that this mess would not have occurred in, say, Camden or Kennebunk, and that EPA simply ran out of money. Jay passed on the phone number of the EPA, 617-918-1774. Ron suggested we get our representatives in Washington involved.
Jay asked to be supplied with more building permit forms. The Town still needs to change the 6 month time period for substantial building construction in the Building Permit Ordinance back to one year. Carol said we also need to adopt the Flood Plain Ordinance.
Jay has a day-long appointment with the DEP to inspect various problems in Freedom, including the Shaw subdivision, etc. Tim asked about the mess left after the trailer was moved off the Steve Anderson property. Carol recommended to contact Steve, because the owner is ill, and Steve is probably in charge. Jay will contact the trailer owner who caused a similar problem on Waning Road. Jay said that the Town can have properties cleaned up and bill the owner.
OLD BUSINESS: Clint brought up the subject of the memorial benches, which need a good base to hold them. Discussion followed about the specifications for a foundation, and where they should be located, reaching a consensus that they should be installed near the Mitchell monument, adding the two donated Elm trees (at Prentices) to the same area. Ron and Clint will work on this.
Clint knows someone from Windsor who would like to bid on the job of moving the SAD 3 trailer. Carol pointed out that with the time constraints, more than one mover will be needed to move so many trailers in so few days time. George Fernald of Benton will do it for $3000, another will do it for $3500. Ron asked Clint to get a bid from his contact, and Tim will work with Selectmen to figure out where to locate the trailer. The Town will need a building permit, and the deadline is around June 18th.
NEW BUSINESS: The special Town meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 18th, a Monday night.
Carol reported that the Town and parties to the lawsuits cannot, according to Bill Kelly, have any conversations about roads until the lawsuits are dropped. The Town is the only entity that has control over roads.
Clint reported that Sullivans should not be picking up private dumpsters on Wednesdays or Thursdays, to be sure they arent adding that trash, which is paid privately, to the tonnage the Town pays for. Mondays or Tuesdays would be better. Clint will look into this.
The auditor has sent a letter to the Town to be signed by the first Selectman and Treasurer and returned to him. Basically, the letter says that the Town has presented to the auditor all the information that it has for the 2005 audit. Ron and Erna signed the letter.
This meeting will be recessed until April 29th to decide definitely on a date and agenda for the special Town meeting.
Voted to recess at 8:52 PM.
APRIL 29, 2009 MEETING RECONVENED, Chair Ron Price called the meeting to order at 6:08 PM. Present were: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Jay Guber (CEO), Tim Biggs, Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Committee).
CORRESPONDENCE: MMA sent a sample contract for our recycling director, Stan McDonald Jr. Carol will contact Stan about the insurance requirements. Carol moved to prepare a contract for Stan, provided he obtains all the necessary insurance, before the next meeting, seconded by Clint, and passed.
The Town needs figures for MRC about the tonnage of recyclables received from Freedom. The Town residents recycled 314 tons of materials in 2008, down from 356 tons in 2007. Glen suggested along with our town mailing, something be written about encouraging citizens to recycle. Ron will fill out the form for MRC.
We got a bill from John Carver for signing his name to a letter for $75.
A letter came from CMP about who to call if there is an outage with streetlights.
Mail about the Flood Plain Ordinance was given to Jay Guber.
CEO REPORT: Jay discussed a possible addition to a garage located on a gated driveway on Rt. 137. Jay will not go beyond gates without permission. A letter will be sent to the property owner by Carol.
Deb Diemer applied for a CMP certificate, which needs to be returned to CMP.
Jay called Paul Salley, owner of property on Waning Road closed down because of septic system failure, who came and removed a truckload of garbage.
Basil Barnes removed a corduroy bridge that was for the use of a woodcutter, who has no harvest permit. That has been taken care of.
Ron talked about writing a letter to Collins and Snowe to seek help with getting the EPA to finish the clean-up at Skidgels; Rons grandson is working for Olympia Snowe right now; Ron will mention it to him. Jay said hed called their offices before writing a letter, and perhaps Baldacci too. The last time he called them, Susan Collins responded. Clint asked if the EPA would be responsible for the hazards left at the site they abandoned.
Jay talked to Mrs. Steve Anderson about the mess left on Stevens Rd. after the trailer was removed. She said they will be working on cleaning it up on weekends.
Small buildings on the former Neves farm on Greeley Road were discussed; Jay said they have gotten permits, but hell check on the new buildings.
Ron moved to go into executive session as authorized by MRSA 405 (6), Title 23-3028, seconded by Carol, passed, at 7:37 PM. Upon returning at 7:53. Ron moved to appoint Jerry Spaulding as Road Commissioner, seconded by Clint, and passed with Carol abstaining. He needs to be sworn in, and start May 1st. First he needs take down posted signs, power wash the trucks/ sanders, and replace missing road signs.
Clint suggested that citizens complaints be put in writing just for clarity.
TREASURER: Erna reported that according to MMA & Craig Costello, the Towns fiscal year goes from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. Clints Selectmans salary will go from April 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2009, plus 3/12 until March 31st. Confusion over how this is figured was sorted out. Carol thought Jerry was going to get paid for 4 months he didnt work, but Ron corrected that. Jerry will be paid $1333 per month, or $16,000 divided by 12, beginning in May. He will have $935 left in expenses.
Carol also thought that Clint will be making more money than Carol & Ron because of the way pay is figured when there are raises. Ron said Tim was paid at the old rate, and the three will make equal pay at the new rate.
The Secretary requested the Selectmen vote to remove her position from contracted services, so that proper deductions can be taken out of her pay. Clint moved to shift the Secretary pay to administration, under Secretary position. Ron seconded, passed, with Carol abstaining.
Payroll this week was $1953.03, which includes Selectmen, but does not include the ACO, who hasnt yet given Erna her paperwork. The checkbook balance is $22,264.54. This weeks accounts payable warrant is $5817.73, excluding the April school payment of $31.947. Ron moved to pay the warrant of $5817.73, seconded by Clint, and pay the school bill next time. Motion passed.
Carol moved, seconded by Clint, to pay the payroll warrant of $1953.03. Passed.
Erna asked if a bill from Viking for culverts for Deer Hill Rd. could be taken out of winter roads budget. Consensus was to put it in winter roads because the culverts were purchased and work done in winter.
Discussion about lawn mowing: Lendell Chase has mowed the Town grass, but Carol thought Craig Overlock already mowed it. Carol purchased a five gallon can for Lendell from Ingrahams.
Erna spent hours working with TRIO to get the figures reconciled because of switching banks.
HEALTH NURSE: This position needs to be posted.
PLANNING BOARD: Jay Guber reported that the new Shoreland maps are coming from the state. Nancy should get all her information for the Town meeting to Carol by May 5th.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY: We received a bill for 1/3 of Dennis Robbins work on the restored meeting house.
RECREATION COMMITTEE: Carol reported on an estimate from Chases on a weed whacker needed by the Town, the Fire Dept., and the Recreation Committee. Clint recommended it be purchased out of road equipment budget since it will be also used on roadsides. The week whacker is $399, with necessary parts, a strap, a sweeper, and a blade, comes to $1000. Carol moved to buy the Husquavarna weed whacker with the sweeper and blade; Clint added to take the cost out of the road equipment budget, seconded by Ron, and passed. Carol will pick it up, and Ron will lock it up in the Town Garage.
The shed near the fire house, voted at last meeting to be moved and used for storage, has been discovered to be rotted out.
COMP. PLANNING COMMITTEE: A meeting is coming up on May 7th with the Planning Board; Mac Stocco will attend.
OLD BUSINESS: Tim reported that Freedom has reserved one of the younger Mt. View trailers. Tim has lined up the site to be level with the front of the Town office. The trailer will have one door in the middle of the closer wall, and two on the further wall. A platform will come with the trailer, along with skirting, electric monitor heaters.
A concrete slab, which Clint recommends, would cost about $2000. We have about six weeks to make arrangements, funding should come out of capital improvement. Clint will get an estimate from someone he knows to do the whole job. School closes on June 12.
The Selectmen will have to meet briefly to sign the warrant for the special Town meeting on May 6, the meeting will be posted May 7th, , and the mailing can go out to the Town on May 7.
The special Town meeting can be scheduled for May 14th. This will give us one month to prepare the site.
Carol read the proposed articles for the agenda:
1. Raise money to move/ set up trailer.
2. Adopt Shoreland Zoning changes
3. Adopt Flood Plain Ordinance
4. Building Permit Ordinance construction requirement to be one year.
5. Raise money to pay accounts from 2995 audit and list them
6. Raise money to install memorial benches.
The next regular Selectmens meeting is May 13th.
Discussion followed about funds the auditor advising the Town to pay back accounts from 2005; Ron would like to see
Clint would also like to ask the Town to appropriate funds for a 1.5 ton used truck with a plow and wing. Hell get figures together for a proposal.
NEW BUSINESS: Jay Guber will be applying for technical assistance from FEMA for flood-proofing, in regard to the earthen dam. There are nine buildings in the hazard zone.
Next Selectmens meeting May 6 (briefly to sign warrant).
Regular Select Board meets May 13th, 2009.
Special Town meeting May 14th.
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING
APRIL 8, 2009
CALL OR ORDER: Chairman Price opened the meeting at 6:00 PM. Present were: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Scott Holmes (Recreation Committee), Betty Sienkiewicz, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Committee), Sallyann Hadyniak, Tim Biggs, Erna Keller (Treasurer), Rick Martin, Steve Bennett, Michelle Haskell, Dave Bennett, Dottie Holmes, Jeff Bishop, Stan McDonald, Jr.
REVIEW MINUTES: Ron moved to postpone review until end of meeting, vote unanimous.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Dave Bridges asked the status of the 2005 audit. Carol said it is complete and looking good. Right now the concern is in getting the TRIO figures to match up with the QuickBooks figures. There are questions about 2-3 electronic transfers. Carol thinks it is all straightened out, and expects the 2006 audit to be a lot quicker process.
