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2011 MINUTES FOLLOW IN REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.
|Select Board meets every other Monday of each month.|
CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Price called the meeting to order at 6 PM. Present: Selectmen Ron Price, Clint Spaulding, Brian Jones. Also Bob Hermon, Scott Holmes (ACO), Jim Waterman (Fire Chief), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Dave Bridges (Comp Plan), Lendell Chase, and Glen Bridges (Secretary).
FINALIZE AGENDA: Brian suggested that an Assessors meeting be scheduled.
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from Nov. 21 were approved as written.
FIRE CHIEF: Jim reported on Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets for low-income residents, shut-ins, and elderly.
Wed. morning the new fire truck will be driven to K & T, who estimates $5700 to repair the pump seal and go over the entire truck. Jim thinks that figure may go up.
Regulations require an approved drivers list for each Fire Dept. vehicle. About a half dozen are expected to qualify. Ron asked what would happen if no qualified driver is available to drive; Jim replied that would be a problem, they would have to depend on mutual aid. Usually 3 firefighters are available during the daytime. Fire calls are down.
Jim asked the Board to authorize him to sell the air packs that came with the new fire truck. Ron moved the question; motion passed.
ACO: Scott got a call about a cat found in a garage with a leg-hold trap stuck on its leg; it was uninjured and taken to the shelter. Scott called the Game Warden, but there was no name on the trap, and his call was not returned. Discussion followed questioning if a name is required on a trap if the property owner sets it on private property; it was suggested to call IF & W.
CEO: Ron has called Dave Schofield to ask him to attend meetings. Questions have come up about the purpose of Dave Pottles project on Mitchell Road; Ron will call him to inquire.
Brian expressed his concerns about water extraction off the Beaver Ridge Rd.
TOWN CLERK: Cindy announced that nomination papers will be available Dec. 15th and due back by Jan. 15th.
A new resident on Thompson Lane inquired about a road sign.
TAX COLLECTOR: Cindy gave each of the Selectmen a report including receipts from Jan. 2, 2011 to November, and a list of unpaid taxes. Collected excise taxes are down from 2010.
Ron pointed out that two or three residents are not paying personal property taxes. Brian moved to refer these accounts to the Assessors. Motion passed.
Brian moved to accept the Tax Collectors report; motion passed.
An Assessors meeting was set for Monday Dec. 12 at 6 PM. Mr. Bachrach is planning to attend to request abatement on his Ledges Lane lot.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE: Assistance was granted this week for heating oil ($270), personal & cleaning supplies ($50), and a CMP bill ($75). Brian thanked Cindy and Ron for their help.
SOLID WASTE: Brian will be meeting with Meredith Wed., Dec. 7 at 3:30 PM. Discussions are moving toward a transfer station.
BICENTENNIAL COMMITTEE: The nighttime light shining on the new flags at the Veterans Memorial is not adequate. Solar powered light vs. wired light was discussed.
A motion by Brian was passed to authorize Ron to solve the light problem for up to $200.
Cindy asked to send a mailing to Town residents asking for volunteers to serve on the committee. Ron moved, seconded by Clint to authorize Cindy to do so. Cost: $43.70. Cindy would also like the Selectmen to be involved.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Clint reported that Beaver Ridge Road is finished. The shoulders should be graded and mulched before Jan. 1. A rock coming up through Smithton Rd. should be removed.
$18,000 is left in the Public Works account, according to Erna, which is not URIP monies. Tires for the loader could be put off until January, depending on snowfall.
PLANNING BOARD: Meets Dec. 6 at 6:30 PM.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported:
Payroll 11/26/2011 $2058.08
Payroll 12/2/11 $7981.92
Beginning checkbook balance .$223,760.58
Accounts Payable $47,610.93
Ending checkbook balance $176,149.65
The payroll this week includes final payment for 2011 for nine Town employees.
Checks received were a refund of $582 from Mid Coast Mental Health, $6995 URIP 2nd quarter payment, and $5465.69 Tree Growth Reimbursement.
Pre-audit meeting is set with Vernice (RHR Smith) for Dec. 13th. Audit will begin on
Jan. 9th, 2012.
The evaluation on the turbines will be included next year in the States evaluation of the Town, but no predictions can be made about taxes because Freedoms school share will depend on changes in other towns.
Ron moved to sign payroll warrants for $2058.08 and $7981.92; motion passed.
Ron moved to sign the A/P warrant for $47,610.92; motion passed.
NEW BUSINESS: Brian said the Board should meet with Thorndike and Brooks about Knox fire protection. He would like to see Knox pay their fair share of expenses including insurance, utilities, and operating budget. Costs of all three towns should be added and averaged, with Knox paying 1/3 of average,
Ron said he approached Knox about contributing toward a fire truck, but they werent interested.
Brian asked for a public hearing to be posted and held at the start of the next Selectmens meeting, Dec. 19th, to approve the cost appendix for General Assistance, an annual requirement.
The next Select Board meeting is Dec. 19 at 6:30 PM.
Motion to adjourn at 8:12 PM.
Glen Bridges (Secretary)
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
NOVEMBER 21, 2011
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM, with the following present: Selectmen Brian Jones, Clint Spaulding, and Ron Price (Chairman). Also, Erna Keller (treasurer), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Donna & Glenn Sporie, Myrick Cross , Mary & Rich Spinelli, David Bridges (Comp. Plan), Meredith Coffin (UARRC), and Sally & Tony Grassi.
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes were approved as written.
PRESENTATION BY TONY GRASSI: Tony explained his proposed rehabilitation of the historic gristmill on Mill St., with the aid of maps/plans by Kleinschmidt Consultants. A gristmill from 1834-1894, then a sawmill until 1967, the building would be registered with the National Registry of Historic Places, and restored within guidelines of the ME Office of Historic Preservation. The repaired dam will direct water through a 23 kW turbine generator, and produce about 80 MW per year. [see plan & maps attached]
4,000 sq. ft. of commercial space will be offered for rent, possibly including a bakery and a farm store; the view from Pleasant St. will be re-established, and parking will be provided. Construction is expected to take about a year, and a house lot might be sold across the millpond, if financially necessary. Permits will be necessary from about 12 regulatory agencies, and the Town. Discussion and Q & A followed.
FIRE DEPT.: Clint reported that he spoke to Chief Waterman (absent). The pump on the new truck needs some work. K & T has estimated $5700, which includes repair of the pump seal and inspecting a list of other systems and transporting it. Clint would like a guarantee on the parts and work. Discussion followed about the pump seal, which appears to be the problem. Clint said tests showed that the impellor is OK. Clint preferred to get another estimate, but Jim said that Reliance wanted to see the truck before estimating cost.
Brian moved to authorize the repair by K & T, not to exceed the monies in the FVFD Capital Improvement Fund, and to include a six-month guarantee, with written permission for K & T to drive the truck. Ron seconded, motion passed unanimously.
TREASURER: Erna reported:
Payroll 11/14/11 . $3014.13
Payroll 11/18/11 .$2875.29
Additional 11/18 amount $430.60
Beginning checkbook balance .$235,088.67
A/P this week $22,564.08
Ending checkbook balance $212,524.59
A quarterly refund from MRC received for $170.32, and Revenue Sharing for November for $3506.29
A pre-audit meeting is set up with RHR Smith staff on Dec. 13th, and the 2011 audit is scheduled for Jan 9 & 10, with the final audit due back by Feb. 13th.
Budget Committee. Meetings are every other week; next one Nov. 30 at 7 PM.
Erna brought the Board up to date on the costs of the trip to bring the fire truck back from upstate New York, and discussed mileage for EMD Christine Spaulding.
Ron wants a report from the Tax Collector on the status of tax revenues; he will ask Cindy.
Brian moved to accept Ernas report; motion passed.
Clint moved to sign the A/P warrant; motion carried.
Clint moved to sign the payroll amounts of $2875.29 and $430.60; motion passed.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Clint reported that he is waiting for Roger Littlefield to do the ditching on Beaver Ridge Rd. Gerry Spauldings surveyor replaced the pin marking Gerrys boundary; Freedoms surveyor is coming to check the location.
The loader has an oil leak; Clint needs to find out what is left in the truck maintenance account. Clint found the best price for loader tires at Skowhegan Tire.
Brian moved to authorize Clint to purchase 2 tires for the loader from Skowhegan Tire.
Clint called Lane for a price on paving; he wants to get other prices too.
Patching needs to be done. Ron moved to order 3 pallets of patching, the good stuff; motion passed.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE: Brian reported another emergency delivery of 50 gal. of fuel oil.
SOLID WASTE DIRECTOR: Meredith reported Aaron Paul will not be leaving his job after all. The Board will be visiting other towns to see how their waste is handled; how different systems work. Brian gave Meredith a letter from Greg Lounder, which they will discuss at a later time.
BICENTENNIAL COMMITTEE: Brian reported that the committee needs more members, with representation from Town groups. The committee is brainstorming ideas right now.
RECREATION COMMITTEE: Ron commented that the Veterans Memorial Dedication was very well planned, went very successfully, and was attended by about 88 people, a good turnout.
Ron mentioned that the elm trees still need to be transplanted. If the Selectmen would decide where to put them, Glenn Sporie would be asked to take charge. Dave Bridges offered to help. Glenn thought they should look at the trees before deciding; they do get large.
The second annual Christmas craft fair will be Dec. 10th table rent is $10.
PLANNING BOARD: Brian reported that Chairman Bill Pickford invited Steve Bennett bring in people to make presentations. They have heard from nearby towns and an acoustical engineer.
The next meeting is Dec. 6 at 6:30 PM.
COMP PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave reported that the committee is just waiting for the vote in March, and suggested that the Select Board could go ahead and appoint a committee for long-range planning.
CEMETERY COMMITTEE: A new chairperson is needed; Jon Willette is willing to do the work, but prefers not to be the administrator.
BUDGET COMMITTEE: Ron said he is not pleased with the committees work so far; the group is debating small issues, but not seeing the big picture.
OLD BUSINESS: Jackie Robbins is fine with being put on the payroll; all the Towns have to do it that way.
The Beaver Ridge Wind evaluation is complete, and abatement granted:
Cost of project ..$11.2 million (Cmps $1.3 million and other specific costs cannot be included)
Amount of evaluation abated ..$927,989
NEW BUSINESS: Ron will set up an Assessors meeting to include Jackie Robbins for Dec. 2.
Brian brought up the subject of the Town website. The Town needs to have more input, and be able to make corrections/additions, such as putting the Town Report on the site. Ron will arrange a meeting with Frances.
The next Selectmens meeting will be Dec. 5 at 6 PM.
Motion to adjourn passed at 8:30 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
NOVEMBER 7, 2011
CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Price called the meeting to order at 6 PM. Present: Brian Jones, Ron Price, Clint Spaulding, Glen Bridges, Dave Bridges, Erna Keller, Sallyann Hadyniak.
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from Oct. 24, 2011 were accepted as read, as were the minutes from the emergency Selectmens meeting of Oct. 31st.
CORRESPONDENCE: Brian signed the form for Workmans Comp.
The MRCC vote needs to be cast by Dec. 12; motion to table passed.
Brian moved to not accept any committee reports tonight. Motion passed.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported:
Payroll this week $3035.71
Beginning checkbook balance $404,651.39
Less A/P for this week $66,498.47 (includes RSU 3 payment)
Ending checkbook balance ..$338,152.92
Fire Dept. Capital Improvement Account .$107,122.53
Less fire truck down payment $10,000
Balance in FD Capital Improvement Account $97,122.53
Brian moved to accept the Treasurers report. Clint moved to pay the warrants. Both motions passed.
Clint moved to direct the Treasurer to set up a meeting with the auditor to start the 2011 audit as soon as possible after Dec. 31, 2011. Motion passed.
Erna observed that squirrels are putting away many more nuts this fall than usual, and three of her friends are missing!
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: The sand and salt pile is up and backfilled. The concrete blocks were coated with concrete sealant.
Dig-Safe will be marking Beaver Ridge Rd. and Davis Roads prior to stump removal. Beaver Ridge will be done first, then Davis if any monies are left over.
The CEO should visit the Town Garage site; it may be that the Town needs a setback variance.