Steve Bennett came to discuss the status of roads again, and voiced his concerns about future windmills on Beaver Ridge. Steve gave Carol permission to make copies of a letter he received from Roy Pierce, which he said will also appear in the newspaper. Ron asked Steve to focus on roads, not windmills.
Steves concern is that 4,000 ft. of ridgeline could host 12-15 turbines, and without an ordinance, far larger turbines could replace the ones there now. That is his concern about the Beaver Hill road. Ron again asked Steve to focus on roads. Steve read from the 1955 Town report in which five roads were discontinued for maintenance only.
Steve asserted his interpretation of private, public, and town rights to roads.
Carol asked why Steve is presenting this here again because it is in the lawyers hands. Steve said his motive was to come to a reasonable solution to save the Town and himself money, and if the Town is determined to proceed, he thinks the Town will lose, and cost the taxpayers a lot. Carol related Bill Kellys advice that the Town was sued, and the only way to drop the lawsuit is for the one who initiated the suit (Steve Bennett) to withdraw it. Now that this is in the courts, Carol said the Town cannot address the issue with any votes or action.
Ron feels that reasonable parties should be able to sit down and settle this; that his private discussion with Steve had to do with the condition of the Sibley Road, not the Beaver Hill Rd.
More discussion followed about the history of the roads, the school bus/snowplow turnaround being blocked to the public. Clint asserted that any road can be improved by anyone and petition the town to take it back, and if BRW wants to put up more windmills, then they have the right to use the road.
Sibley Rd. and Deer Hill Rd., according to Steve, are both open to the public. He feels Beaver Hill Rd. is a different situation. Tim pointed out that it is all in the definition. Further discussion centered on the difference between abandonment of roads and discontinuance.
Ron said that while no solution will happen tonight, the Selectmen should meet to attempt to arrive at a consensus, and direct the lawyers to seek whatever resolution is arrived at. Carol feels that the Town should vote on the status of roads. Erna suggested that all the parties sign a written agreement if they arrive at an agreement; Clint felt that lawyers should be present, but Tim and Steve disagreed.
A workshop session to work on resolving this was set for Monday April 13 at 6 PM.
CORRESPONDENCE: Carol moved to accept Glen Bridges resignation from the Budget Committee seconded by Clint, and passed.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported the payroll last week was $1,372.17, and the A/P was $2,927.52.
This week the payroll was in two parts: First was $990.73; second was $538.23.
The A/P this week is $15,462.10. Checkbook balance is $36,079.32.
Erna reported that the PERC history sheet and an expense/revenue sheet are both in the Selectmens folder, along with a letter to sign dealing with payment of payroll and A/P every other week.
Carol moved to sign the policy that any one Selectman can sign the payroll weekly, seconded by Clint, and passed.
Carol moved to sign an agreement that allows the Treasurer to apply tax payments to the oldest tax owed, seconded by Clint, passed.
Erna said she hoped Clint would take over the job of going over each bill as Tim used to do.
Ron asked for the total of outstanding taxes owed; Clint figured about $127,000 up until Town meeting.
Carol moved, seconded by Clint, to approve the Accounts Payable warrant in the amount of $15,462.10. Motion passed.
ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN OF SELECT BOARD: Clint moved to keep Ron Price in the position of Chair, seconded by Carol, and passed.
APPOINTMENT OF REGISTRAR OF VOTERS: Carol moved to appoint Cindy Abbott for two years as Registrar of Voters, seconded by Ron, passed.
APPOIINTMENT OF CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Carol has two applications. Jay Guber offered to do the job for the same pay as last year. Jackie Robbins said she would do it for $3000. Clint moved to talk to Jay before making a decision at the next meeting, seconded by Ron, passed.
APPOINTMENT OF PLUMBING INSPECTOR: Carol has an application from Dave Schofield. Tabled until next meeting.
APOINTMENT OF ROAD COMMISSIONER: Clint moved to pass over this appointment until the Town can advertise the position. Ron seconded. Passed.
APPOINTMENT OF ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER: Four people are interested in the position; Michelle Haskell is the only one certified, with rabies shots, and experienced. Carol move to hire Michelle Haskell, seconded by Clint and passed. Carol advised Michelle to work with Cindy regarding computer records of dog licenses. For the Towns information, Michelle can be reached at 437-4224 (home), or 314-7534 (cell), and lives at 361 South Freedom Rd., Albion, ME 04910. The Select Board will need a copy of Michelles insurance.
HEALTH NURSE: Marion Bowers will be contacted about re-appointment.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR: Ron moved to appoint Craig Overlock, seconded by Clint, passed.
MONTHLY RECYCLING DIRECTOR: Clint moved to appoint Stan McDonald Jr. as recycling director, seconded by Carol, passed. Carol will check into what insurance he will need. Stans phone number is 382-3129.
Planning Board: Carol said she is sure Prentice Grassi wants to be reappointed, and moved to reappoint him, seconded by Ron, passed.
Appeals Board: Pete Bowers will be contacted about reappointment.
Budget committee: Carol moved to appoint Tim Biggs to replace Brian Mitchell (2014), and Jay Guber to replace Glen Bridges (2013), and to reappoint Doug Van Horn (2014). Seconded by Clint, passed.
Comprehensive Plan: Carol said the Selectmen can reappoint the committee, Cindy will contact them.
Cemetery Committee: There is no committee. It was voted to let Jon Willette volunteer to do the work. Michelle Haskell offered her volunteer help.
Public Works Committee: Clint Spaulding pointed out that we should have a committee, and it automatically would include the future Road Commisisioner. Tim volunteered to be on the committee. Jeff Bishop said he might be interested in the future.
General Assistance Officer: Carol volunteered to do the job again. Clint moved to appoint Carol, seconded by Ron, passed.
Committee for the 2013 Bi-Centennial: Carol reported that the Historical Society thought it would be good to have 12-15 members from all groups across the town and citizens, and offered to send out letters to townspeople to try to get volunteers. Dottie Holmes volunteered.
OLD BUSINESS: None
Cindy called MMA and was advised to use the Towns lawyer for a hearing coming up about the challenge to Ron Prices residency. Clint asked if this is a private hearing or a public hearing? Carol advised Clint to ask Cindy. Clint asked if the Selectmen need to act on this right now?
Carol moved to authorize Cindy to contact Kelly to for advice up to the amount of $500 to be taken out of the legal fees budget, then to report back to the Select Board if more money needs to be spent. Discussion followed about why we need to use Mr. Kelly rather than MMA. Clint did not understand why this is an issue at all. Clint seconded Carols motion, which passed, with Ron abstaining.
The issue of Secretarys pay came up. Ron asked why it was considered contracted services, when everyone else is paid by the hour. Carol replied that it is contracted services because they put it under contracted services. Discussion followed about amounts, billing, average pay of 2008. Ron said he does not consider this a contracted service, and that the Secretary should be paid hourly like everyone else.
Clint asked how much per hour and Glen explained that she was offered a raise to $10 from $8 .50 at a budget meeting, but declined the raise. Further, she said that it would be fair to pay all secretaries the same; apparently another person is being paid $10per hour. Carol said that ballot clerks are paid $9.58 per hour. Clint moved to pay the secretary hourly, amended by Carol to be $10/hour. Seconded by Ron, passed unanimously.
The Town needs to send a letter to Beaver Ridge Wind, Rick Martin, Roger Littlefield, and anyone else who needs to fill out a Form 706 Declaration of Value. Dave Ledew will come to a workshop to guide the Assessors in taxation of the windmills.
Rick Martin said he has been assessed on $100,000 since 1992. He listed his equipment with comparisons, and his list was rejected, then his assessment went to $125,000. A debate followed about what happened to Ricks list. Rick said hed like to know what his tax bill is for. In an effort to resolve this, Ron suggested they all set a time to meet, and Clint requested Rick to prepare a list of his equipment. Carol said that when she figured his taxes in 2001, she called the property tax division and obtained the values of each piece of equipment and they guided Carol in figuring the proper depreciation. Rick feels he hasnt been treated fairly & equitably for years. Carol replied that he has been taxed the same as everyone else with personal property.
Carol has a list of equipment from Roger Littlefield with actual bills of sale. Montville has been charging him because his equipment was in his gravel pit in Montville, but the state says that the town of residence is the town that taxes personal property, so Montville abated all his taxes, and Freedom will be taxing him.
Sallyann asked if the Citizens Issues section of the agenda could be moved to the last item on the agenda since citizens are only supposed to talk during that agenda time period. Carol explained that MMA defines the meeting that way; Ron added that he has always honored citizens questions and comments throughout the meeting as long as things dont get out of control, even though the technical ruling is that people should be prepared to listen and not talk during meetings. Ron advised against forcing citizens sit through the entire meeting.
Tim reported that he was called by the Town auditor and interviewed about the 2005 audit at length.
Ron reported that he has reserved a double-wide trailer from Mt. View school. If the Town wants a second one, we will be added to a waiting list. We now need to make a commitment. They have to be moved within 3 days after school closes, and can be moved and set up for $3000. The trailers are 60 x 28, have electric wiring, monitor heaters, and are divided into 2 rooms, but with no plumbing. We would have to take this to a special town meeting. Other monies needed could come out of capital improvement. It can be used for town office overflow, storage, or other needs. Other items, such as library tables, will be available to towns also.
Carol reported that the Town needs to make a decision, and prepare a foundation to hold the Veterans Memorial benches offered to the Town by the Cole family. We should get this done this spring. Ron said we do have the specs for the foundation, that it is a significant project, like setting a tombstone. Discussion followed about where the benches should be located. Sallyann remarked how beautiful the Knox memorial is. This will remain on the agenda.
REVIEW MINUTES: The Secretary had two corrections for the March 11 minutes. Carol had a long written response to the minutes, which she read from. Ron questioned Carols comments and how the March 11 meeting attracted so many townspeople including the press, and why the TIF meetings should be any different from the meetings with Piotti and Rogers. Carol thought meetings should be announced at a Selectmens meeting. A heated discussion followed about how the conflict was created about both the TIF meetings and also Rons residency being challenged. Tim said he couldnt understand all the objection to an informational meeting on TIFs.
Carol moved that Ron approve the minutes with her response attached. No second.
Ron moved to accept the March 11 minutes as corrected. No second. Clint thought that he should not participate because he was not on the Board at the time, and suggested that Tim be allowed to participate since he was in office at the time. The March 11 minutes were left unapproved. It was suggested to call MMA to see how to handle it, and if Clint should participate. Ron said the Board wont act on the March 11 minutes until we get a ruling from MMA.
Carol wants the minutes to quote her, Im getting sick of getting blamed for things I dont do. Carol said she was just as shocked to see the large turnout at the March 11th meeting as Ron was, and she didnt know who the newspaperman was or how he got there.
Tim moved to accept the March 25 minutes as written. Ron seconded. Passed.
Dave Bridges asked for KVCOG to be put on the next Selectmens meeting agenda to present their contract to the Selectmen and Comp. Plan Committee, and explained to Carol that this is not an informational session, but only of interest to the Board of Selectmen.
Dave Bridges asked to speak to the Selectmen in executive session. Ron announced that pursuant to MRSA 405(6) they would go into executive session on a personnel issue. Upon returning, Carol moved to e-mail Bill Kelly regarding the personnel issue. Clint seconded, passed.
Each year the Mt. View grade 10 students are required to do 2-4 hours of community service. May 14th is service day. Clint suggested asking JMG (Jobs for Maine Grads) for project ideas. Discussion followed about what students can do; sweeping the driveway is what they did last year. Carol mentioned the brush that needs to be cleaned up.
Motion to adjourn at 8:40 PM.
Next Selectmens meeting April 22, 2009. Workshop on road issues April 13, 2009 at 6 PM.
APPROVED MINUTES TOWN OF FREEDOM SELECTMENS MEETING
MARCH 25, 2009
The meeting, held in the church basement, was opened by Chairman Price shortly after 6 PM. Present were: Tim Biggs (Selectman), Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Chair, Selectman), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Clint Spaulding (Road Commissioner), Jeff Bishop, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Committee), Jeff Keating, Dave Bennett, Mary Ann Bennett, Jim Bennett, Lendell Chase, Nancy Bailey-Farrar (Planning Board Chair), Scott Holmes (Recreation Committee), Steve Shaw, Matt Bennett, Erin Bennett-Wade, Jay Guber (CEO), Steve Bennett, Bonnie Shaw, Marion Bowers (Health Officer), Mary Ann Hayes, Larry Ward, Audrey Williams, Larry Grard (Morning Sentinel), Ethan Andrews (Republican Journal).
Matt Eddy, consultant with Eaton Peabody Consulting Group (EPCG).
Mike Rogers, Maine Revenue Services, Property Tax Division.
PRESENTATION BY MATT EDDY:
Ron introduced Matt Eddy, who provided handouts [attached] and explained that his consulting group is a separate division of Eaton Peabody that focuses on community development all over the state, and has developed most of the TIFs (Tax Increment Financing) that are in place in Maine. His preliminary presentation will explain how a TIF would work. Scott Benson, also from Eaton Peabody, has visited Freedom and talked to people. Mr. Eddy described Freedoms situation as unusual in that the windmills are already up; interest in a TIF usually begins before development.
Mr. Eddy explained the cost of developing a TIF agreement is usually reimbursed to the town by the developer. The advantage of a TIF is that it shelters new town property tax income generated by a project. With no TIF, as this new tax income adds to the tax base, shifts will occur in state school aid and revenue sharing as a result of increased town evaluation.
The portion of the new property tax monies that are sheltered must be used for economic or community development projects, not for town infrastructure or recreational improvements. The Division of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has been flexible in defining economic development projects, and there are currently proposed changes in the legislature that may provide for more flexibility.
TIFs are complex, Mr. Eddy continued, but it would benefit the town to be looking at some sort of TIF to help offset losses of new tax monies, and then put that money toward community development projects over 30 years. TIFs often involve a credit enhancement component, meaning the developer is reimbursed a portion of property taxes, but that is entirely up to the town; a TIF can be designed without that component.
Mr. Eddy handed out a Letter of Agreement as an example of how his consulting firm would work with the town, and for the town. He also handed out a financial analysis of the projected tax picture showing the net tax figures over 30 years and annually with no TIF in place. In addition, he offered a one page description of EPCG outlining areas of their consulting expertise.
QUESTIONS FROM SELECTMEN:
QU: Tim asked about setting up a footprint for projects, or designating TIF districts.
A: Matt Eddy explained how this process can be creative, can extend that area by designating multiple districts. Roads that are tied to a project can be approved for improvement. For small towns, the DECD has recognized that small towns have difficulty coming up with community development projects, and that is why they are being flexible.
QU: Carol inquired if funds can be used for projects that would come out of general fund?
A: By identifying roads connected to the project, downtown village improvements, certain infrastructure improvements could be approved. DECD has said no to trails for hiking/snowmobiling. This may be changed by the legislature. By the way, the deadline for this is not April 1 2009, but March 31, 2010, so we have another year, which might give us time to identify other options that may come out of the legislature.
QU: Tim asked about the value of a TIF being limited to no more than 5% of the Towns evaluation.
A: Matt Eddy replied the rationale has to do with the evaluation of the project never coming onto the tax roll. The statute, according to Mike Rogers, can be retroactive, meaning that the evaluation used would be the original assessed value of the land under the windmills before the windmills were built.
QU: Ron asked if the following projects would qualify for TIF projects: a salt and sand facility, a pumper truck for the fire department, two roads that need rebuilding, and an addition onto the town office with a vault?
A: Matt Eddy said the town office and salt/sand facility would not be approved, and only work on roads if they are inside the TIF district. A pumper truck has been approved in one case because it related to safety issues. It makes sense to wait for the legislature process when some of these projects may become eligible.
When the legislature decides, it could be that there will be more flexibility for small towns to allow some of those kinds of projects. Revolving loan funds for agriculture is a possibility. It has been difficult for small towns to come up with appropriate projects for using those funds
QU: If the town elects to do this, the town would have to come up with projects to use these funds for 30 years, projects that may not be critical to the way the town functions for the next 30 years?
QU: Carol commented that if a TIF is 50/50, and a new fire truck is $225000, $85,000 per year would be protected for 30 years. Our mil rate wont go down. We cant keep on buying pumper trucks, what else are we going to do with that money?
A: The important part, responded Matt Eddy, is how you lay out your TIF district. There is a significant amount of money that the town is going to lose, so the community should look at its alternatives and think it through.
QU: Tim asked if there is any way to give us an idea of cost to hire EPCG to design a TIF for us?
A: On the low end, with no credit enhancement $8,000 to $11 or $12,000. Add to that if there is credit enhancement agreement with many required legal documents, and additional time spent on education for the community.
QU: Can a TIF zone be applied to other areas of town?
A: The proposed projects have to be eligible, but you can create a multiple TIF district, including, for example, the village center.
QU: Can a TIF be set up in the absence of comprehensive plan?
A: I dont believe theres any issue with that.
Citizen Comment: I want to remind the Select Board that the town was promised $150,000/year of new tax monies for the town; I do not believe that this would allow for any tax relief at all.
QU: Can you give us concrete examples for what TIF money has been used for in other towns?
A: Sticking just to wind project TIFs, revolving loan funds have been popular as a way to protect small businesses. Revolving loan funds, roads connected to the project or safety purposes connected to the TIF district being served. Duel districts have been set up so improvements can be made in the village. But without a comp plan, then there is probably no village plan either. Paying staff to help think through the economic development potential is an eligible expense. Again, if legislation changes, our options might improve.
QU: Snowmobile trails are not approved uses, but we had a safety issue with someone being stranded on the windmill site in a snowstorm.
A: Eddy said he would be willing to present that as an idea.
QU: Should we hire a consultant to do a cost/benefit analysis?
A: That is what PECG are proposing to do for Freedom, including a TIF sheet with the tax shift analysis, and then to develop all sorts of different options.
QU: Youve done some cost/benefit analysis on this? Who did you do this for? Who is paying you? Are you an attorney? Youre doing this for nothing? Who do you represent tonight? Who asked you to come? Did Carol ask you to come? Did Ron Price ask you to come? What percentage of credit enhancement is CES looking for? Fifty%? Then CES would be paying half the mil rate that everyone else pays. Who does that benefit?
A: So far, Mr. Eddy replied, we have only analyzed whether or not this would be worthwhile for the town. No one is paying for this. With a TIF, the town might end up with more money in their general fund than you would end up losing as a result of the tax shift.
Tim Biggs commented that he likes to hear all sides of an issue, and would have invited Matt Eddy to speak to the town if Tim had been present.
Carol pointed out that we could have a TIF with no credit enhancement offered to CES. Also, Carol said the town should be concerned that SAD 3 could change their formula for assessing towns if too many towns have TIFs. Carol added that she did not ask Mr. Eddy to come, and that Dave Ledew arranged for Mike Rogers to come during a conversation about other tax issues that Carol called him about.
PRESENTATION BY MIKE ROGERS:
I represent Maine Revenue Services; we have no dog in this fight. The decision is solely the towns. Credit enhancement is a payback directly to the company. A TIF doesnt lower taxes, it stabilizes taxes. It increases your spending for 30 years. You dont get to vote on that spending for 30 years. You do shelter that value, so you dont a reduced school subsidy. You are building a fence around your town, and saying the heck with the other SAD 3 towns. You could, however, get together with the other towns and restructure the way the school taxes are figured.
Mike Rogers explained that TIFS were intended originally to benefit economic development. What a TIF does is shelter the new tax revenue, so you are not paying on your taxable resources. With a TIF, you will be spending that money, a large sum, above and beyond what is raised at town meeting, on community development projects. Then you will have the cost of maintaining those projects. You also have to pay the cost of administering the TIF funds.