It is possible that the State would reimburse the Town for part of the cost of the sand/salt pad as much as 51%. Freedom is rated #3, and last year the State reimbursed 8 towns with the #3 rating.
Gerry Spaulding has requested a boundary marker be replaced on his property.
Clint moved to hire Gerry Spauldings surveyor replace the pin. Motion passed.
General assistance: Four applications came in. One received 50 gals. of emergency heating oil; another didnt qualify.
VETERANS MEMORIAL: Brian commented that the new flagpoles look great. Sallyann wants to buy a flag as a donation to the Town. A dedication will be held Friday, Nov. 11, at 10:45 AM.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: Ron moved to present the Comp. Plan for a vote as a referendum vote on Town Election Day, March 9, 2012. Motion passed 2-1, Brian opposed.
PLANNING BOARD: Glen reported that the new proposed schedule for the new Commercial Development Review Ordinance has been adopted, by unanimous vote, to holding a hearing sometime in May, and a referendum vote to accept the ordinance at the June election.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY: Erna reported that the article for the annual meeting should have said, raise and appropriate, but said, vote to compensate in error. That will be corrected at the special Town meeting at 7 PM tonight.
OLD BUSINESS: Brian reported an abatement application, which will be reviewed by the Assessors.
On that note, Glen mentioned that there is a new State statute in effect 9/2011 that every public meeting must have minutes; for Freedom, that would include the Budget Committee, Rec. Committee, and Assessors, among others. Only temporary advisory committees do not need minutes, such as the fire truck committee.
Brian commented on the quality of the Planning Board minutes. He attended a meeting and remarked on how much work the Planning Board has before it.
Brian and Clint will meet Wednesday, Nov. 9th to finalize the Beaver Ridge Wind evaluation.
Erna explained that a hired Assessor has to be paid through the payroll; cannot be an independent contractor, according to staff of Maine Revenue Services at one of Ernas training workshops.
The next meeting is Nov. 21. 2011 at 6 PM; Tony Grassi is expected to attend.
ADJOURN: Motion to adjourn passed at 6:40. This was an abbreviated meeting because of a special Town meeting scheduled for 7 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/EMERGENCY FREEDOM SELECTMENS MEETING
OCTOBER 31, 2011
Meeting convened by Chairman Price at 6:00 PM. Present: chairman Ron Price, Selectman Brian Jones, Fire Chief Jim Waterman, Town Clerk Cindy Abbott, Treasurer Erna Keller, Sallyann Hadyniak, and Firemens Assoc. Pres. Hank Elkins. Bob Hermon arrived at 6:30 PM.
The first order of business was discussion about the proper procedure to make a deposit and pay for a fire truck to be purchased by the Town from the Portageville volunteer Fire department, Portageville, NY.
Chief Waterman expressed reservations about the water capacity of the truck being purchased. He felt the whole purchase was somewhat of a gamble.
Brian moved to send a $10,000 deposit to the seller of the fire truck, the money to be taken from the FVFD capital improvement account. Ron seconded, motion passed 2-0.
Brian moved to hold a special Town Meeting on Nov. 7, 2011, at 7 PM at the Freedom Grange Hall. Motion seconded by Price, passed 2-0.
Chairman Price moved to pay the following warrants with corresponding amounts:
Payroll for the week of 10/31/11 .$1802.94
Special A/P warrant ...$11,242.67
Brian seconded, motion passed 2-0.
The proposed articles to be placed on the Special Town Meeting were discussed. Chairman Price moved to accept the final draft [attached], seconded by Brian, passed 2-0.
Ron Price (Acting Secretary)
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
OCTOBER 24, 2011
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 6:10 PM. Present: Brian Jones (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman, Chair), Meredith Coffin (Solid Waste Director), Richard Spinelli, Tim Varney, Scott Holmes (ACO), Donna & Glenn Sporie, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Jim Waterman (Fire Chief).
REVIEW MINUTES: Minutes from Oct. 10 were accepted as written.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Scott suggested a stop sign be installed at the end of Waning Road; Ron thought it should be at the end of Tyler Rd. The Selectmen will inspect the intersection.
CORRESPONDENCE: Postponed until later.
FIRE CHIEF: The house on Greeley has been successfully burned. Ron asked if there is a requirement to notify residents about closing the road three days in advance. Jim didnt know.
Distribution of Thanksgiving baskets is coming up.
ACO: Scott asked if the Town would reimburse him for a can of flea spray for his truck. The Board suggested he use his expense money.
COE and LPI: Ron suggested asking Dave Schofield to attend meetings.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Ron reported that the salt & sand pad is finished, except for backfilling up to the concrete blocks. Ron was informed that raw linseed oil is a pollutant, but he will look into that. Clint suggested to Brian that they use a traditional coating, such as tar.
Tim Varney will call Pete Coughlin at DOT to ask about it.
Brian moved to authorize the Select Board to spend up to $500 out of the salt/sand budget to protect the concrete blocks. Motion passed.
Clint has received the bids for salt & sand; the lowest bid has been accepted.
Stumping hasnt been done yet on Beaver Ridge Rd., and the sand pile needs to be put up within the next ten days.
Ron complimented the Public Works on the looks of the Town Garage area.
Brian pointed out that Red Mitchell had talked about a sand/salt shed thirty years ago.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE: One application has come in.
SOLID WASTE REP: Trash Talk II was not very well attended, but was a great program, with representatives from DEP, SPO, MRC PERC, MRRC. Meredith would like to visit Greg Lounder from MRC (Municipal Review Committee). Freedom is producing 50% less, but is paying the highest fine. The Town needs to negotiate with him.
Martin Mains of Unity College is looking into acquiring a large composting facility.
Aaron Paul is leaving for another job.
Meredith would like to have an alternate solid waste representative appointed
SCHOOL REPRESENTATIVE: Ron reported for Kathy that the Monroe School will remain open, and that the new Resource Officer is doing a great job.
FIRE TRUCK COMMITTEE: Rich reported that the committee meets this Thursday, and might be able to come up with something. Ron reported that two Fire Dept. reps were sent to look at a truck in Michigan. After their report, the Fire Truck Cmte. decided not to pursue it. It was 14-15 years old, and there were questions about the way it was maintained. Some of the equipment on it didnt meet the fire departments specs. It was $119,000.
PLANNING BOARD: Meeting tomorrow Oct. 25 at 6:30.
RECREATION COMMITTEE: A silent auction is being held starting Nov. 8, and donations are needed. Three flagpoles will be placed behind the Veterans bench, and the Memorial will be dedicated Nov. 11. Participants are needed, and photos of veterans. Snacks will be provided in the Church basement.
Discussion followed about how the flagpoles should be installed. Clint was worried that the poles would be at different heights.
The annual Craft Fair is coming up. A bottle drive is going on; bottles can be dropped off at the Town office.
CORRESPONDENCE: Thank you letter from David Parkman for paying county taxes so promptly.
From plant comptroller at PERC; tipping fee for the 4th quarter will be $73.20, up form $71.27. Questions can be directed to Gary Stacey. Meredith will call him.
BUDGET COMMITTEE: Meets Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 7 PM. No selectmen were able to attend the 10/19 meeting, so are needed at this one.
OLD BUSINESS: Clint and Brian are trying to schedule a meeting Friday to settle the evaluation on Beaver Ridge Wind.
NEW BUSINESS: Ron reminded the Board to renew their certification by taking the Right to Access Law course online.
We have 2012 worker comp application to sign; Cindy can take care of it online. Bryan will come in to sign it after its been filled out.
A form came from the State Planning Office for the state evaluation.
Litter has been found left around the barrel at the Rec. Field. Ron moved to write a letter to the litterer, Mr. Wasiela, asking him to reimburse the Town $50 for removing his trash.
Erna said that there is no netting on the ball field backstop; a new net costs $3000. Ron will check into a resource to provide a net.
The elm trees at Village Farm need to be transplanted this fall; Brian suggested the need for a backhoe for half a day. Ron will talk to Prentice.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported:
Payroll 10/15 $1581.68
Payroll this week .$3210.66
A/P 10/14 $944.50
A/P 10/18 (trip to see fire truck) $1031.12
Beginnning checkbook balance ..$350,649.02
A/P this week .$9379.83
Ending Checkbook balance $341,269.19
Erna asked the Board to approve Michael Chamberlain setting up a credit card for the Town. Ron moved to approve a credit card for the Town; motion passed.
Erna asked the Board to let her know who will sign up for the workshop on Dec. 2 from 8:30-3:30 at the Black Bear Inn. Brian and Ron both volunteered to go.
Erna reported that the flagpole at the Town office needs to be replaced.
The shredder is on its last legs and Erna wants to replace it; Ron & Brian said to wait until the shredder breaks down.
Ron moved to sign the payroll of $3210.66; motion passed.
Brian moved to sign the A/P warrants in the amount of $9379.83, $944.50, and $1031.12; motion passed.
The next meeting will be Nov. 7th at 6 PM.
Election day polls will be open from 8 AM to 8 PM from now on. This year voters can register on and up to Election Day.
MOTION TO ADJOURN: Meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
OCTOBER 10, 2011
CALL TO ORDER: Ron Price called the meeting to order at 6:12 PM with the following present: Selectmen Ron Price and Clint Spaulding. Treasurer Erna Keller, Scott Holmes (ACO), Bob Hermon, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan), Rich Spinelli, James Waterman (Fire Chief), Glen Bridges (Secretary).
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from Sept. 26 were amended to read, under old business, the Board decided that using Skidgels well was more than the Town wants to undertake at this time, and were approved as amended.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Dave Bridges commented that the Town roads are in better shape than theyve been in years, and the guardrails are up and look good. Glen added that the sand/salt pad also looks great.
CORRESPONDENCE: The MMA is holding daytime workshops for Town officials on personnel practices for $75 fee. Review of the rest of correspondence was postponed.
FIRE DEPT: Jim reported the house on Greeley [see 9/26 minutes] is now scheduled to be burned rather than torn down. The vinyl siding has been removed, but the roof is too dangerous to remove the asphalt shingles. Dave Bridges questioned burning and releasing toxins into the air, but Jim said he had talked to DEP, and it was OK with them.
ACO: Scott reported two lost dogs, one of which came home, the other was found. Scott was also called about four loose pigs.
TREASURER: Erna reported:
Payroll warrant 10/3/11 .$2856.69
Payroll warrant 10/10/11 ..$1691.48
A/P warrant 10/3/11 ..$1401.72
A/P 10/10/11 $80,687.62
Checkbook balance $417,345.73
Regarding the variance reported by the auditor, Erna reported that Vernice, staff from auditor RHR Smith, found the error very quickly, which had been referred to by Smith as an unlocated variance of approximately $13,000. This mistake was on the part of the Towns former auditor. A deposit was made but not properly recorded by the auditor. This was not a mistake by Erna, and no funds are missing.
Erna reported on the MMA Convention that she and Cindy attended, and urged the Selectmen to attend next year. There were good seminars on leadership, conflict resolution, audits, elections, etc. Also, Erna noted that all elected officials have to take the Right to Access course yearly (online), and provided materials for them. There were 105 vendors at the convention. Next year it will be held October 3 & 4.
Erna found office chairs on sale for $60 (reduced from $100), and provided a purchase order. Discussion followed about office supplies. Paper and ink are the largest expense. Clint moved to authorize the purchase of 5 chairs as long as the sale price is still in effect, seconded by Ron and passed.
Erna reported that she and Cindy are both over-budget on mileage expense. Ron suggested that the unused Selectmens expenses could be applied to Erna & Cindys expenses. Also, $15,000 was raised by the Town for anticipated audits, ballot clerks & legal expenses. If there is any left, that could be used. Ron moved to meet with Erna to review all of the figures Friday, 10/14/11 at 2 PM. Motion passed.
Clint moved to accept the Treasurers report. Motion passed.
Clint moved to pay both A/P warrants, for $1401.72 and $80,687.62; motion passed.
Clint moved to pay both payroll warrants, for $2856.69 and $1691.48; motion carried.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Clint reported that he expects the Town will go over-budget on winter roads, and hed like to ask the Town to increase that budget. There is $12,000 left over in the summer roads account, but stumps need to be removed on Davis Rd., a culvert replaced, and ditching. Ron said hed prefer to get through Dec. 31st.