Without a TIF, explained Rogers, taxable resources will skyrocket. Taxes will go down dramatically for 2 or 3 years. Then school and county taxes will increase. Isnt it also economic development to share that extra tax money with other communities through the increased portion of school and county taxes?
SAD 3 receives a lot of school subsidies. Freedom would not receive less school subsidy with a TIF, but would not be sharing the wealth of monies sheltered by a TIF.
QU: We are talking about giving back 50% of tax money back to the company instead of to the schools, correct?
A: If it was a 50% credit enhancement TIF, replied Mike Rogers.
QU: Directed to Matt Eddy, if the town decided to go with TIF, cant the town decide whether to include CES in a TIF? Am I correct in that CES may have no part in a TIF?
A: Matt Eddy replied yes, correct.
QU: Would repairs to the earthen dam qualify? A ball field? A firehouse? Fire trucks?
A: Eddy responded that the dam repair would qualify as part of village improvement, fire trucks if related to safety, not ball parks, and not firehouses unless the legislation changes.
QU: Mike Rogers was asked if the state would have to come up with tax money elsewhere if Freedom had a TIF; if the towns school and county taxes will go up?
A: Mike Rogers said county & school taxes will go up in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
Citizen comment: If we dont include the developer, dont have increased school and county taxes, then the town has all these funds to invest in projects. If EPCG is correct, our $170,000 in new taxes turns into $61,000. The town needs to look at the long term.
QU: It would be difficult to find appropriate projects to use TIF money for; wouldnt we have to get awfully creative unless legislation passes to create more flexible eligible projects?
A: Matt Eddy recommends to not do anything. We have a year. Wait & see what the legislature comes up with. The dam, for example, could be a very expensive project.
QU: Are there standards to define a TIF district?
A: It is geographic, according to Eddy, but you can combine the village and development area, with the wind farm feeding the other district area, monies moving from one to the other. You can make an argument to create two TIF districts. The point is if you dont ask, you wont know.
Rogers added that you could have a downtown district. Any improvements could go to downtown. He said he is not speaking for or against a TIF, its entirely up to the town.
QU: Would 2009 taxes be sheltered?
A: No, for 2009 the windmills would be taxed as usual. Its too late for a TIF for 2009.
Carol and Tim reviewed the process that led to this meeting, with input from Jay Guber and Nancy Bailey-Farrar. After listening to Mike Rogers and John Piotti, who met with Selectors at the request of Jay Guber, the Selectors lost interest in the idea of a TIF. New information came to light renewing the interest of the Planning Board Chair, who felt the town should have the opportunity to learn about the possible potential of a TIF. Ron Price added that he is not promoting a TIF, is not a spokesman for CES, and just wants the Selectmen to explore the issue and decide if it is something that would benefit the town. The town votes if they want a TIF. Carol would like the town to vote on a town referendum to see if they want to investigate the possibility of a TIF.
Citizen comment: TIFs are an incentive to attract and retain business. In the absence of a comp. plan, we are going to be led in any direction of the issue of the day. I would love to see the town center as a development strategy. We need to go back and do the planning we need to do for this town a TIF could still be an opportunity.
Matt Eddy agreed that it is much easier to design a TIF for a town with a plan, who has already decided on these issues.
Conversation followed about the increased taxes that should be realized from the improved power lines. Mike Rogers advised Carol to find out who owns the new electric lines.
QU: Can we talk about a TIF after April 2010 ? Would projects be eligible such as conserving an area of environmental degradation, a library, installing an electric generating turbine into a dam repair? Also, can we do a TIF and tax relief both?
A: Matt Eddy explained that we cannot put together a windmill TIF after 2010; that we cannot use sheltered tax monies for tax relief; that we could propose an environmental conservation project if a health/safety issue argument could be made. A library would not qualify; a turbine to provide electricity in the village would qualify. Mars Hill adopted a TIF, but did not expend the sheltered monies, so they will be taxed at the full amount.
Citizen Comment: A citizen from Thorndike explained how the Unity TIF, which she helped write, has 100% benefited Unity and asked if a TIF could be created regionally that could be geared toward the school, such as an endowment for school programs.
A: So far it has been difficult to address any region-wide TIF, legislation may change that.
QU: Can some revenue of a TIF be used as a compensation fund for people who have a negative impact?
A: Matt Eddy replied that you could have a conversation about relocation prior to development. Mike Rogers added that you cant spend public money on private causes.
A long conversation followed about taxation, depreciation, federal tax credits, and Declarations of Taxable Property Value for figuring taxes. Energy facilities do not depreciate as fast as other projects and are not regulated. Several citizens lamented that the electricity generated by wind power is not going to be used in Maine. Tim predicted that Freedom will not see a 25% temporary drop in property taxes because of state cutbacks in many areas, but perhaps 15% if we are lucky.
Ron Price moved the meeting on to the Selectmens business, and the speakers were thanked for their presentations.
A letter from Gordon Fuller to Jay Guber was read and placed on file.
REVIEW MINUTES FROM 3/11/09: Tabled until April 8.
The A/P Warrant, including the school payment, is in the amount of $54,085.52. Tim remarked that it included $200 for mileage to Unity bank for 3 months. Expenses were for extra paper for the town report, new road sander, and school payment. Tim moved to pay the vendors warrant of $ 54,085.52, seconded by Ron, passed. Ron moved to pay the payroll of $ 4254.04, seconded by Carol, passed.
Carol said that she got calls from people who were here last week, and she asked Ron to apologize for a remark he made after the last meeting that got back to the people, and that he decided not to apologize. The Secretary pointed out that no such remark took place during a meeting, nor was not on tape or in the minutes. Tim objected to scurrilous attacks being made on people. A citizen then caused a disruption, provoking a confrontation, and was asked to leave by Chairman Price because he was out of order. The Chair said he would call the police; the citizen refused to leave. The Chair moved to recess the meeting, but Tim objected because it is his last meeting of his term, and asked to move on with the business of the meeting.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE: No applications because the weather has warmed up.
CEO: Jay reported that he has tried to make an appointment for a telephone conference with the head of the EPA and their attorney in regards to Skidgels to discuss the lien on the property, funding for the rest of the clean-up that the EPA thought was too hazardous for them to do. There are no state funds to help with further clean up. Tim said that liens should be on record at the Registry of Deeds. Carol thought that liens are permanent; Jay said the lien would be null and void in 120 days if payment is not requested.
Justin Overlock was given a permit for a 3 bedroom ranch on Raven Road.
Jay has gone to two educational seminars, one on alternative energy for $20 and the other on Maine Indoor Air Quality for $87, plus mileage.
RECREATION COMMITTEE: Scott reported that 2 more raffles are planned.
Key Bank: Carol moved to authorize Erna to open a new account with Key Bank. Carol read directly from Ernas Treasurers report [attached]. Tim questioned adding $1000 for a Key Bank payroll service to administrative costs. Ron said that one of the big problems with the 05 audit is missing bank statements because of switching banks in the middle of the year. Carol said savings accounts records were missing; that she never said bank statements were missing.
Clint Spaulding suggested waiting until a new Select Board is in place to make the decision to switch banks, but Carol said it has to be done by March 31st.
Tim moved to amend the motion to support moving to Key Bank, but not to adopt their payroll service at this time. Ron seconded. The vote passed on the amendment with Carol abstaining.
Carol said Erna does not want to make the move to Key Bank unless the Town can use the payroll service.
Ron moved to move our account to Key Bank, but not avail ourselves of the payroll service, as amended. Tim seconded, motion passed. Carol abstained.
Carol asked if Erna had to follow this directive; Tim said yes, the Selectmen just voted to direct Erna as the motion stated.
The suggestion to change to Quick Books program was tabled.
Jay Guber pointed out that there is a mistake in the Town Report, that the numbers show a 10% increase in the Town budget.
Tim asked Steve Bennett if the road issue is something that can be resolved. Bennett replied that he hopes so. This was not about stopping Ron or the public from getting up the road; it was about stopping the windmills. Now the windmills are up. Tim suggested all the lawyers be told by their clients to drop the lawsuit. Steve said 2 compromises were offered, and Kelly refused. The conversation turned to the condition of the road, and erosion on Jeff Keatings land. Bennett and Biggs agreed they both wanted to resolve the road issue.
Scott Holmes thanked Tim Biggs for all his years of service.
Tim moved to adjourn at 8:45. Motion passed.
The next Select Board meeting will be April 8 at 6 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING
MARCH 11, 2009
CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Ron Price opened the meeting at 6:03 PM. Present were: Ron Price (Selectman and Chair), Carol Richardson (Selectman), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Sallyann Hadyniak, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Committee. Chair), Steve Bennett, Carry Bennett, Steve Shaw, Mark Payne, Basil Barnes, Audrey Williams, Jeff Bishop, Dave Bennett, Mary Ann Bennett, Jeff Keating, and Ethan Andrews (Republican Journal).
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from Feb. 25, 2009, taken in Glens absence by Sallyann Hadyniak, were approved with one correction of $3000 instead of $900 for the purchase price of the new copy/fax/printer. [Thank you, Sallyann].
CITIZENS ISSUES: Carol said she has received some calls from citizens who heard about a meeting with CES lawyer regarding a TIF, which she thought was a conflict of interest for Ron to attend and being kept secret. Town lawyer Kelly said that Ron has every legal right to be involved with inquiries and information gathering, but not voting; this meeting was not illegal. Carol did not attend the meeting because she did not feel it was right.
Carol feels overwhelmed by calls regarding the windmills and Rons residency.
Ron, in answering citizens questions, explained that discussions have been held about TIFs for information gathering, a meeting was held with Eaton, Peabody, who are consultants who develop TIF plans [they are not CES lawyers], and so far the Town Selectmen are negative about the idea. These discussions have been held for the sole purpose of information gathering. Ron learned that we have until April 1, 2010 to decide, and in the meantime, the Beaver Ridge Wind project will be assessed and taxed.