Clint also mentioned a decision is needed on when to tear down the loader for repairs. That process was discussed. The loader is needed to pile the sand & salt. Clint will talk to Roger Littlefield about using his loader for back-up during the repair.
Clint reported that the cement blocks need to be protected. They can be coated with raw linseed oil, or faced with rolled roofing. Ron will look into both these options.
Ron moved to authorize Clint to purchase the sand and salt; motion passed.
SOLID WASTE DIRECTOR: The second Trash Talk will be held Oct. 13 from 7-9 PM at Mt. View.
SCHOOL REPRESENTATIVE: Ron reported that the vote is coming up on closing Monroe School. Kathy plans to vote against it, unless other convincing ideas are presented. The Brooks School, on 3 acres, is not in good shape, while Monroe sits on 20 valuable acres.
FIRE TRUCK COMMITTEE: Rich reported that no meeting was held last week because of no quorum. He has information on a Ford truck available for $50,000.
Ron reported that Nancy Bailey Farrar found a truck at Command Equipment that is said to be twice the truck as the one in Belmont, but he felt the committee had to wait until a meeting to discuss looking at it. Rich said 9 out of 10 available trucks will be cab-overs.
The committee went on a field trip to see a truck in Belmont a very nice 2500 gal. truck and a good deal.
Ron added that the committee should vote on a spending limit, then look at what is available and keep looking. Clint suggested that whoever travels to look at trucks for sale should have an open mind.
COMP. PLAN: Ron asked Cindy to collect names of anyone wanting copies of the plan for $5 each (in groups of ten).
RECREATION COMMITTEE: The flags and poles have been ordered for the Veterans Memorial, which will be dedicated on Nov. 11. Ron asked the committee to meet with Prentice about transplanting the elm trees.
BUDGET COMMITTEE: Meeting has been changed to Oct. 19 at 7 PM.
OLD BUSINESS: The evaluation is not yet settled on Beaver Ridge Wind.
NEW BUSINESS: Toni Grassi will be coming to meet with the Board to discuss his plans for the old mill site.
Clint moved to ask Erna to mail a get-well card to Tim Abbott, recovering from a motorcycle accident.
1. KVCOG needs two representatives for their general assembly. Clint volunteered.
2. MMA sent a survey.
3. MERC, the PERC representative sent financial statements from 12/31/10.
4. From Maine Coast Heritage Trust about land conservation.
5. MMA Casualty Pool, coverage from July 2011 to July 2012.
6. Notice of roads/easements workshop 10/21/11 sponsored by Maine State Bar.
7. MERC Board of Directors meeting 9/28/11
8. FEMA, Freedoms Plan for Hazard Mitigation approved.
9. A mutual aid agreement to sign.
10. From State Planning Office. Our Floodplain Ordinance is not in compliance. Glen pass on to Planning Board.
11. The US Census Bureau is going to send a survey.
12. A thank-you for supporting the Belfast Area Childrens Center.
13. 2008 audit information from former auditor, Brantner & Thibideau.
14. Quotes for the sand/salt pad.
15. From Maine Power Options, an offer to reduce Freedoms electric bills. Pass to Budget Committee.
16. Quote for guardrails.
17. Information about smart meters.
18. From State Planning Office, info about LD 1 Property Tax levy limit statute. They figure personal income growth is 1.43%.
19. An application for Homestead Exemption.
20. An advertisement for accounting software.
21. MMA workshops for Planning Boards and Boards of Appeal. Send to Planning Board.
22. Notice of collection of banned pesticides.
23. A listing of Town officials, which is incorrect.
24. Paperwork on the Freedom of Access Act for the Select Board and Kathy Cunningham to get re-certified.
25. Mutual aid contracts.
26. Refund of $1051 from MMA Insurance Pool.
27. A request for minutes to be updated on Town website. Glen will talk to Frances.
28. A quote from Maritime Energy for $3.949/gallon for heating oil. Ron will get other prices.
29. A thank-you for Town recycling.
30. Information on DHHSs interactive internet service for needy families.
31. A catalog of Community Block Grants.
32. Info on general Assistance for migrant workers.
ADJOURNMENT: The next meeting will be October 24 at 6 PM.
Motion to adjourn passed at 8:13 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
SEPTEMBER 26, 2011
CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Price called the meeting to order at 6:05 PM, with the following present: Selectmen Ron Price, Clint Spaulding, and Brian Jones. Also Erna Keller (Treasurer), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan), Bob Gerrish (Snowmobile Club), Meredith Coffin (Solid Waste Director), Bob Hermon, Sallyann Hadyniak, Richard Spinelli, Glenn & Donna Sporie, Kim & Steve Holmes, Glen Bridges (Secretary), Scott Holmes (ACO). Late arrivals were Mary Spinelli, Jim Waterman, Pam Hermon.
REVIEW MINUTES/FINALIZE AGENDA: The minutes from Sept. 12 were accepted as written, and as corrected by the Secretary, adding that Erna Keller, Town Treasurer, was in attendance.
CITIZENS ISSUES: None
ACO: Scott reported that he took a dog to the shelter, and then received a call from the owner. Today he got a call to search the boat launch area for kittens. The boat launch area was kittenless. Ron mentioned that a neighbor adopted a dog from the shelter, which came with a yeast infection and other problems, and ran up a large vet bill.
TREASURER: Erna reported:
Payroll (week ending 9/19) $2111.06
A/P Warrant .$36,310.31
A/P Warrant (9/22 $1621.29
Checkbook balance $360,222.18
Clint moved to accept the Treasurers report; motion passed.
CEO: Clint called Dave Schofield because there is a permit for a house on Hardwood Lane, but a shed is what was built. Dave said that was all right.
Brian raised the question of what to do about abandoned and dangerous buildings, including Skidgels. Buildings need to be condemned to start the process, which Skidgels was years ago. Clint thought the owners cant be forced to do anything.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: The pad for salt/sand is finished except for paving. Brian noted that Clint deserves recognition for his role in managing the salt/sand pad project. Its a big project, and proceeding well.
Clint reported that the guardrails for Mitchell Rd. are tentatively scheduled to be installed on Oct. 3.
The beaver dam on Davis Rd. is drying up.
Clint resolved the error in last meetings Works bill.
SOLID WASTE DIRECTOR: Meredith reported on the minutes from July and August, and the report from manager Aaron Paul. 195 tons of recyclables have been sold since January, worth $26,000. Aluminum is worth $1706/ton. Clear plastic is worth $730/ton.
The second meeting titled Trash Talk II will be held on October 13 from 7-9 PM at Mt. View, and will include a panel of experts. Questions in advance can be e-mailed to Judy Rock.
SCHOOL BOARD REP: Ron reported on Kathy Cunninghams e-mail report that a special meeting is taking place 9/26 regarding the possible closure of the Monroe Elementary School. Monroe has a very close community school, which sits on 20 acres, and costs less than 1% of the school budget. Kathy plans to vote against closure, unless convincing evidence to the contrary comes up. The vote will take place on Oct. 11. Brian moved to attach Kathys e-mail report to the minutes.
FIRE TRUCK COMMITTEE: Richard reported that the committee is going on a field trip this Thursday to see a used truck that Belmont bought . The committee also approved a motion to ask Jethro Pease to start searching for a used truck.
Ron reported that when a good used fire truck is available, it could be sold within a few hours or days. Discussion followed about how to fund a prompt down payment in that event, with Brian moving that the interpretation of the Beaver Ridge Wind donation of $10,000 would allow the Select Board to authorize the use of that donation as earnest money. Motion passed.
The status of the Fire Department was questioned, the answer being that the Firemens Association is a non-profit incorporated many years ago. That group manages the Fire Dept., and has a small account from chicken barbeques and hunters breakfasts. The FD assets belong to the Town.
Kim Holmes reported that Fire Chief Waterman called Beaver Ridge Wind shortly after the fire truck referendum vote failed to ask them if they wanted their $10,000 donation returned. BRW declined.
PLANNING BOARD: Glen Bridges reported that Chairman Pickford has been working on a schedule of meetings to accomplish the new Commercial Development Review Ordinance by March Town Meeting. The schedule will be presented at the meeting Oct. 11 for a vote. Brian questioned how the process would proceed; Glen suggested he come to the meeting. The meetings are all open to the public, and public input is welcome.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave reported that the public hearing was a roaring success, with nine citizens in attendance. Citizens can order copies of the Plan for $5 each/ten at a time. How the Plan is put up for a vote is up to the Select Board.
CEMETERY COMMITTEE: Ron pointed out that the committee needs a Chair. It was suggested to ask Jon Willette if he would take the position.
BUDGET COMMITTEE: There is a workshop sponsored by MMA for Dec. 2; so far 4 have signed up. The Board decided to include the cost of 12 members to go to the workshop, add that to a warrant, and later subtract those who do not attend. Also a regular meeting is planned for October 11th at 7 PM.
Brian moved to have all budget committee members sworn in; motion failed for lack of a second. Clint pointed out that the Select Board has to prepare appointment papers before anyone can be sworn in. Brian asked Clint to prepare the paperwork; Clint agreed. The Board agreed by consensus to have all committee members sworn in.
FIRE CHIEF: Jim reported that he has a copy of the mutual aid agreement with 25 other departments.
In further discussion about the status/governance/structure of the FVFD, Jim explained that the Fire Truck Account, which needed Town approval, was changed to be called the Capital Improvement Account because that only required Select Board approval.
The Firemans Assoc. is organized under FVFD Inc., and Chief Waterman manages personnel. The FD assets belong to the Town; their monies raised and appropriated are administered by the Town and/or Select Board.
Clint inquired about the FVFD burning a dilapidated house on Greeley Road. The vinyl siding and asphalt shingles (under the metal roof) cannot be burned, but would have to be removed first. Clint expressed concern about toxic fumes and smoke effect on neighbors. Jim said he would advise the owners to have it demolished and hauled away.
John York is doing a pump service test tomorrow. A valve needs to be replaced for $870, Jims choice over a $2000 brass valve.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY: Jim Waterman reported that a collectors coin for the bicentennial is being created. He also mentioned that he is no longer a member of the Historical Society.
OLD BUSINESS: The application for abatement was received from Beaver Ridge Wind. Brian and Clint will meet to settle that.
Ron reported that the Town cannot proceed on sharing the Skidgels well; there is too much expense involved for the Town to undertake at this time. Clint suggested a portable 275 gal. tank to supply water for washing vehicles.
Brian reported that the old computer has a number of problems, including security and memory capacity.
Bob Gerrish reported that only 3 members showed up for a Snowmobile Club meeting, so it doesnt look good for volunteers to re-route the trail in question.
Regarding the salt/sand pad:
$19,237.68 has been spent so far. $10,000 is left of the $35,000 designated for the pad. The Town has 25,000 or URIP monies found by the auditor, $11,638 in the paving account, $12,812 left in the summer roads account. Approximately $19,000 is needed to pave the pad (although more bids are coming in).
Brian moved to ask the Town to authorize the expenditure; motion was not seconded. Ron and Clint felt that going back to the Town wasnt necessary because the Town already raised and appropriated monies for the pad, and it is appropriate to use other road funds. There is also a time constraint.
Ron moved to use the rest of the monies designated for the pad ($10,000) with $9,000 from the paving account to pave the pad with 4 of asphalt. Part of the URIP funds can be used to pave the section of Sibley Rd. The bridge account will pay for the guardrails on Mitchell, with excess, if any, to come from URIP funds. Motion passed. This still leaves $12,000 in summer roads account.
The EMD still needs a desk, file and workspace; Clint suggested the annex.
NEW BUSINESS: A free rabies clinic will be held at the Town Office on October 8 from 9 AM to 11 AM. Brian moved to send out a mailing to the Town about it, and add the cost ($42.67) to the warrant.
Brian moved to schedule the annual Town Meeting for the second Saturday in March. Motion passed. The Comp. Plan can be voted on as a referendum question on Friday before Town Meeting, or could also be considered at a special town meeting if one is needed to vote on a fire truck.
Ron has spoken to the auditor, Ron Smith, regarding a variance in accounts. Ron estimated it would take a day in the office for one of his staff to track this down, and guessed that it was pre-2008. Clint moved to hire Ron Smith to find the origin of this variance. Motion passes unanimously.
Clint moved to sign this weeks A/P for $36,310.31. Motion passed.
Ron moved to sign the payroll for the week ending 9/22 for $1621.29. Motion passed. Clint moved to sign the payroll for the week ending 9/19 of $2111.06. Motion carried. Clint moved to sign this weeks payroll for $4820.86
The next meeting will be October 10, 2011; the Board agreed it was ok to meet on Columbus Day.
ADJOURNMENT: Brian moved to adjourn at 8:30 PM. Motion carried.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
SEPTEMBER 12, 2011
CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Price called the meeting to order at 6:04 PM. Present were Selectmen Ron Price, Brian Jones, Clint Spaulding. Also Pam & Bob Hermon, Sallyann Hadyniak, Scott Holmes (ACO), Jim Waterman (FVFD), Richard Spinelli, Dave Parkman (Waldo County Treasurer), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan), Bob Gerrish (Snowmobile Club), Rod Luhn, Erna Keller (Treasurer), and Glen Bridges (Secretary).
GUEST: Dave Parkman came to publicly thank the Town and express the Countys appreciation for being the first town in the County to pay its County tax. Freedom has broken all records in this respect. Partly due to Freedoms promptness, construction on the new Sheriffs building is coming along with no long-term debt.
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from August 29 were accepted as written, to be placed on file.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Rod Luhn, who owns the old mill property, presented a recent survey showing that he has been taxed for 7 acres; the survey now shows there are only 3 acres in the lot containing the house and mill. The Board advised him to apply for an abatement.
FIRE CHIEF: Chief Waterman asked the Chairman to read aloud a letter from a non-profit group called Spirit of America announcing a community service award to the FVFD. The award ceremony will be Sept. 15, 6:30 PM at the Grange. [Letter attached]
Regarding mutual aid agreements, Palermos has not yet been received; Unitys has been received.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Brian moved to review and decide on a plan for the salt/sand pad within one week. Motion passed. Clint, arriving late, pointed out that grading work has already started; a hammer is needed to break up ledge, which is 4-5, by 3 wide. Clint thinks the grading will be finished in 1-2 days.
Ron will talk to Mildred Skidgel about putting in a water line and using her well. Boyd Ward owns the pump.
Clint said the water line could go around the pad instead of under it. It will take about 150 blocks to make a wall two blocks high. Clint has arranged for 4 crushed stone to come from Roger Littlefield. The pad should be finished within two weeks to avoid wet weather.
Brian & Ron will inspect the site as soon as possible.
The loader is still being used, so the engine will be worked on as soon as the loader is not needed.
Clint reported that the Davis Rd. needs to be ditched, and a culvert replaced. Stumps in Beaver Ridge Rd. need to be removed.
For road budgets, there is $10,000 left in the summer roads account, $25,000 rolled over by the auditor, and $5,000 in the bridge account.
FIRE TRUCK COMMITTEE: Richard Spinelli reported that the committee is making headway. He predicted that some resolution should be reached within 2-3 weeks. Clint pointed out that it will be too late to be voted on Nov. 8, so will have to wait until the March ballot, the Friday before Town Meeting.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported:
Payroll for the week ending 9/3/11 . $2821.17
Payroll this week $2525.22
A/P for week ending 9/6/11 .$38044.34
(includes Aug. school payment)
A/P this week $51,300.21
(includes Sept. school payment)
Checkbook balance $370,773.65
Checks were received from URIP, 1st quarter for $6995, and Aug., 2011 Homestead Exemption reimbursement for $7693.
Ryan has installed the two new computers, and is recommending Linkstation Pro 2. The price for NAS backup is $219.95, and the Kaspersky Anti-virus is $59.95 (for 3 computers).
EMA: Ron asked if Christine has been provided with a workspace yet. Not yet, but someone has offered to put up an antenna for her.
PLANNING BOARD: Meets Sept 13 at 7:00 PM.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave reported the committee met Sept. 6th to put together a town-wide mailing, with a letter and an eight-page summary of the plan. The public hearing is Sept. 20, 7 PM at the Grange.
CEMETERY COMMITTEE: Ron pointed out that the Town needs a new Chair for this committee. Action was tabled for now.
BUDGET COMMITTEE: The committee has been notified of the daytime workshop being sponsored by MMA on Dec. 2 at the Black Bear Inn in Orono.
Doug wants the committee to meet in October.
OLD BUSINESS: Brian moved to install the old computer in the office lobby for residents to use. During discussion, Erna pointed out that it only consists of a tower, Ron said the hard drive was dysfunctional, and Clint suggested there is no room. This was done years ago, and didnt work out. Motion failed, and Brian tabled the motion. He will check with Ryan to see what it would cost to make the tower functional, with a keyboard and monitor.
The water level of the beaver pond flooding Davis Road has gone down; discussion followed about various ways to rid the site of beavers. At least until they come back.
Brian put a good trash barrel at the boat landing; Ron will call Sullivans to ask them to empty it once a week.
Brian thanked Clint for ordering the new road signs.
Ron talked to one of Clayton Larrabees grandsons about the ball field; they are too busy now to work on it. Clint will get some estimates from other contactors.
Bob Hermon and Glenn Sporie can work on the fencing. Grading needs to be done outside the field. Swing sets have to be removed. Ron moved to pay Bob and Glenn state wages; motion passed.
Brian asked Bob Gerrish about progress in re-routing the snowmobile trail away from Hardwood Lane. Bob replied that he has a trail route in mind that he suggested to Ron, but he is not sure the Club will do the work. (There are two volunteers so far, Brian J. and Doug V.H.) Brian would like this conflict resolved with a spirit of good will. Bob will keep working on it.
Brian brought up the subject of overhead cutting/brushing on discontinued roads. Both Ron and Clint advised that State law says the Town has no responsibility. It is up to the landowner to keep their discontinued or private roads open for emergency vehicles. Brian suggested tabling the issue until he can do some research.
Clint mentioned that a bill from Works & Son seems to be in error. He will take care of it.
NEW BUSINESS: A draft letter from Ron Smith was discussed, but was considered confidential by Mr. Smith and the majority of Selectmen until Sept. 26, when Ron Smith will be attending the meeting to make a presentation covering the evaluation of wind turbines, audit findings, and a management plan.
On the subject of taxing the turbines, Brian will call Todd Presson about applying for an abatement.
Clint moved to sign the A/P warrant for $51,300.21; Motion passed.
Clint moved to sign the A/P warrant for $38,044.34; Motion passed.
Ron moved to sign the payroll for $2525.22; Motion passed.
The Assessors will meet Monday 9/19/11 to take action on abatement applications. The next Select Board meeting will be Sept. 26th at 6 PM.
Motion to adjourn passed at 8:25 PM.
Glen Bridges, Sec.
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
AUGUST 29, 2011
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 6:13 PM. Present were Selectmen Ron Price, Clint Spaulding, and Brian Jones. Also, Donna & Glenn Sporie, Richard Spinelli, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan), and Glen Bridges (Secretary).
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from Aug. 15th were approved with a correction in the road commissioners report.
CITIZENS ISSUES: None.
TREASURERS REPORT: The Treasurers report was reviewed and approved with the exception of needed clarification about #12, an error in the Smithton Cemetery check.
Payroll for week ending Aug. 22 .$1753.35
A/P, week ending Aug. 16 $26.00
A/P, week ending Aug. 17 $925.50
Payroll this week $3313.90
A/P this week .$56,615.38
(Includes second half county tax)
Ending checkbook balance .$350,623.78
Checks received: Aug. Revenue Sharing $3178.34
For FVFD from Dept.
of conservation .$125.48
Veterans reimbursement $813
Brian asked Glen to notify the Budget Committee about the MMA workshop coming up Dec. 2. Erna asked what building is designated a shelter in emergencies, such as hurricane Irene. Mt. View is for all of Waldo County.
Brian wants to get clarification on Ernas report about an error in Smithton Cemetery checks.
SCHOOL REPRESENTATIVE: Ron reported that Kathy Cunningham, in her e-mail report, expressed her enthusiastic approval of the new choice for School Resource Officer.
EMA: Christine submitted a written report [attached], describing the ongoing monitoring of the Town during tropical storm Irene. Brian praised the EMD, Public Works Dept. and the Fire Dept. for keeping the roads open.
Richard Spinelli complimented the quick job that Bob Hermon did on removal of a downed tree on his property.
FIRE TRUCK COMMITTEE: Ron reported that the committee had their second meeting last Thursday. The FVFD listed what their needs are, and what changes they could accept, such as size of tank and single axle instead of double. The group felt that more information is needed on what is available. They want to set a definite figure to work within, but also need more information before that can be determined.
COMP. PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave reported that the committee will meet Sept. 6 to prepare a town-wide mailing. He asked the Selectmen to consider and decide how the Plan should be presented for a vote, at a special town meeting or a secret ballot referendum question. The pros and cons of each method were discussed. With a secret ballot, more votes will come in, but many of those voters wont read the Plan. With a special town meeting, more attendees will have read the plan, but may produce too few votes. Clint commented that a referendum question would avoid complaints or a petition. Brian moved to hold the vote at a special town meeting; motion failed for lack of second. Ron moved to wait until Sept. 20 (public hearing date) to decide; motion passed.
CEMETERY COMMITTEE: Janet Boynton, who headed up the committee so successfully, has passed away.
BUDGET COMMITTEE: Glen will get the word out about the workshop Dec. 2.
PUBLIC WORKS: Clint reported that blocks are $35 each, picked up at State Sand & Gravel. Clint has asked a couple of contractors to look at the site for the sand pile pad. There is quite a bit of ledge. Clint inspected Knoxs facility. Drainage tile should go around the outside.
Clint suggested a meeting with the Public Works Committee and the Board, and Brian suggested combining that with an Assessors meeting. Sept. 6th at 6 PM was the date set; Brian will post it.
OLD BUSINESS: Brian went to the beaver dam site on Davis Rd. with the Game Warden. The landowner agreed to let him lower the dam gradually. A decision will need to be made about how to remove the beavers. Glen mentioned that Penney Pond would benefit from a new beaver, but the landowners would have to make the request.
Brian will put in a new barrel at the boat launch as soon as Sullivans removes the rusted one. Ron will call Sullivans.
Brian addressed the Board as a resident, describing the problem of cars speeding through his neighborhood. A dog has been hit, and children are in danger. Discussion followed about protocol for posting roads; Clint will speak to Pat Cronin about it. Ron moved to authorize Clint to order 3-4 speed limit signs, and to decide what the MPH should be. Motion passed.
Clint has a price on guardrails for the Winslow Brook Bridge and the Keene Brook (Penney Pond outlet) culvert at $25 per foot, 282 feet total, $7050 installed. The bridge account will cover that. Brian moved to authorize the purchase of guardrails not to exceed $8000; motion passed.
Clint and Ron discussed URIP funds, and that the Town needs to vote at Town meeting to roll over URIP monies.
Clint reported that the road crew put in a long day keeping up with hurricane Irene. Clint started at one AM; Bob Herman was on Bryant Rd. Clint expressed his concern that the FVFD was out cutting trees, when they should only be working of fires started by downed wires, and should remain available for fire fighting house fires and accidents.
A chipper is needed for Davis and Beaver Ridge Roads. John Works should be back to do some overhead cutting on those two roads; if they dont return, Clint will call someone else. Road grading should start this week.
Brian asked Clint if Christine could research how the 911 dispatch works, in order to avoid problems next time by correcting who they should contact about downed trees.
The ball field was discussed at length. It has washouts, needs grading, and needs to be finished. There are hazards, and the adjacent playground is hazardous. The road crew could put up fencing, Clint suggested, and be paid out of Recreation Committee funds. Ron will talk to Clayton, and it was suggested that the Board meet with Clayton.
NEW BUSINESS: Citizens approached Selectmen about re-routing the snowmobile trail away from Hardwood Lane. Brian and Ron are talking to the principals involved (Paul Flynn, Ron Littlefield, Phil Shibles, Bob Gerrish). Brian and Doug Van Horn both volunteered to work on it. The plan is to get this resolved and re-routed before the snow flies.
Discussion followed about the responsibility of the Town to keep discontinued roads open for emergency vehicles. Ron said that discontinuing a road for maintenance only includes keeping it open for emergency vehicles, but the Town should vote on how they want to handle it, if they want to spend money on it.