Ron explained that he is not prepared tonight to discuss the TIF idea until more information is in, and there has been too much misinformation being spread around.
A discussion will be on the agenda for the next Selectmens meeting [March 25].
A heated discussion followed between Board members regarding how this controversy was created.
Ron answered citizens questions as follows:
1. Regarding the meeting March 4 with consultants, Ron didnt learn that Carol refused to attend the meeting with the TIF consultant until late afternoon, so rather than be there alone, Ron called a number of people in Town, and Jay Guber (CEO) and Nancy Bailey-Farrar (Planning Board Chair) did attend the meeting to learn about TIFs.
2. Regarding questions of conflict of interest from citizens, Ron replied that he should not be excluded from discussions. He explained that while a TIF would not affect him in any way, he offered to recuse himself from any vote if that would make the citizens more comfortable.
3. Ron explained the process involved in exploring a TIF is that the Board will research the idea and educate themselves about TIFs, and decide if a TIF is something that would benefit the Town. If so, it will be presented to the Town for an informational hearing, and the Town would have to vote to accept it. If there is widespread positive interest in a TIF, the Selectmen could hold an informational Town meeting prior to a Board decision.
Ron repeated that there is NO request from CES for a TIF, that there are NO negotiations on the table; this is only a fact-finding mission to see if we are missing the boat on an opportunity. Beaver Ridge Wind is not pushing this; the Selectmen are simply trying to educate themselves and research it. Only the Town can create a TIF; a company cannot.
4. A brief discussion followed regarding CES paying for the consultation with Eaton, Peabody, a firm with experience in developing TIFs. Ron explained that it is customary for the commercial entity to pay all fees in regards to a TIF.
5. In answer to a question about how Freedom will be affected by the future school budget, Ron replied that we do not have those figures yet.
6. In response to a query, Can citizens see the TIF figures?, the reply was yes, at the Town Office.
Carol related her understanding of TIFs as follows:
1. That funds cannot be spent on Town infrastructure (roads, town offices, fire trucks, fire house, etc.).
2. The TIF monies cannot amount to more than 5% of the Town total assessed value; but the wind turbines would be 25%.
3. That a TIF has to be completed by March 31. 2009, and that she felt it should have been developed in time to have a referendum vote.
4. She thinks that the Town can create their own TIF, and that CES can develop their own.
Another citizen spoke at length about why she feels a TIF is ill-advised; that the whole picture should be looked at, that CES should not be offered benefits in a Town that has no benefits to offer, that in the absence of comprehensive planning, this represents spot zoning when the town has no zoning except for Shoreland Zoning, and that she would get personally involved to fight against a TIF.
The Chair called an end to discussions on the TIF subject. The citizens followed with a lengthy discussion of the status of roads going back to 1955 and 1975, the ongoing lawsuit, the recent winging back of snow banks, and the stolen/recovered road signs. The Selectmen explained that the lawyers involved in negotiations of the lawsuit over the status of the roads feel that no settlement of the lawsuit will be possible. One resident suggested that the Town request restitution from the court hearing the case regarding stolen road signs, before the court takes up the case. Citizens also questioned the availability of a financial statement from the Recreation Committee following Freedom Field Day, and the timeliness of the minutes on the Town website.
Sallyann Hadyniak requested that the minutes include her statement, They [town trucks] never came up to my property. Its fine by me that they dont come here.
TREASURERS REPORT: Last week the payroll was $1977.94, and the Accounts payable totaled $2030, including BMV, dog licenses, hunting & fishing licenses and plumbing permits.
This week the payroll is $2071.23 and the A/P was $12,684.50 Checkbook balance is $71,420.86.
Ron moved to pay the payroll; vote carried.
Ron moved to pay the warrant; motion passed.
A note was written to Erna to pay the SAD 3 bill if it is overdue.
Carol explained that the Town had to purchase a new sander for $14,000. It was an emergency purchase when the old one fell apart, two snowstorms were coming, and available used sanders were buried under snow and could not be seen, would likely be in poor shape and need extensive repairs.
FIRE CHIEF: Ron asked Dave Bennett if there is any progress on getting a tanker. It is on the agenda for Town Meeting.
BUDGET COMMITTEE: Carol reported that the Budget Committee has been meeting weekly through Jan. and Feb., and will meet again on March 12, intending to make more cuts. The Town Report is nearly finished.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE: The committee will meet again after Town Meeting, at which the Town will decide about funding for KVCOG to work on the Comp. Plan. Ron asked Dave if the Comp. Plan Committee will make a presentation at the Town Meeting; Dave suggested that he ask Mr. Stocco from KVCOG to do that.
Ron explained that the state has changed the requirements for state-certified Comp. plans, making it necessary to have it professionally done.
Several citizens expressed their concern that the Town does not yet have a new Commercial Development Review Ordinance. Bridges explained his understanding is that the process as directed by the state requires a Comprehensive Plan to be in place before new ordinances are adopted.
CEMETERY COMMITTEE: Jon Willette has asked to do volunteer maintenance again this year on the Town cemeteries. Carol moved to have Jon take care of the cemeteries; motion passed.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE: Requests have slowed down. Two residents needed oil in February, one in March. Applicants are directed to apply for fuel assistance, and are informed that assistance is for emergencies, not for the whole season.
OLD BUSINESS: Carol is still working on issues with Peoples Heritage. Erna told Ron that Bangor Savings Bank is now paying interest on our checking account. Carol thinks that Peoples Heritage offers more benefits.
NEW BUSINESS: Citizens questioned and discussed the winging back and plowing of certain roads.
Carol moved to recess this meeting until Monday night at 6 PM, March 16th, for the purpose of signing the warrant for Town Meeting.
Meeting was recessed by vote at approximately 8 PM.
On March 16, 2009 the recessed meeting reconvened at 6:08 PM. Present were Carol Richardson (Selectmen), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Ron Price (Chair, Selectman), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Committee Chair), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Dave Bennett. Jim Waterman (Fire Chief) attended for awhile, and Dana Canavan arrived later.
NEW BUSINESS: Following a discussion about tape recorders, Carol moved for the Town to pay for a microphone for the Secretarys tape recorder, which has not picked up voices from the audience adequately.
The articles for the Town Report were discussed. #27 needs to be reworded. Questions arose about an addition to the Town Office., and it was suggested that estimates be obtained for construction and for a vault.
Selectmen signed the warrant on the following conditions:
Article 27: $25,000 for addition needs to be added to the spreadsheet.
Article 38: CD Account replaced by the wording Capital Improvement Account.
Article 41: The amount of property tax levy limit needs to be filled in.
Jim Waterman has two estimates for a 5,7,and 9 year lease/purchase/own agreement for a pumper tanker, and the figure will be $225,000. Once the Town Report is out, Jim would like questions about this to be directed to him.
Carol apologized to Ron Price for the disagreement over the subject of TIFs. Carol said that she had been misled, and was wrong aout the deadline for a TIF. Ron accepted her apology.
A detailed discussion followed about property taxes and the recently received Ratio Declaration Reimbursement Application received from the state. Previously our Town taxation was at 67% of the state evaluation. Once we get evaluation figures into our computer, Dave Ledew will come and work with us. If we can increase our evaluation by $5 million, we would be taxing at 85-90%. Ledew advised Carol to review the evaluation ratio with John Carroll. The new mil rate can be estimated when Carol and Jackie Robbins get figures into the computer program. The schools are suffering a shortfall of about $1 million, so we expect a jump in the school tax.
Regarding the ongoing 2005 audit, there are several bank statements that are missing from 2005, and the auditor said this is unacceptable.
Dana Canavan made the required changes in the Town Warrant, and the Selectmen signed the corrected version.
At 7:35 it was moved and voted to adjourn. Next Selectmens meeting at 6 PM March 25th, 2009.
Respectfully submitted, Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTORS MEETING
FEBRUARY 25, 2009
Selectman Ron Price (Chair) opened the meeting at 6:05 p.m. with the following present: Carol Richardson (Selectperson) Sallyann Hadyniak (Secretary) Erna Keller (Treasurer) and Jay Guber (CEO).
Selectman Tim Biggs was absent due to being on vacation.
Ron Price made a motion to accept the minutes as read with no corrections or errors. Carol second the motion. Motion made and carried.
NO CITIZENS ISSUES OR QUESTIONS:
A new combination copy/fax/printer machine was purchased for $3000.00 for the office. It was noted that the cost for the Town Report was approximately $1,000.00 or less. With this new machine we could run off as many copies as we need and the cost will be for the paper and ink. It will have paid for itself within 3 years. The machine prints double sided paper and also will automatically staple them if needed. Ron made a motion for the yearly Town report be printed and bound in our office and Sallyann volunteered to be one of the few workers who will put the reports together. Carol second the motion. Motion made and carried. Ron stated that he wanted to see the book before printing and Carol stated that the warrant was most important. The old copy machine will be kept in the office for the different boards/committees) to use till it breaks down. Ernas printer and the fax combination is not working properly and this was the best way to go. Now Erna can print 25 sheets a minute from her machine and other computers can also.
Ron made a motion to pay the Selectpersons Secretary a total of $40.00 per meeting. Carol second the motion. Motion made and carried. The Office Secretary will be paid $10.00 per hour.
Payroll for last week was $1,031.85
Payroll for this week was $2,847.51 which included Selectpersons and ACO
The A/P Warrant is $45,002.39 (This includes school payment for $31,947.00)
Checkbook balance is $35,432.62
From MMA for stolen equipment in the amount of $980.02
US Cellular (refund for last month paid) $49.99
From the State for November 2008 to January 2009 Welfare Reimbursement of $1,852.56
Total refund brought in so far is $2,152.56 (Thanks to Carol who did the paper work so fast to get the refunds).
From MRC for the 4th quarter in the amount of $777.79
Smithton Cemetery was taken off the warrant as it belongs to the town.
Adjustments to the Warrant:
$137.58 was taken off the warrant and will be taken care of after the auditor is done.