Clint moved to sign the A/P warrant; motion passed.
Clint moved to sign the payroll warrant; motion carried.
Ron spoke about the good work the Public Works Committee and road crew are doing, and expressed appreciation for the good condition the roads are in.
Next meeting, Assessors and Public Works, Sept. 6 at 6 PM.
Next Selectmens meeting will be Sept. 12 at 6 PM.
Motion to adjourn passed at 8 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
AUGUST 15, 2011
CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Price called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM, with the following present: Selectmen Ron Price, Clint Spaulding, and Brian Jones. Also, Meredith Coffin, Glen Bridges, Sallyann Hadyniak, Dave Bridges, Pam & Bob Hermon, Donna & Glenn Sporie, Richard & Mary Spinelli, Scott Holmes, Erna Keller, Jim Waterman, and Ron Smith (auditor).
REVIEW MINUTES: Minutes from 8/1 /11 were approved as written, with date corrected.
CORRESPONDENCE: Letter from R. Spinelli volunteering for fire truck committee.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Sallyann inquired about barking dogs behind her property; Clint offered to talk to Ted Reynolds about it. Also, Sallyann requested, on behalf of Jeff Keating, that the sign (No Parking Dusk to Dawn) be placed near his mailbox instead of near the gate. Ron will talk to Jeff.
EXECUTIVE SESSION: When Ron Smith arrived, Chairman Price introduced him and moved to go into executive session under the authority of 1 MRSA 405 (6) F to discuss figures from Beaver Ridge Wind, figures for which Ron Smith had to sign a confidentiality agreement. Motion passed. The session ended at 7:55, with no actions taken.
Ron Smith presented the 2009 and 2010 audits for the Board to review, thanked the Board and expressed his appreciation for working with Freedoms office staff.
He said the Town is in good shape, with $24,000 in reserve. He will follow up with a management plan, and invited Erna/Selectmen to call him anytime.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported:
Payroll warrant (week ending Aug. 8) ..$2547.43
Payroll this week $1891.66
Checkbook balance $126,420.19
A/P Warrant (after Board decision below) $53,170.66
Checkbook balance $73,249.53
1. A check for $3821 was received for 2010-homestead reimbursement.
2. A purchase order needs to be signed for office supplies.
3. What to do with a check returned again for $138.25, an abatement check, with no forwarding address for Jason Dimmitt.
4. Philip Thurston CD is closed and $5000 put in saving account at Bangor Savings Bank, with $438.43 going to Smithton Cemetery.
5. Articles 21 and 22 for the Historical Society from the annual Town Meeting need to be worded correctly and voted on again. Both should read, raise and appropriate instead of compensate.
6. Bangor Savings Bank will make a proposal Aug. 31 at 2:30 PM.
Clint moved to pay half the county tax this week. Motion passed.
Clint moved to sign the A/P of $53,170.66. Motion passed.
Clint moved to sign the payroll for $1891.66. Motion passed.
Ron moved to return the check to Jason Dimmett to the general fund. Jason can be paid whenever he requests it, or makes his whereabouts known. Motion passed.
Ron moved to sign the purchase order. Motion carried.
FIRE DEPARTMENT: Jim Waterman inquired who was appointed to the fire truck committee and offered to remove himself from a voting role. He will suggest 2 other firemen to sit on the committee.
After discussion about how the committee should be made up, and how the process should work, Clint emphasized that the committee should be working together in the best interests of the Town. Brian commented that the committee should be democratic and as inclusive as possible, yet manageable. Ron summarized the committees charge to go over the Towns needs, what the Town can afford financially, and find a compromise. Jim remarked that new or used makes no difference; the committee members can go online and do a search.
After several motions were offered but not voted, Brian moved to appoint a committee of seven members, consisting of 2 fire fighters, one Selectman, and four citizens. Motion passed, with Clint abstaining. Ron was elected to represent the Board.
Members of the committee were chosen, with Jim offering the two names from the FD, as follows: Hank Elkins, Dave Bennett, Ron Price, Gerry Spaulding Sr., Ryan Willette, Nancy Bailey Farrar, and Richard Spinelli.
The first meeting will be Thursday, Aug. 18 at 7 PM.
SOLID WASTE DIRECTOR: Meredith needs a copy of the PERC contract. Minutes from her last UARRC meeting are attached.
EMA: Clint reported that Christine and he attending a training session on Aug. 13. The Town is now NIMS compliant. Clint would like to have young people getting involved because fire departments are having trouble holding their own.
PLANNING BOARD: Glen reported that the PB met Aug. 9th, and has jump-started the work on a new Commercial Development Review Ordinance. Each of the Board members is reviewing the old ordinance, and a copy was delivered to KVCOG for review. The next meeting is Sept. 13.
COMP. PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave gave each Selectman a copy of the bound Comp. Plan to review. The committee meets again on Sept. 6th. Discussion followed about which venue would be best for voting. Dave pointed out that a special Town Meeting attracts the citizens already interested in the Towns future. A letter will be going out to the Town along with an eight page summary.
Brian expressed concern that residents might object to a special Town Meeting instead of a secret ballot referendum, while Clint was concerned that a petition could follow.
Clint remarked that the Town needs to adopt a charter in order to be able to manage petitions, etc. Ron suggested Clint head up a charter committee
OLD BUSINESS: The signs are ordered. Clint reported that he spoke to a State biologist about breaching the beaver dam that is flooding the Davis Road area. The biologist is willing to talk to the landowner, and Clint suggested Brian accompany him.
Brian reminded the Board of the need for correctly worded articles to be voted on for the Historical Society. Ron suggested planning that for the Nov. ballot until we know when the Comp. Plan will be voted on.
NEW BUSINESS: Brian reported that the dumpster at the ball field is being used for private trash, and asked if it should be removed. The Board agreed.
Clint said he wants to ask Clayton how much it would cost to finish the ball field. Ron mentioned calling Bob Gerrish. Clint feels that if Freedom is going to have to maintain the field, rather than volunteers, then Freedom should determine who uses it. Brian suggested a stronger Recreation Committee could manage it.
Brian offered that he has a good barrel that he can place at the boat launch area for trash.
Clint said that anti-freeze is still showing up in the oil of the loader. He will talk to Ingrahams about the complete motor kit needed for the loader.
Clint spoke about his idea for a substitute for Field Days.
The next meeting will be August 29 at 6 PM. Clint has a previous engagement with his daughter and will be late or absent.
Motion to adjourn passed at 8:35 PM.
Respectfully submitted, Glen S. Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
AUGUST 1, 2011
CALL TO ORDER: At 6:10 the meeting was called to order, with the following present: Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Ron Price (Selectman), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Jim Waterman (Fire Chief), Donna & Glenn Sporie, Meredith Coffin (Solid Waste Rep.), Bob & Pam Hermon, Sallyann Hadyniak, Christine Spaulding (EMD), Tim Varney (Public Works Cmte.), Bob Gerrish, Nancy Bailey Farrar, Erna Keller (Treasurer), Ryan Willette, Scott Holmes (ACO), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan).
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from July 18-25, 2011 were approved as written.
CITIZENS ISSUES: None
FIRE CHIEF: Jim Waterman asked if the Board will be meeting every Monday or every other Monday; Ron replied every other Monday. Jim asked if he could request a Selectman to work with the Fire Dept. in pursuit of a vehicle under the guidelines of what the Board will allow. Nancy Bailey Farrar reminded the Board that the plan was to appoint a committee including citizens and a budget committee member. Discussion followed about the process from here on, with suggestions of people to appoint to a committee.
Ron moved that the Select Board appoint a committee of five people (a Selectman, 2 Fire Dept. members, and 2 citizens) by next Monday night. Motion passed. All will be voting members, and the Town will make the ultimate decision.
Jim reported that the snack shack has been burned, and the 2011 fire Dept. Grant program has not started yet.
Freedom is in compliance for the radios. Jim asked to work with Christine on NIMS compliance.
EMD: Christine has been told that Freedom is not in compliance with NIMS and is not eligible for anything from NIMS because of no attendance at trainings. Christine said one training per year has to be attended by Christine and one member of the Select Board. Christine and Clint are signed up for training on Aug. 13th.
ACO: Scott reported a cat bite on Pleasant Street. Ron asked Scott to write up an incident report.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Cutting is being done on Davis Road; Clint needs to talk to several of the residents, and will need a chipper again. A beaver dam is causing water problems along the Davis Road on property belonging to Joe Richardson. IF & W needs to be contacted about removing the dam.
The fuel tank has been fixed on the loader, and now needs a head gasket. The Board needs to get a price on a head gasket.
Ron asked about truck #7; it is in good shape, but the brakes need to be scuffed up. The cross-member has been fixed. Clint has asked Erna for a figure of what is left in the summer road account.
Pleasant St. needs to have the shoulders cut. Clint said hed like to call Clayton.
About paving the sand/salt pad, Tim Varney reported that Avery Glidden gave the Public Works Committee quotes. For a 100 x 60, 10 wide wall, with 12 x 24 footings with 5/8 rebar, the estimate is $27,000 for a 6 wall, and $33,250 for an 8 wall. That does not include the floor being paved, and the waterline is not figured in.
Cement blocks were not considered because they do not hold up. Knoxs sand & salt shed cost $160,000 about 10 years ago, and measured 120 x 60.
Roadside mowing needs to be done; Bo Spaulding has done it in the past for $1200.
Tim asked how many roads need to be striped. Clint said Freedom doesnt usually stripe its roads, maybe just Greeley. Mitchell Road has never been coated since it was paved.
HEALTH OFFICIAL: The Board needs to appoint a health official with a nursing background; someone from out of Town would qualify.
SOLID WASTE DIRECTOR: Meredith reported that they have a really good attentive committee. One part-time employee has left, and re-scheduling has saved the center about $7,000. She has asked Aaron to produce a managers report more often than once a year. Meredith submitted a report on paper recycling. Market prices for recycling materials have been stable since 2009.
Undamaged appliances containing freon can be brought to the center, saving a resident $15.
Meredith needs the information on PERC; Ron will call Meredith.
The penalty charged by PERC is for sending less solid waste than contracted for. Discussion followed about whether or not that can be re-negotiated; Ron thought not. Meredith pointed out that we would have paid much more in tipping fees than the penalty. The key is to discourage residents from contracting their own dumpsters, so all the Town trash goes to PERC.
SCHOOL BOARD REP: Ron reported Kathy has been sending out reports and agendas, which is very helpful.
BICENTENNIAL COMMITTEE: The committee ha not been active. Clint reported that he met a guy at the Bangor Fair who puts on a Paul Bunyan show for 15-45 minutes for three days. He can be supported by a grant if the Town wants to write a grant. He is supported by Echo Chainsaws.
PLANNING BOARD: Meeting August 9.
COMP. PLAN COMMITTEE: The Plan is finished, consisting of 103 pages. It is on the Town website and copies are in the office. An 8 page summary is done, also on the website. The committee meets Aug. 9th.
Ron asked how soon a vote is anticipated; Dave replied that the committee voted unanimously to have a special Town Meeting in late September.
CEMETERY COMMITTEE: Does Janet still want to chair this committee?
HISTORICAL SOCIETY: A problem has come up with the Historical Society. They have generated expenses of $1151 for ground work, but have no monies because of incorrect wording on the article in the Town Report. Ron thinks the auditor found monies that can be used.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported:
Payroll this week $3014.85
A/P this week ..$45,022.48
(includes June school payment; last week July was paid)
Ron moved to sign the payroll warrant. Motion passed.
Ron moved to sign the A/P warrant. Motion passed.
A check was received for homestead exemption for $3821. The Thurston CD has been closed and put into a savings account.
The auditor found errors in the wording of Article 21 and 22 regarding the Historical Society funding.
The Board noted that the written report had no checkbook balance [and Erna had left the meeting].
OLD BUSINESS: Road signs need to be listed and ordered.
The contract for fire coverage for Knox was reviewed. Clint moved to sign the contract; motion passed.
1. A report received from Delta ambulance. They responded to 35 emergencies in Freedom, with average response time 24.74 minutes.
2. Rons term on the County Budget Committee is up. Dean Potter from Palermo is willing to serve.
3. Photos of the memorial bench are needed.
4. There is a shortfall in the Waldo County Budget; they have a $100,000 fund they can use.
5. MMA is electing officers and 3 directors.
6. MMA notice about bond issues.
7. MMA sent the new building codes for our CEO.
8. A foreclosure notice was received.
9. Applications for the Community Farm Share Program, sponsored by the Farmland Trust.
10. Sullivans 3-year contract needs to be signed and returned (344 dwellings).
NEW BUSINESS: Christine mentioned that as EMD she needs an office with a file cabinet.
Dave Bridges congratulated Ron and Clint on surviving the onslaught of recalls; the audience applauded.
The next meeting will be August 15th at 6 PM. The auditor will be present to give his report on the evaluation of Beaver Ridge Wind and the 2009 and 2010 audits.
Two abatement applications have come in.
ADJOURN: Motion to adjourn passed at 7:50 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
JULY 18, 2011
The meeting was called to order at 6:02 PM. Present were Selectmen Ron Price and Clint Spaulding. Also, Erna Keller (Treasurer), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan), Scott Holmes (ACO), Jim Waterman (Fire chief), and Glen Bridges, Secretary.
REVIEW MINUTES: Clint moved to accept minutes from July 5 with several corrections; motion passed.
FIRE CHIEF: Jim reported that he needs to order one set of turn-outs to be paid for out of the capital improvement fund. That includes a hood, gloves, coat, pants, and boots for $1500, for a petite female volunteer.
Ron asked who is responsible for the care of the gear? Where is it kept? Jim replied that where it is kept varies, some bring it home, but insurance covers it.
Clint moved to authorize Jim to order the turn-out gear. Motion passed.
Jim reported the FEMA grant period is coming up; what should the FD apply for? They will be needing SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) bottles, 16 at $800 each. Clint moved to authorize Jim to decide what to write the grant application for.
ACO: Scott reported that he has taken several cats to the Humane Society. He took care of a raccoon. He also was called about a fisher. The Game Warden told him to call the Animal Damage Control Officer.
Scott said he found a couple more unlicensed dogs and asked if he could choose someone to ride with him in case the owners were hostile.
Ron cautioned Scott to avoid any kind of confrontation; to back off and call 911 in that case; and to ask a deputy to accompany him if necessary.
Scott is now ACO for Knox.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Clint reported that Mike Hamblet is coming to weld a fuel tank on the loader. Also, he asked the road crew to do some low cutting along the roads.
PLANNING BOARD: Glen reported the elected Board officers: Bill Pickford, Chair. Glen Bridges, Vice-Chair. Gunner Wood, Secretary. They have been reviewing the Comp. Plan, gearing up to get it to a vote, and planned to review the Building Permit Ordinance for needed amendments.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported:
Payroll, week ending July 11. .$1477.58
A/P, week ending July 15 ..$2796.24
Payroll this week . ..$5519.50
A/P warrant this week . ..$20,042.48
Checkbook balance, if 4 warrants approved .$60,619.72
Clint moved to pay the A/P warrant for this week ($20,042.48). Motion passed. Clint moved to pay the A/P warrant for week ending July 15 ($2796.29). Motion passed.
Clint moved to pay the payroll warrant for week ending July 11 ($1477.58).
Motion passed. Clint moved to pay the payroll warrant for this week ($5519.50).
MMA is hosting a workshop for Budget Committee members on Dec. 2. Ron suggested the Town send a core group from the Budget Committee.
Erna reported an estimate from Belfast Computers for $1865 per computer for two computers. Erna suggested it should be cheaper for the second one because the programs are already purchased, and can be downloaded from the first one. Ron stated that more negotiations are needed; Erna will talk further to Belfast Computers.
Errors have been found on tax cards, Ron reported, and he will call Jackie Robbins to come in to reconcile the differences. Tonights meeting can be recessed, and re-convene Monday July 25 to sign a new commitment.
COMP. PLAN: Dave reported that the plan is essentially finished and corrected. One copy is in the office. Fifteen copies will be printed for the Town by KVCOG. The joint Boards met July 14 and voted to propose holding a public hearing Sept. 20, with a special Town Meeting vote on Sept. 27. Alternate dates chosen were 9/22 and 9/29.
Unfortunately, Fred Snow has been laid off, but one of KVCOGs staff will come to the hearing.
Ron thanked Dave and the committee for all their work.
NEW BUSINESS: Clint asked if the Planning Board has discussed moving forward with the Commercial/Industrial Development Moratorium. Glen replied that they had talked about the moratorium, but thought the document meant to begin an ordinance following adoption of the Comp. Plan.
Clint moved to encourage the PB to begin work right away on the new Commercial Development Review Ordinance; it will be up to the Planning Board to recruit outside help or not. Motion passed.
It was suggested to start with the repealed ordinance.
Ron explained why he thinks having a six month moratorium is not a good situation at all, because Freedom has such a poor tax base; in the future we will need more commercial development than we have now to keep taxes from becoming unaffordable because of cutbacks at the federal and state level. For example, developing the dam, or perhaps Freedom would be right for a communications center. Right now, any commercial developer will run the other way.
Regarding the evaluation on the turbines, RHR Smith will be giving us a range of figures. Clint agreed to work with Jackie Robbins to come up with a figure. Then the figure can go into the book, and a corrected commitment can be signed when this meeting is reconvened.
Regarding the CMP evaluation, Ron called CMP and they knew nothing about it. It dropped several hundred thousand this year for no apparent reason, just like the windmills went up in 2010 for no reason.
CMP: 2009 - $1,148,347
2010 - $1,159,000
2011 - $898,275
Clint recommended using the 2010 CMP evaluation; Ron agreed.
Clint said there were serious errors in the tax book, including two of Rons commercial lots left out. Clint believes these errors are suspicious and questionable, regarding who had access to the computer program.
Clint asked if there is a list of personal property tax payers? He wants to take a ride with Ron check up on some equipment he has seen in Town, a dozer and a skidder. Clint will ask Cindy if these, or either of these is excised.
OLD BUSINESS: Ron reported that three bids have come in for tarring on Sibley. $13,700, $13,000, and $12,700. The Board was not ready to make choice. Clint will call Lane and Pike, and also get an estimate for paving the base for the salt & sand pile.
The water line should be installed at the Town Garage. Clint will talk to Clayton.
BRW has agreed to pay for road signs, and a No Parking Dusk to Dawn sign. There is a surplus of road signs at the Town Garage. Glen mentioned that Mitchell Rd. sign is missing.
A purchase order for cleaning supplies was signed.
Clint made the announcement that the Town is being investigated for fraud by DHHS, sparked in April when Brian Jones met with one of their staff and they were going through past records.
Ron moved to go into executive session at 7:25 under the authority of MRSA 405(6)F to discuss applications for concealed weapons, and a poverty tax abatement. They returned at 7:37; no decisions were made or business transacted.
George Reale came in to report that Steve Cross is not doing well at all in Waldo County General. Clint moved to send flowers to Hazel. Motion passed.
Clint moved to recess the meeting until 6 PM on July 25th.
JULY 25, 2011, 6:06 PM, RECESSED MEETING RE-CONVENED:
Present: Ton Price, Clint Spaulding, Erna Keller, Cindy Abbott, Dave Bridges, Bob Gerrish, Glen Bridges.
OLD BUSINESS: Ron reported that no information regarding the evaluation on the windmills has come in. CPA Ron Smith had planned to come in person to make a presentation, giving a range of figures. He could not do that until July 6th, but did say that the current evaluation is very high on the scale.
The Board concluded that they had no choice but to sign the commitment tonight; Jackie Robbins has been in to review properties.
So the evaluation on the windmills will have to go in the same as last year; and very likely an abatement will have to follow once a realistic evaluation is submitted from Ron Smith.
Bob Gerrish said our turbines are assessed at much more that those of the new wind farm (Rollins).
Ron remarked that if the recall succeeded, taxes might not be committed until November.
Clint reviewed the corrected tax commitment and moved to approve and sign it. Motion passed. The mill rate is set at 14.9. [commitment form attached]
Ron also reported that the county is having trouble staying within its budget, and may have to send out supplemental tax bills, but the logistics of doing that are complicated.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported:
Checkbook balance $78,731.25
Payroll warrant $2973.04
A/P warrant $37,385.86
(includes school payment)
Checkbook balance (after warrants).$41,345.39
July revenue sharing for $6229.46 was received from the State.
Belfast Computers sent a quote for $2080 for both new computers.
Clint moved to sign the payroll warrant. Motion passed.
Clint moved to sign the A/P warrant. Motion passed.
CEO: Clint moved, seconded by Ron, to appoint Dave Schofield as CEO, and to pay him the amount budgeted for the position. Motion passed.
NEW BUSINESS: Bob Gerrish asked if he could help himself to some dirt that has been dumped at the old dumpsite. (Yes.) He also mentioned that there is a log in the ditch near the bridge on Mitchell.
Ron also inquired about the plan to fix the bridge on Mitchell. Clint has asked John Work to look into it. Guardrails are very expensive. Cables or pipe might be more affordable.
Public works needs to rent a chipper for brush cut on Raven Rd. Dave reminded the Board that the brush cut last year on the dumpsite also needs chipping.
Discussion followed about the DHHS investigating the Town for fraud in the General Assistance program in years past. Bob Gerrish suggested the misappropriation of $56,000 in 2005 should be investigated.
Clint brought up the question of computer security, and back-up. Erna said the office signed up for Live Vault with TRIO, which backs up data on the computer periodically.
Bernice (auditor), and Ryan (Belfast Computers) both think that our computer security is compromised, and that someone has been accessing our TRIO program from a remote location. Bernice found that figures had been tampered with one morning when they were set in the office doing audits, and suggested turning them off at night.
Ron moved, seconded by Clint, to approve the purchase of new computers. Motion passed. When the new computers are set up, Cindy & Erna will ask for better security, new passwords, etc.
The auditors found $8,000 for computers, along with other funds (see minutes from July 5). These monies are coming out of the $50,000 surplus and being put into designated accounts.
Ron moved, seconded by Clint, to have all the locks changed in the buildings next week. Motion passed.
The next meeting is August 1, 2011 at 6 PM.
Motion to adjourn passed at 7:45 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
JULY 5, 2011
The meeting was called order by Chair Ron Price (Selectmen) at 6:13 p.m. Those in attendance were Clint Spaulding (Selectmen) Erna Keller (Treasurer) Sallyann Hadyniak (Acting Secretary) and Bob Gerrish. Selectmen Brian Jones was absent.
A motion to accept the minutes of the June 20th meeting as read (with no corrections) was made by Clint Spaulding and second by Ron Price. Motion made and carried.
Clint Spaulding reported that the Dwight Gould and Tim Varney (Public Works) met with Avery Glidden who will give them an estimate for pouring cement walls for the salt and shed. Clint will be asking for bids from anyone interested in doing the blocks (ground work) before the walls.
A letter was received from the County Commissioners (since Ron Price in on the Budget committee) was asked to attend a luncheon July 12, 2011 during the Commissioners Court Session regarding the 2011 budget and more then likely the budget will increase during 2012.
A bill was received from KVCOG in the amount of $909.00 for dues from July 1st 2011 until June 30, 2012.
We also received a bill from MMA Risk Management Services for volunteer insurance which we have. A form needs to be filled out and in order to know how much our bill will be and its $2.50 annually for each person.
There will be free help for Maine Seniors over the age of 60 for Legal Services for the
Elderly. Information and cards will be available at the Town Office.
The Freedom Volunteer Fire Department received a letter and a large box of batteries from Duracell. Duracell sent them to all the fire departments.
A letter from the School Board Representative regarding new appointments in SAD 3 and four resignations.
A report from the Emergency Management Director (Christine Spaulding) who attended the monthly meeting last week in Belfast.
A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday July 12th at the Grange Hall. (a short discussion was held regarding the changing of the place for the meeting but it was decided to keep to the original meeting place.).
The 2008 Audit is done and completed.
The 2009-2010 Audits are basically done, but we havent received copies yet.
In 2010 the audit overspent two accounts and they are the spring and fall cleanup.
This information came directly from the auditor.