$14.87 was added to the warrant to pay Touch Tone and to advise them that their services are not required.
Ron made a motion to approve the Treasurers Report and approve the A/P Warrant in the amount of $44,879.58. Carol
Second the motion. Motion made and carried.
Ron made the motion that Erna transfer $50.000.00 from the Capital Improvement Account so that we wont run low on money and then it will be put back when the money begins to come into the office. As of now, the Capital Improvement Account has not been touched.
Carol second the motion. Motion made and carried.
Ron made a motion to approve the payroll in the amount of $2,847.51. Carol second the motion. Motion made and carried.
Jay Guber met with the Midcoast Biologist from Unity in Rockport with the Midcoast CEO Training and discussed eagles, shore land zoning, etc. That was all Jay had to report.
A discussion was held in regards to winging back the snow on the discontinued roads because another storm is expected and the board feels its an emergency to help the people that live on discontinued roads that are not maintained by the town because its a safety issue. Roads such as Mill Road, Guber Lane, Rollins Road, Oak Lane, Beaver Ridge Road, Wentworth has a narrow path, Hardwood Lane, Deer Hill
Louie Murray and Doris OToole need to move their car out of the roadway because the snow needs to be removed. Ron will check it out.
Carol made a motion to have these roads winged back and for Clint to be allowed to fill up his truck with sand and pay him for gas. Ron second the motion. Motion made and carried.
Ron reported that the budget committee is making good progress and the next and last meeting will be Tuesday March 3rd.
The Freedom Rec. Comm. cleared $495.00 on this months drawing and that brings the total to about $1,500.00 for the centennial
Carol reported that $3,600.00 has been spent and we got back from the state $1,800.00. GA was very high this year.
Regarding the changing of banks, it still has not been settled. There was a brief discussion. Carol would like to have it done as soon as possible.
Carol wanted to put an article on the warrant to build a shed for the office. After a discussion, the idea of adding a 20-30 foot addition to the office would be nice. Ron would look into this.
Ron made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:23 p.m. and Carol second the motion. Motion made and carried.
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTORS MEETING
FEBRUARY 11. 2009
Selectman Ron Price opened the meeting at 6:07 p.m. with the following present: Carol Richardson (Selectperson) Tim Biggs (Selectman) Ron Price (Chair) Sallyann Hadyniak (Secretary) Erna Keller (Treasurer) Marion Bowers (Health Nurse) and Jay Guber (CEO).
A motion was made by Tim Biggs to accept the minutes of the February 4th meeting as written and placed on file. Carol second the motion, all were in favor
NO CITIZENS ISSUES OR QUESTIONS:
Ron read a letter from Waldo County Management regarding storm damages between December 11th-29th. A form was to be filled out for public assistance and returned by February 6th. At such time we didnt have any damage therefore no action was taken.
Carol spoke with Tony Neves at length regarding mylars and plan to have files and folders listing roads filled with information about how much money was spent or what exactly was done on these roads together with information regarding FEMA and updating our maps. The Registry of Deed is requesting an updated copy of our large maps. Carol called Hamlin Associates who will draw in the Mylars. Make one copy for Registry of Deeds and a copy for us. Jackie is done and will not get paid for this job. Tim made a motion that Carol takes our maps and information to a woman who knows what to do with them. them for less then $400.00 Ron second the motion, all in favor, motion made and carried.
A letter was received from T. B. North in regards to a meeting with them of which they discussed the bank selection and bookkeeping process. The letter expressed thanks for meeting with them; Erna was also at that meeting.
Payroll for this week was $1.305.77 .
A/P warrant was $12,682.14
The balance in the checkbook is $33,433.07
A motion was made by Tim Biggs to pay the payroll warrant second by Carol. All in favor, motion made and carried.
Ron made a motion to accept the treasurers report and remove lawyer Kellys bill from the A/P warrant in the amount of $4,600.00 leaving the A/P Warrant in the amount of $8,093.65 until the next meeting. Tim seconds the motion, all in favor, motion made and
Carried. After removing Mr. Kellys bill from the warrant, the balance in the checkbook is $25, 339, 42
The A/P Warrant will be 8,093.65
Marion Bowers had nothing to report.
Jay Guber stated that Robert Shepard did get a notice for intent to harvest and Jay contacted John Pratt who is a designated licensed forester on the project. S & M will do the cutting on 25 acres. which is not in tree growth and is listed on lot 8. They will be putting a bridge over the stream and cutting into shore land zoning.
Jay attended a meeting in Pittsfield and someone requested that he revisit the Bobby Jo Nicolas property. Val Whittier stated that Steve Bennetts requesting information and answers regarding the cutting on the property. The end of Oak Lane coming in from the Mitchell Road has been renamed Acorn Lane in case a 911 call needs to be made, they wont be confused.
On January 10th Jay received a call from Dave Lafrennia who will be purchasing the corner property on North Palermo and Greeley corner. His intention is to open a motorcycle repair shop and eventually a commercial farm stand. Dave is going to the DOT to get a driveway permit for he wants an incoming driveway on N. Palermo and an outgoing driveway on the Greeley Road.
On February 5th Jay met with the Planning Board to review the shore land zoning; they took out 8 pages of information that does not apply in Freedom. Everyone is on board with the draft change. Freedom is not in the Flood Plain. Freedom never adopted it.
Carol suggested that more money be raised for GA because this month alone cost over $2000.00 and the town is getting only $1,000.00 back. Things are not getting better. The money covered 27 people and 9 cases.
Ron gave a brief report that all the trucks are up and running. Some small items needed to be taken care of and Dana (the mechanic)has been able to do the fixing and repairs, regarding the strobe lights not working, windshield wipers, hydraulic failures and a blown out tire.
The fire department had fit testing done at the hospital.
Ron reported that Nancy Bailey and Lillian Phillips attended a conference dealing with wind power and the different things the communities have to go through. Nancy and Lillian talked at length with a gentleman regarding TIFF. Nancy gave the information packet to Ron Maine. The gentleman was from the Department of Economical Development. The town has a year to decide if they wanted a TIFF in Freedom. The 2008 valuation will carry over. One of the Selectpersons need to attend a meeting on February 23rd. in Winslow.
The Budget Committee will be meeting at the Town Office on February 12.
Carol discussed electronic deposits regarding checking account at the bank. T. B. North included everything in their package interest on checking and no service charge. or processing charge. There is a charge to have an ATM machine in the office.
Carol also suggested the board talk to the Tony Neves who is a Selectman in the Town of Albion because Jackie Robbins is only charging the town $1,200, 00 and the town has around 2,000 people. We in Freedom have 309 houses for assessing. Jackie is coming back next week and she already has her bid in for assessing. This year she will charge $1,500.00. Freedom cannot pay that amount of money for only 6 hours.
Carol received a call from Marilyn Littlefield and stated she was giving the land to Avian Haven regarding the land right behind the school house on Palermo Road will be given to Avian Farm. More information is needed for that particular property.
Ron stated that when filing for a TIFF you have to file some significant financial records and if we arent up to date, we will not qualify.
Cindy found some records and Carol and her will give the last part to the auditor on Friday afternoon. Jo Ann will attend the counter. Erna, Carol and Cindy will work on the audit on Friday.
Sullivans contract is for 5 years and still has 3 years to go. We are still paying him a fuel surcharge and it should come off since the price of fuel has gone down.
A man called Tim and asked permission to cut an elm tree for firewood. Since it isnt on town property, Tim will call him and tell him he must contact the owner of the land.
There was a discussion regarding Tims last meeting on March 25th March 11th and March 25th are scheduled meetings for those two days. Tim will be away and his last meeting is on the 25th. There will be a telephone conference on March 25th between the lawyers. A brief discussion was held regarding the road issue, and surveyor, etc.
Most of the articles have been written up and now are waiting for the budget committee.
Ron made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:37 p.m. Carol second the motion, all were in favor, motion made and carried.
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMENS MEETING
FEBRUARY 4, 2009
Selectman Tim Biggs opened the meeting at 6:06 p.m. with the following present: Selectperson Carol Richardson, Selectmen Tim Biggs, Selectmen and Chair Ron Price who arrived a few minutes late, Sallyann Hadyniak (Secretary), Steve Bennett, Jeff Keating, Marion Bowers, Erna Keller (Treasurer and Jay Guber (CEO).
No amendments were made to the minutes of January 14, 2009 therefore Tim Biggs made a motion to accept the minutes as read and Carol Richardson second the motion. Ron was in attendance and all were in favor.
CITIZENS ISSUES AND QUESTIONS:
Steve Bennett spoke up and stated that he wants to discuss the roads and asked if he could sit at the table because he had a 1939 aerial map of the Beaver Hill, Sibley Road and Deer Hill Road and photo album. Jeff Keating, Marion Bowers and Jay Guber joined the group at the board table.
His presentation took about an hour and stated when he was done that he made the presentation in the spirit of compromise. The Board of Selectors werent in any position to make a decision. Ron Price was in total agreement with all Steve Bennett had to say regarding the way to go especially with the road erosion problem regarding the last 1000 feet of Sibley Road.
Jay Guber turned in his tree growth plan that he received from Vite Vitale (forester) bringing him up to date. The plan was due in 2008 but due to illness Mr. Vitale was unable to produce it. Jay submitted a letter to the board that the plan will be done ASAP
Jay Guber gave out permits to the following:
Clarence Ronald Price (reissued building (first permit expired June 08) permit. Previous permit was based on October 19, 2007 Plumbing permit #428 permit is still valid until Oct 19, 2009... Ron had a septic design, and the stakes in an area that Jay had questioned being too close to Deer Hill Road and now its been laid out and the stakes need to be reset. Jay issued another permit to Ron on January 27, 2009 permit #646 for a dwelling and garage on map 6 lot 0101 book 780 page 355 which is good for 6 months. Plumbing permit is good for 2 years. No perk test is needed if one has a septic design.
Forester John Pratt contacted Jay on behalf of Bob Shepard who has land off Lewin Road at tip of Sandy Pond. Mr. Pratt stated that they would be cutting within several weeks. Jay noted that he did not receive a notice of intent to harvest from Mr. Shepard. (Will be done in shore land zoning)
Nancy Farrar submitted a notice of intent to harvest on 606 Palermo Road. It will be done by Kevin Shores.
Jay attended CEO Training on 1/14/09 regarding sub-divisions, in Orono regarding legal issues, 1/29/09 regarding Augusta Indoor Air Quality training, once again to Augusta for CEO training on energy saving devices.
Bryan Fuller from Rockland purchased 10 acre lot, from Bob Lahey across from Bishop and it not a sub-division. He has the permit for the construction for a driveway in spring of 2009.
Amy Lemelin Division of Land Resource Regulation Bureau of land and Water Quality is the new community contact regarding land use matters.
Jay read a letter addressed to the Board of Selectors c/o Carol ( which was written by Jay) It was of a personal matter and Carol thought it should have been discussed in an executive session and not at a public meeting. A discussion was held at length and a copy of the letter is attached to the minutes. Ron felt it was all a misunderstanding and Tim asked that the subject be dropped.
If the town does not have a Land Use Ordinance Jay does not need a certification but if the town has added the area of Land Use to Jays responsibilities, he has a 12 month grace period to achieve certification from date of letter SPO sent last spring.. (See Letter from Maine State Planning Office which is attached to the minutes).
The Town was fined last summer $500.00 due to a phone line that was cut. Ron Price & Clint Spaulding were able to have the fine reduced to $100.00 and made a motion to pay the $100.00. All were in favor.
Payroll for week of 1/17/09 was $1,606.31
Payroll for week of 1/24/09 was $2,492.51This includes Selectors and ACO)
Payroll for week of 1/31/09 was $1,570.59
Ron Price made a motion to pay the A/P warrant in the amount of $55,350.97
Motion made and carried, all in favor.
Balance in checkbook before the A/P warrant is $120.534.87 (trio) after paying the warrant of $44,388.65 the balance will be $65.146.22
Checks recd from Phillip Thurston CD interest for $43.59 (remainder of 2008 interest)
Beaver Ridge Wind for #3,000.00 (Reimbursement for work done on Mitchell Road in 2008)
MMA for $4,119.71 (Reimbursement for Truck #1997 GMC damage in 2008)
State of Maine for $6,918.26 (January Municipal revenue Sharing)
State of Maine for $300.00 (Welfare Reimbursement for October 2008 General Assistance)
Carol said to take off the Phillip Thurston and Smithton Assoc. from the warrant because they were over paid in the past. It is to be held in the General Fund.
Motion was made by Ron Price to approve the treasurers report. Carol second the motion. Motion made and carried, all in favor.
Ron reported that the budget committee will be done in the next three weeks.
The Comprehensive Plan is sitting back and waiting to decide what the Committee will do about the plan.
Marion Bowers reported that the jars of peanut butter are o.k. just dont buy the peanut butter filled crackers.
All town trucks are in working order.
The Board of Selectors met with Mike Rogers (1/19/2009) to discuss TIFF. Financing and Assessing of windmills. Ron read a letter from John Piotti. It was decided by the Board of Selectors that the monies would have to be dedicated to the project for 20 years, the people wouldn't have anything to say in the matter and it cant be put into road improvements, etc. The Board decided not to apply for TIFF this year!
The Board set the date of election on Friday March 27th and the Annual Town Meeting on Saturday March 28th,
There will be a budget meeting tomorrow night; Tim and Ron will be in attendance.
No other business. The next meeting will be on Wednesday February 11, 2009
Carol made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:29 p.m. Second by Tim, motion made and carried. All were in favor.
1 attachment from Jay Guber
1 attachment from SPS
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMENS MEETING
JANUARY 14, 2009
Chairman Ron Price opened the meeting at 6:10 PM, with the following present: Carol Richardson (Selectman), Tim Biggs (Selectman), Ron Price (Chair, Selectman), Sallyann Hadyniak, Glen Bridges (Secretary), and Michelle Haskell.
REVIEW MINUTES: Minutes from Dec. 22 and 30, 2008 were accepted as written, to be placed on file.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Sallyann complained that the most recent minutes on the Town website are from October. Carol said that the website was created by Todd, but that Ryan has the code. Discussion followed about the Selectmen being able to update the website.
Ron moved, seconded by Tim, to get information from Ryan to show us how to update the website ourselves. Passed.
Michelle Haskell introduced herself [see attached letter], and expressed her interest in being considered for the ACO position (Animal Control Officer) for Freedom. She explained how she carries out her job as ACO for the towns of Albion and Palermo. She loves being an ACO, and prides herself on being good at the job. She attends Selectmens meetings, and contributes to town reports. Her rate of returning missing dogs is 98%. As part of her pay, she asks for 41 cents per mile.
Carol responded that Freedom paid $2000 for the year and $200 for mileage for 2008.
TOWN OFFICERS: Tim moved to appoint Glen Bridges, Susan Friend, and Sallyann Hadyniak as Secretary to the Selectmen, seconded by Carol, and passed. The Selectmen agreed that Glen will serve as minute-taker for Selectmens meetings, with Sue or Sallyann to serve as alternates if Glen has to be absent. And Sue will assist Carol. All three need to be sworn in by Cindy.
CEO: Jay received a letter of intent to harvest a woodlot of 50A owned by Jim Waterman, to be cut by Steve Haskell. The parcel is not in tree growth. Jays job regarding forestry is to be sure best practices are followed for erosion prevention, and that Shoreland Zoning regulations are followed near waterways and wetlands. Any parcel harvested over 8 acres needs a notice of intent. The harvester provides a contract for the landowner, and usually files the letter of intent and a map with harvest plans to the ME Dept. of Forestry, then it comes back to the Town CEO.
The State Planning Office no longer has a CEO Director, and will be charging for their seminars. Jay has been in touch with MMA about the Town Building Ordinance and proposed changes. Since the State adopted the International Building codes, they mandate Towns to include the code if there are any changes made to the Town ordinance. We dont know if we have to adopt the new codes, because we dont have a population that reaches the cut-off of 2,000.
Jay asked for $75 reimbursement for a course about flood plain regulations, $50 for a MIAQC (Maine Indoor Air Quality Control) course, and $90 for an energy course. [No action taken.] Last year Jays pay was $5000 plus $1000 for expenses and mileage. He didnt go over the $5000 for 2008, but expenses will be higher next year.
Thirty-two building permits were granted in 2008, most for outbuildings and additions, none for houses.
The former Mallett house on Waning road has been condemned by Health Officer Marion Bowers after inspection by CEO Jay and Dave Schofield because of numerous violations due to faulty wiring, inadequate plumbing, lack of smoke detectors, and blocked exits. The tenants had to move out.
RECREATION COMMITTEE: The committee earned a profit of $690 for hosting the CES open house.
PLANNING BOARD: Sallyann asked why the Planning Board is not making progress on a new Commercial Development Review Ordinance. [No members of the PB were in attendance to respond].
Jay Guber reviewed changes proposed to the Building Permit Ordinance. Glen thought that time constraints may make it impossible to hold a public hearing and get those changes into the Town Report for annual meeting.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE: Glen reported that a meeting has been set up for next week with Dave Bridges, Ron Price and MacGregor Stocco.
TREASURER: We are up to date in paying Bill Kelly. Sallyann asked how much of the $25,000 for legal fees has been spent; Erna replied $16,500 plus $2000 on current warrant. Erna mentioned training sessions coming up.
Last weeks Accounts Payable (A/P) warrant was $4369.83, for 2008 bills. The payroll last week was $821.88. This weeks payroll is $1849.59. The checkbook balance after payroll is $117,393.78.
This weeks A/P warrant is $52,092.59, which includes a school payment of $20,145.59. The second A/P, for 2008 bills, is $755.10. Paying both warrants would leave $64,546.09 in the checkbook.
A check was received from CES for the open house for $2100, and a check for a snowmobile refund (2008) for $410.44. A letter from PERC says our cost is going up to $73.20 per ton.
A motion was made to pay the warrants, then amended to postpone paying the school bill, which will still be paid on time if paid Jan. 28th. Ron Price moved, seconded by Tim to delete past motions, and to sign the 2008 A/P of $755.10 and a revised warrant of $20,900.69, excluding the school bill. Motion passed. Checkbook balance now is $93,493.09. Payrolls were signed previously.
OLD BUSINESS: Jay asked about the status of Skidgels, and thinks that there could be an opportunity for the Town to acquire some property needed for the Town garage & sand & salt facility. The Selectmen pointed out that it is still a clean-up situation, with a lien on the property by the EPA. Jay thought that the lien would be removed if the property changed hands. The Selectmen do not want the Town to have to be responsible for the rest of the clean up and removal of the buildings.
Ron asked Jay if he would be willing to head up an unofficial committee, choosing his own members, to research what can happen with Skidgels, with one requirement, that he have no contact with the owners. Jay agreed, and Ron put into a motion that Jay be authorized to form a committee to research the possibilities for the Skidgels property under the conditions stated. Tim seconded. Motion passed with Carol abstaining.
Carol reported that the 2005 audit figures and one half of 2006 have been sent to the auditor, and she expects to hear a response from Craig shortly.
NEW BUSINESS; Carol also reported that our lawyer advises that while Ron can discuss the idea of creating a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) for the Beaver Ridge project at tonights meeting, he should refrain from getting involved because of his conflict of interest. Carols understanding of a TIF, after talking to Dave Ledew, is that monies have to be dedicated to new economic improvement projects, not road maintenance, sand & salt facilities, etc. If the Town were to take in tax on $10 million, and our budget were to remain the same, which it wont, then our tax rate would be 13.3 mils for 3 years, and 14.90 after that. That is with no budget increase.
The Selectmen need to find out who owns the new 3-phase wiring to tax the new line. Either Dave Ledew or Rogers will be coming to talk to the Selectmen about how to tax Beaver Ridge wind, and TIFs.