Given by Erna Keller
1. Payroll Warrant this week is $2,406.21 (which includes ACO, and one selectmen pay for the month of July)
2. Payroll for week ending 6/27/11 was $5,732.45 (this includes paying Erna and Cindy for their work on 2009 audit) plus regular salary.
3. Our checkbook balance is $135,662.92.
4. A/P this week is $54,555.30 (if you pay a/p warrant check balance will be $81,107.62.
5. Lien need to be filed by July 18th on any account for 2009 that hasnt been paid. We dont have another meeting until July 18th can I make a check for these on next weeks A/P warrant for state monies.
6. We received a check from MSAD #3 for a refund of $693.00 to cover the school budget and referendum vote, and a check from Rev. Sharing for June in the amount of $3,464.86.
7. After talking to Christina (one of our auditors about the claim of the selectmen over spending $20,000.00, I would like in the minutes and Sallyann can print this in the paper The only 2 items that was overspent last year was the spring clean up ($1,067.00 over) and the fall clean up ($!,408.92). These are the only 2 warrant items that were voted on separate that went over. All other warrants were in the approved budget for each department. I think this need to be the last time this is brought up.
8. .Also the auditor told Brian and me that the Historical Society because of the way the article as written has no money budgeted. I thought this was going to be added to the referendum ballot with new wording but will have to be added to the November referendum. They say that money could be disbursed as needed as long as we have an article added to cover the mistake. There were a couple of articles that had been done in error when they were typed.
9. After talking with outr auditors we have several Fund Balances not spent since 2005-2010 which have been carried over are, as follows:
1. Cemetery Fund Balance is $2,652.87
2. Computer Fund Balance is $8,699.00
3. Bridge Repairs fund Balance is $5,000.00
4. Recreation Fund balance is $7,904.60
5. Tax Maps Fund Balance is $5,846.65
6. Legal Fund Balance is $14,217.91
7. URIP Fund Balance if $25,169.54
8. ACCORDING TO THE AUDITORS WE DO NOT NEED TO GO BACK TO TOWN MEETING TO USE THESE FUNDS WHERE THEY HAVE ALREADY BEEN APPROVED IN YEARS PAST.
9. We have a purchase order for receipt paper.
Clint made a motion to get estimates regarding the replacement of one town computer and getting another one for Cindy. The state computer cannot be replaced. Ron second the motion, motion made and carried.
Clint made a motion to pay the A/P Warrant in the amount of $54,555.20, Ron second the motion. Motion made and carried. Clint made a motion to pay the Payroll Warrant in the amount of $2.406.21. Ron Price seconds the motion, motion made and carried. Clint made a motion to pay the Payroll Warrant in the amount of $5,732.45 for the W/E 6/27/11, Ron second the motion, motion made and carried.
The bill from Clayton is on the A/P Warrant and Ron requested that we get an itemized bill from him.
Ron stated that there were errors on the tax commitment and as soon as the big errors will be found, the taxes will be sent out just a little late.
After a discussion regarding Deer Hill Road and Beaver Ridge Road, Ron offered to call BRW to see if they would help pay for signs saying "Dead End" and "No Access To Windmills" and 25 MPH speed limit signs.
The next meeting will be held on Monday July 18, 2011. A Public Hearing will be held on July 12, 2011.
Clint made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:08 and Ron second the motion. Motion made and carried.
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
JUNE 20, 2011
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM. Present: Ron Price (Selectman), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Brian Jones (Selectman), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Todd Presson (Beaver Ridge Wind), Ethan Andrews (Republican Journal), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Committee), Keisha Whitman, Richard & Mary Spinelli, Nancy Bailey Farrar, Marion Bowers, John Clark, Sallyann Hadyniak, Chris Spaulding, Steve Bennett, Judy Bennett.
REVIEW MINUTES: Brian moved to remove a specific section of comments under Citizen°Øs Issues, with the exception of actions taken. Glen asked if this means Brian wants to eliminate the Citizen°Øs Issues agenda item? Ron refused to second. Clint seconded; motion passed with 2 votes, Ron abstained.
OLD BUSINESS: Bids were received for repairing Sibley Road where it meets the North Palermo Rd. The bid accepted was Clayton Larrabee°Øs for $10,500, including fabric, but not paving. Brian moved to accept the lowest bid, motion passed with two votes. Clint recused himself.
Brian moved to accept the lowest bid for overhead cutting, from John Work at $114 per hour. Motion passed.
Brian moved for the wind moratorium petition to go forward. Brian & Clint voted for the motion; Ron recused himself. Glen suggested the moratorium ordinance must be attached to the posting notices; Brian said he would ask Cindy about that.
The Board reviewed the warrant for the July 26 election, and found an error that Cindy corrected. A mailing will be sent out with the warrant and the following schedule:
June 27 °© absentee ballots available
July 2 °© Town Office closed
July 4 °© Town Office closed (holiday)
July 8 °© Last day to pay delinquent taxes
July 12 °© public hearing on 2 warrant articles
July 26 °© Election 10 AM °© 8 PM, Town Office Annex
Sept. 5 °© Town Office closed (holiday)
Oct. 10 °© Town Office closed (holiday)
Nov. 8 °© Voting Day
Nov. 24 & 25 °© Office closed, Thanksgiving
Dec. 30 °© Office closing at noon
NEW BUSINESS: Brian moved to sign the (special July 26 election) warrant, seconded by Clint & passed.
Brian reported that the property tax commitment form is finished. Assessed taxable property comes to $56,458,268. The mill rate will be 14.9. [attached] Brian moved, seconded by Clint, to accept the property tax rate calculation; motion passed.
Brian asked Cindy about the rules for posting proposed ordinances. Cindy explained that any ordinance under 50 pages has to be attached to the posting notices according to MMA.
Three policies were proposed in the event of two recalls:
1. To be able to pay school bills
2. To pay State fees
3. To pay employee wages & benefits.
Brian moved to accept the policies above; motion passed.
When recalls fail, the policies will be rescinded. In the event of recalls, vendors would not be paid.
Brian moved to not appoint any ordinance committees until a full Board can meet. Motion passed.
Someone wants to conduct a coupon class at the Town Annex one night a week for a month. The consensus was that the facility is available to use.
Contracts came in for portable toilets at $85 per month each (for two), and $50 per month in the winter, meaning the one at the Town Garage, a necessity, said Ron. Motion passed to sign the contracts.
A bill was received from RHR Smith for two audits and review of Beaver Ridge Wind construction costs/audits for $9,000. The Board decided to remove that amount from the Accounts Payable warrant until the finished products are received.
Ron moved to pay the A/P warrant for $29,774.58. Motion passed.
Brian moved to pay the payroll warrant of $4857.36. Motion passed.
The next Selectmen°Øs meeting is July 5th, 6 PM, and needs to be posted. Meeting adjourned at 6:50 PM, to be followed by a special Town Meeting
Glen Bridges, Sec.
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
JUNE 6, 2011
Chairman Price called the meeting to order at 6:06 PM. Present: Selectmen Ron Price, Clint Spaulding, and Brian Jones. Erna Keller (Treasurer), Cindy Abbott (Town Clerk), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Todd Presson (Beaver Ridge Wind), Scott Holmes (ACO), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan), Lari Turner, Kim Holmes, Steve Bara, Steve & Judy Bennett, Jeff & Stacy Keating, Tom Clay, Dwight Gould, Tim Varney, Keisha Whitman, Richard & Mary Spinelli, Matt Bennett, Erin Bennett-Wade, Nancy Bailey Farrar, Mary Ann Bennett, Sallyann Hadyniak.
REVIEW MINUTES: It was decided to put off reviewing minutes because the 6/2 recessed/reconvened meeting minutes were not finished.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Brian moved to consider the moratorium petition first on the agenda. Motion passed.
After lengthy discussion and public comment, Brian moved to approve the petition and set the vote for a July 26 referendum. Clint said that without legal counsel, he would not second the motion. Ron noted the motion dies without a second, and the petition will be sent to MMA, then the Board can vote on it by recessing this meeting and reconvening next Monday (June 13).
ACO: Scott reported that he was chasing ponies around Town for two days. He also found that the old Town trap turns out not destroyed; now the Town has two traps. Keisha objected to getting calls for Scott at 4:30 in the morning. Brian asked Scott about outstanding vet bills that are owed to Freedom by the person who adopted a stray dog, and if the dog has been licensed yet. Scott said the dog is being fostered in Winslow, and that the fees collected by the Town are supposed to go into an account for such expenses. Brian asked Scott to see him in the office.
Payroll, week ending 5/28/11 ..$3530.28
Payroll this week $3972.41
A/P this week $12,314.17
A/P, week ending 6/2/11 ..$8135.35
Checkbook balance ..$117,766.29
Erna reported that checks were received from URIP ($6750) and Black Hills Corp. ($39.42). The bill for the 2008 audit was $11,200, included in the A/P.
Clint moved to approve/sign the payroll warrant for $3972.41; motion passed. Clint moved to approve & sign the A/P; motion passed.
The Town CD, a step CD which has been at 1.3%, matures on June 7th. Brian moved to hold off on renewing that until Town monies can be bundled into a higher interest account; Clint seconded and motion passed. It can be put into the Savings Account, at .2% temporarily. [.2% or 1.3%?]
Erna contacted Key Bank about a debit/credit card for the Town and gave the Board the information on that. Erna is working on transferring the Town budget to the new State Chart of Accounts, and has one last form to be approved and sent to the auditor.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Lee Bros. is coming back to finish work
on road shoulders.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE: No report, but there are two programs available, one regarding farm produce at the Curra farm, and another in Unity.
SOLID WASTE DIRECTOR: Bryan reported that the Town received a bill for $1100, a surcharge from PERC for not sending them enough trash. Brian will follow up on that.
COMP. PLAN COMMITTEE: The State Planning Office sent a notice that the draft Comp. Plan is complete, and consistent with the Informed Growth Act. Further reviews will be issued by June 9. This was to have been presented for a vote at the March Town meeting, but the information needed from the Town did not come to the committee in time, so had to be delayed. A copy of the draft will be on the Town website.
CEMETERY COMMITTEE: Brian commented that the cemeteries look great.
PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE: The committee could use more members. Ron will get a site plan of the Town Garage to them.
OLD BUSINESS: Brian asked the Secretary to attach Dave Schofields re-written permit application and disclaimer to the minutes.
Brian asked if we had solicited bids for overhead cutting; Ron will take care of that.
Clint reported that he drove around Town with Jerry Sullivan and counted 344 dwellings, about 6 with dumpsters. Clint thought the contract stated 350. Brian is concerned about Freedoms expense for waste management.
Clint met with Prentice about the elm trees; the recommendation is to transplant them in the fall.
Brian reported that Mike Rogers, regarding making a projection of property tax changes, said there are too many moving pieces to make a projection.
Brian reported on the calendar for the referendum election:
Warrant to be signed June 22
Absentee ballots available
Hearing between July 10-16, depending on moderator availability
Posting , 7 days before hearing
Post election warrant (and ordinance, if any) July 19
To be included as possible referendum questions:
1. Purchase of fire truck
2. Recall Ron
3. Recall Clint
5. Comprehensive Plan
6. Beaver Ridge Rd.
We need to raise and appropriate monies for additional legal fees, running a hearing, and election ballot clerks, etc.
We also have only $3800 left in the budget for audits, so need more for finishing 09,10,11.
Nancy asked if all the issues are going to be discussed at one hearing; Ron felt the Comp Plan should have its own separate hearing.
NEW BUSINESS: Brian brought up the bill for $11,200 for the 2008 audit. Ron & Brian discussed audits with RHR Smith, who offered to do the audits for $6000 each and have 09 and 10 done by the end of August. Brian reviewed the contracts offered by RHR Smith. We will have to raise money to pay them. Brian moved to engage the services of RHR Smith; motion passed.
Brian reported that BRW has submitted audits and documents required to arrive at an accurate evaluation. This is complex enough to hire assistance from Ron Smith to interpret the figures. Smith has agreed to this for a fee not to exceed $2000. Brian moved to hire Ron Smith, seconded by Clint. Motion passed.
Vote to recess this meeting for one week, until June 13th at 6 PM, passed at 7:55 PM. MEETING RECESSED.