A representative from CMP notified Carol that Lucas will be doing some trimming on the North Palermo Road this summer.
Carol and Tim met with Bill Kelly this afternoon in an executive session regarding the lawsuit over 3 roads. No decisions were made.
Ron asked if anything can be done with the huge pine tree lying on the side of the Mitchell Road. Carol thought that it belongs to the landowner, and the Town cannot do anything about it.
Jay Guber advised that the Selectmen meet with John Piotti to learn about TIFs, and proceeded to set up a meeting for them for Thursday morning, Jan. 15.
Jay Guber inquired how to get his article into the Town Report to see if the Town will vote to maintain Guber Lane. Tim replied that hed rather not see any increase in Town expenses. Carol and Ron were willing to let it be voted on. A petition would only be necessary if the Selectmen rejected an article.
The first Budget Committee will meet tomorrow Jan. 15th at 6:30.
Selectmen will be meeting Monday evenings at 6 PM to go over articles for the Town Report, except that the Jan. 19th meeting will be moved to Jan. 20th.
The next Selectmens meeting will be January 28th, 2009 at 6 PM.
Motion to adjourn passed at 8:30 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
Attachment: Letter to Selectmen from Michelle haskell
Selectmen present: Tim Biggs, Ron Price (Chair), Lynn Hadyniak.
Others present: Erna Keller (Treasurer), Jay Guber (CEO), Dave Schofield (Plumbing Inspector), Betty Sienkiewicz, Carol & Arthur Richardson, Marian Bowers, Sally Ann Hadyniak, Dave Bridges, Steve & Ginny Bara, Harold & Pamela Christianson, Mike Turner, Scott Holmes, Keisha Whitman, Larry Turner, Glen Bridges, Carrie & Steven Bennett, Stephen Bennett.
Meeting called to order by Chairman Price at 6:00 PM.
Minutes from Dec. 26 were read and approved, and will be placed on file.
1. Carrie Bennett stated that the town meeting called for Dec. 29 was properly posted in four places. While some people couldnt find the posted warrants, Sally Ann said she posted them herself. Carrie asked if Tim & Lynn were going to vote on the results of the meeting, and demanded that Ron Price step down as Selectman because he is not residing in Freedom, and he stepped down in Knox. Lynn read the MMA opinion, which gives the registrar of voters the authority to establish residency. Ron replied that he is house sitting for his son, that his address is 297 Belfast Road, Freedom, that he is registered to vote in Freedom, owns property in Freedom, receives his mail in Freedom, and did not step down in Knox.
Tim characterized the above as vindictive, possibly related to the wind power debate. Stephen Bennett & Carrie Bennett both denied being vindictive.
Steven Bennett asked how Selectmen will address the vote from the town meeting. Lynn read the explanation from MMA. The first petition was not presented to the Select Board 45 days prior to the requested vote, as required; it was not unreasonable to not act on it. The petitioners next recourse would be to sue the town.
Steve Bennett objected that all they had wrong on the first petition was the article and the statute number referenced, but that their intent was clear. Ron reiterated that he had directly asked Barbara Littlefield if she was asking for a secret ballot vote, and she replied yes. There is no requirement for the Selectmen to take immediate action on a petition.
Tim moved to deny the first petition, seconded by Lynn. Vote in favor was unanimous.
A discussion followed about the Dec. 29 meeting. At that meeting, Ron had attempted to explain how taxes were figured, but it became obvious to him that Carries remarks during the meeting were just an attempt to discredit him. Lynn explained MMAs opinion on the meeting being without authority, and pointed out that no town funds were raised for rebates. Stephen Bennett asked what urgency prompted the rise in the mil rate. Tim repeated the history of the town running out of money earlier and earlier each year, right after town meeting last year, not being able to pay our school bill, paying vendors late, and that irresponsible deficit spending got worse every year, with inadequate overlays. Carol related that Red Mitchell used to figure on having $200,000 by Jan. 1 each year. We currently have $175,000.
Lynn explained that this is not a surplus, but simply money to pay town bills.
Several suggestions were made to improve the town financial situation. Stephen Bennett suggested going to the town to get authority to borrow from the Capital Improvement Account, getting tax bills out earlier. Ron explained that earlier tax bills may improve cash flow, but is no assurance of immediate payment. We need the money to repair roads in the right season, do trimming, etc.
Jay Guber said that while Freedom had some unexpected expenses such as legal bills, this problem is everywhere, with record numbers of forclosures and unpaid taxes. No one could see these economic problems coming. The Selectmen are doing the best they can, just trying to keep the towns head above water. Carrie Bennett thought Selectmen had been too aggressive.
2. Carol Richardson suggested that our Town Clerk needs to be appointed deputy treasurer, and be bonded, in order to accept certain payments.
3. Carol Richardson asked if Selectmen will accept articles for warrant, or would petitions be necessary. Ron answered that they would be accepted if not totally outlandish.
TREASURER: Erna Keller reported that the 2005 audit will take place Jan. 22, and the town office will be closed; also, they will try to get the auditor to move on to the 2006 audit.
Checkbook balance: $175,991.59
Accounts payable, 2007: $9081.17
Accounts payable: $39,122.91
Ron moved to close the Philip Thurston Smithton Cemetery account and the so-called repo account and turn the monies over to the Cemetery Committee so they can manage their own finances. Tim seconded. Passed unanimously.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Jay Guber submitted his mileage for reimbursement. Letters have gone to Elizabeth Soisson and Robert Muehlmann about violations of Shoreland Zoning. Rich Baker has written the town about the inadequacy of the current Shoreland Zoning maps. Numerous training seminars are being offered; Jays accreditation is good until 2013.
He dealt with Eric Fuller, fiancé of the owner of the Ken Shaw subdivision lot #1 regarding more filling of a wetland than allowed. Jay attended two training courses, on legal issues and radon. The state is urging town to accept Code 64, an international building code, which would have very negative costly effects here. He has talked to the tenant at 26 High St. about cleaning up accumulated garbage.
The cleanup at Skidgells has filled two 45 containers with hazardous waste, which is all that is being removed, and they are inventorying the waste. The buildings will remain. Following cleanup, Jay will request water tests on nearby wells. Lynn suggested testing the stream too.
PLUMBING INSPECTOR: Dave Schofield reported that septic systems will be going in in the next few weeks. He has been giving permits for subsurface systems for spring construction. The Stan McDonald system has been completed. Dave has $3500 to $4000 of grant money leftover from the McDonald project, and needs to find a project to use it for. Various ideas were discussed, with Lynn moving:
1. See if the money can be used to fix up the town garage septic system, or if not,
2. Try to find a resident who needs a system and can come up with the balance (about 5,000), or finally,
3. Offer to install the system that the Malletts on Waning Road have sitting in their yard.
Tim seconded, and motion passed unanimously.
ROAD COMMISSIONER: Clint was not present, but Mike Turner submitted a bid to provide sand to the town. Tim would like to buy 500 yards. Tim moved to authorize Clint to open bids, make a decision, and go ahead. Seconded by Lynn, passed unanimously.
SCHOOL BOARD DIRECTOR: Ron would like to appoint someone to fill the vacancy until an elected representatives term begins; term runs June to June. Lynn said this is a demanding job that took her 17 hours a month.
SOLID WASTE REP: We still need to fill this position.
BUDGET COMMITTEE: Ron talked to Doug Van Horn; he is ready to call a meeting. Mon., Wed., Fri. or weekends work for Lynn.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE: Meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Jan. 10. Dave Bridges and Kevin Malady have joined the committee. Glen Bridges is filling in for Hilary.
1. The state evaluation of the town needs to be appealed. Lynn will get back to that effort right away.
2. The Stevens Road property, and additional funds for assessor will be put on the warrant for the annual town meeting.
3. Two parcels of land that contain swampland will be inspected in the spring.
4. Whether or not to open the access road to the boat launch area was discussed. Lynn moved to leave entrance road closed at night. The Dept. of Conservation owns the cement launch, while the town owns the road. Past vandalism, the cause of the road closure, was discussed and the likelihood of depleting the fish population by fishing all night with lights. Tim felt the increasingly difficult access to Maine waterways should be reason to open the road, and Scott Holmes said the vandals had moved away. Lynn retracted her original motion and Ron withdrew his second of that motion.
Then Ron moved to vote to open the road at night, seconded by Lynn. Motion failed
2 to 1.
1. Ron presented a letter to the Selectmen to sign and send out to the town to give citizens an understanding of the tax issues. Tim moved to sign it and send it out. Seconded by Lynn and passed unanimously. Reminder of March annual meeting date and deadline for articles proposed for warrant will be included.
2. Due date for reports for Freedoms annual report from the town officers, fire department, selectmen, treasurer, school representative, road commissioner, committees, etc., will be February 1. Erna asked if we are going to add the 2004 audit to the report. (Yes)
Discussion followed about printing the report in-house or to send it out; decision was to send it to a printer.
1. Lynn moved to accept the DHS General Assistance Ordinance Appendices A-C and F; seconded by Ron & passed. She reported that general assistance had paid $45 for a CMP bill and $325 to Thompson Oil, that amount due to Thompsons minimum delivery requirements. Ron mentioned that Paul Flynn will deliver smaller amounts.
2. Job evaluations: need to evaluate the road commissioner.
3. Date of next Selectmans meeting will be Jan. 23, 2008.
4. Lynn moved to pay the accounts payable from 2007 in the amount of $8810.15, which excludes interest from Philip Thurston Smithton Cemetery account (being turned over to cemetery committee). Seconded by Tim & passed.
5. Lynn moved to pay 2008 accounts payable of $39,122.91. This includes $31,098 for the current SAD 3 bill, on time!
Lynn announced that she is not running for re-election as Selectman.
Ron Price moved that the Board go into executive session according to 1 MRSA. 405 (6) to discuss poverty tax abatement applications. Seconded and passed.
Meeting adjourned at 9:22 PM.
Respectfully submitted, Glen S. Bridges