RECONVENED (JUNE 6) SELECT BOARD MEETING
JUNE 13, 2011
The meeting was called to order at 6 PM. Present: Selectmen Ron Price and Brian Jones. (Clint Spaulding was unavoidably absent), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Glen Bridges (Secretary), Todd Presson (Beaver Ridge Wind), Gordon Smith (BRW), Tim Biggs, Ken Boulier, Chuck Hadynaik, Steve Bara, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte. Chair), Matt Bennett, Jeff Keating, Mary Ann Bennett, Judy/Steve Bennett, Keisha Whitman, Richard Spinelli, Audrey Williams, Dave Bennett, Tom Clay, Cindy Abbott, Sallyann Hadyniak.
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from May 23/June 2 were accepted as written. Brian mentioned that the comments included in minutes are selective, for example, mention of a firemans possible bias regarding the fire truck left out that Brian had previously explained that he joined the FD and Select Board as a public service, and had no financial interest in the outcome of a fire truck vote on the Budget Committee.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Todd Presson asked, if the Selectmen approve this petition, does that mean they are agreeing with accusations against BRW? He explained further that there are no plans for further development because there is no room. Todd offered to put a decommissioning plan into place, along with a financial reserve. In order to resolve the impact on three residences, BRW has purchased the Zane property at full market value, will be sound-proofing another home, and has been in negotiation with another for a long time. The Zane house will be offered for sale.
CORRESPONDENCE: Brian read a letter from BRWs Todd Presson spelling out the inaccuracies in the proposed moratorium on wind power. [see attached]. There are no plans for expansion of BRW, no evidence of exceeding decibel limits, and BRW has been working with impacted neighbors to resolve issues. The company supports any effort to adopt land use ordinances, including wind power regulation.
Brian received a notice of a meeting June 16 at 6:30 PM at City Counsel Chambers, Belfast, about the PACE program, a loan program to promote energy efficiency.
Brian reported the Palermo Fire Dept. is down to about 2-3 members, so FVFD may be called for mutual aid. Two mutual aid agreements have been returned so far, from Albion & Montville. Jim asked Brian to contact the others.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave Bridges reported the letter of acceptance received from the State Planning Office. The draft plan was sent to the Town website [but it is not on the site yet], and Brian pointed out that it is online on the SPO website. A meeting is scheduled June 14 for the committee with Fred Snow. The committee will edit the draft, submit edits to Fred Snow, and then a hearing has to be held 30 days prior to a vote, and notice of 10 days posted for the hearing. Realistically, were looking at September to bring it to the Town.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna submitted a written report [attached] ; no action was taken/required.
OLD BUSINESS: Richard Flewelling of MMA reviewed the petition/wind moratorium ordinance. It is not perfect, not what he would have drawn up, but none of the problems are fatal defects. Planning Board and Appeals Board members could be prevented from participating in permit applications or appeals in the future.
Bill Kelly advised that the ordinance has a structural flaw in the creating of a committee. The sections starting with whereas are not part of the ordinance in the document, so the question of creating a problematic committee is not part of the ordinance, and can be dealt with later. Kelly did think the petition could go forward, however.
Tuesday, July 12, a hearing will take place to discuss the fire truck purchase and the wind moratorium proposal. Sign the warrant June 20.
The boat landing has all been cleaned up.
NEW BUSINESS: Brian moved to vote for a proposed a commercial and industrial development moratorium for the Town of Freedom, and to hold a Town meeting on June 20 to consider it. An article will be included authorizing the Select Board to spend monies from surplus to cover unanticipated expenses, such as moderators, referendums, legal counsel. We need Kelly on board in addition to MMA, because MMA wont defend the Town.
The warrant will:
1. Choose a moderator
2 Vote to adopt proposed commercial/industrial moratorium
3. Take money from surplus to cover expenses.
The scope of the proposed wind power moratorium is so narrow that it leaves the town vulnerable to every kind of damaging development. This is not an effort to thwart, but to augment, Brian explained.
Ron seconded Brians motion; motion passed.
Assessor Jackie Robbins will meet with Brian Wednesday morning to complete the tax commitment.
Of the two farm produce programs mentioned last meeting, Erna pointed out that the Town didnt support the Unity program, so the only one available is the Curra farm program. A mailing will go out about that and the special Town Meeting.
The next Selectmens meeting will be June 20 at 6 PM. At 7 PM the Town Meeting will be held at the Grange to consider the Commercial/Industrial Moratorium.
Motion to adjourn passed at 7:35 PM.
Glen Bridges, Sec.
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
MAY 23, 2011
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Price at 6:10 PM. Present were Selectmen Ron Price, Clint Spaulding, Brian Jones, and their Secretary, Glen Bridges. Also Town Clerk Cindy Abbott and Treasurer Erna Keller, Scott Homes (ACO), Dave Schofield (LPI & acting CEO), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte. Chair), Ethan Andrews (Republican Journal), Keisha Whitman, Lari Turner, Nancy Bailey Farrar, Ryan Willette, Sallyann Hadyniak, Joe Richardson, Mary & Richard Spinelli.
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from May 9, 2011 were approved as written, with two questions from Brian:
1. Who makes the decision to hold back $30,000 referred to on page 4, paragraph 4. Who decides the use of the Fire Dept. Capital Improvement Fund? Ron thought it would be up to the Town.
2. Is the .2% interest mentioned on page 6 accurate? [The Fire Chief was not present to answer].
CITIZENS ISSUES: Joe Richardson asked if the Beaver Ridge Rd. sign would be put back up; Clint assured him it would be.
Keisha read a statement saying the fire truck is for the Towns security and has been approved for 3 years. The firemen give up their time to protect us, and need the right tools.
Mary asked the Select Board to set aside the petition until it can be determined if it is ping-ponging. Ron replied that legal consultants advice already has said they can go either way.
Nancy said the point is being missed here. The Fire Dept. needs a truck, needs a water supply, but good used equipment is available, even new stock trucks are available for less money. No Town the size of Freedom has spent $250,000 for a new fire truck. The Fire Chief has come to previous years budget meetings saying that he intends to get a grant to buy the truck.
Richard thought the previous approvals did not depend on grants, so why wasnt the truck purchased? Nancy replied that Richard was mistaken and should talk to Jim Waterman. Clint said yes, it did hinge on grants, and audits.
Richard said the 2009 vote said, to direct the Selectmen to buy the truck. Brian thought in that case the Selectmen were out of compliance, but when Ron read the 2009 article, it said to direct the FVFD, so was a mistake to begin with. The FVFD doesnt have the authority to purchase a truck.
Ron said grants were applied for every year, and that previously we couldnt borrow money because of audits being behind. Until the last Select Board meeting, there never was a serious discussion.
The audits were discussed. In hindsight, Ron said in 2007 he would have hired an accountant to prepare the audit figures.
Clint thought we should contact another auditor to speed things up, but the Board agreed that it should wait until 2008 is completed.
CORRESPONDENCE: Brian reported information received from CMP regarding the electric meters in Freedom.
TREASURER: Erna reported:
Payroll for week ending May 16 $2901.46
Payroll this week $1956.39
Accounts Payable (A/P) Warrant ..$45,222.34
(includes May school payment)
Checkbook Balance ..$165,686.90
Checks were received:
From MRC, quarterly ..$652.86
From sale of scrap metal at Town Garage ...$955.40
Erna recommended a CPA named Ron Smith that she & Cindy met at a training class; he expressed interest in working for Freedom.
The representative from the leasing company called again; Erna explained the fire truck question was going to referendum, but a Selectman needs to call Dave Fiske.
Erna expressed her concern about the Town finances keeping up consistently in the case of a recall. She discussed it with MMA, who advised the Board could sign an agreement for the Treasurer to pay the bills and payroll.
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER: Scott requested an executive session, which was denied because the subject is not acceptable under the statute. Scott had received a complaint about rabbits being neglected, which he inspected and determined was not true. Another complaint referred to guinea hens running loose. Ron directed Scott to give a summons to any neglectful owner of animals.
CEO: Dave Schofield reported that he re-wrote the Building Permit Application, and wrote a Disclaimer document for the Town. This action is based on the States acceptance of the International Building Codes, which supersede any local building codes. Ron pointed out that amendments to Freedoms Building Permit Ordinance would be required.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Clint reported that Erin Bennetts driveway has been repaired, and all roads have been graded, including Russell, Wentworth, and Glidden. Also, cold patching is finished.
Brian mentioned that he hasnt yet had a chance to inspect the boat launch area.
Two bids have come in for overhead cutting, from Construction Unlimited and Work & Sons. Another firm that Clint called did not bid.
The Board agreed to put the bids on file and advertise for more bids.
Clint moved to rent a chipper for the slash on Ayer Ridge Rd.; motion passed.
TOWN CLERK: Cindy presented two petitions that were submitted by Joe Richardson on May 9th. The signatures have been certified. Bill Kelly said there should have been a cover letter to the two Selectmen that arent targeted. Cindy also included her signature certification forms and Bill Kellys letter, along with copies of the two past petitions for recalling Steve Bennett.
Brian discussed the procedural quandary. The Board has to act within 10 days, and schedule an election 30-60 days from then. A public hearing should be scheduled for at least 10 before the election, with 7 days posted notice. In all fairness, Brian said, he needs time to do his homework and consult legal advisors.
Brian moved to table the petition to recall Clint for ten days; to recess this meeting and reconvene June 2. Ron seconded; vote carried with Clint recusing himself.
Brian moved to table the petition to recall Ron for ten days; to recess this meeting and reconvene June 2. Clint seconded; vote carried, with Ron recusing himself.
Ron inquired about the requirement that absentee ballots be available for 30 days, and why the school ballot can circumvent that rule.
Nancy asked if all referendum questions coming up can be voted absentee. Answer: yes.
SCHOOL BOARD: The budget hearing is May 25 in the Jr. High gym at 7 PM. At 6:30 will be a referendum question concerning a construction project on one of the elementary schools.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR: Christine has a meeting May 24th.
BICENTENNIAL CMTE.: Cindy reported they havent been meeting lately.
PLANNING BOARD: Glen reported that the Board will need to prepare to amend the Building Permit Ordinance. Dave Schofield said the Board wasnt interested in reviewing the re-written Building Permit Application or Disclaimer. Brian asked the results of the PB discussing Freedoms reaction to natural resource protections being weakened at the State level. Glen replied that the question was on the agenda, but she had to miss the meeting; she will report after the next PB meeting.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE: The draft plan is online, and comments from other towns are due by May 25th. Then the committee will need to review and correct the plan. The SPO has not finished their review yet. We will need to schedule a public hearing.
RECREATION COMMITTEE: Cindy reported they havent met, but need to meet next month, and prepare to order playground equipment.
CEMETERY COMMITTEE: The Board agreed to hire Jon Willette to take care of cemeteries this season. Erna thought there was about $3000 raised & appropriated. There is a training session coming up for restoring headstones. Clint said Russell Road needs work in order to make it passable to that cemetery. Cindy pointed out that Memorial Day is coming, so cemeteries should be mowed and flags installed.
Brian moved to hire Jon to mow cemeteries, and to repair Russell road. Ron seconded, motion passed.
OLD BUSINESS: Brian moved to reconsider the petition calling for a referendum vote on the fire truck. His concern is to end the discussion; that this is disruptive and getting ridiculous; the town needs to settle down. Ron seconded the motion.
Bryan also said the reasoning for the recall petitions may not even be legitimate, and show no evidence of being valid reasons for recall. Brian reviewed how much work has to go into addressing a petition.
Clint said he is not willing to reconsider the fire truck petition. The process wasnt proper in the first place, and 49-50 was not a good vote. Bids should have come to the Selectmen; the Selectmen should have been part of the process; it should have been a referendum vote. Clint said he has talked to K & T, and all he got was a sales pitch for this truck. There has been no compromise offered. Are we going to dicker over bids to cut trees, but not to buy a fire truck?
Brian asked what will happen if a referendum vote turns out in favor of the truck. Nancy and Ryan replied that then it would be a done deal.
Lari Turner said a referendum vote is the right thing to do. He has learned about a lot more options for a lot less money since the April 16 meeting. The Towns finances are not in order; its not a good time to go into debt.
Nancy suggested that the recommendation from the budget committee might have been negative (instead of no recommendation based on a tie vote) if a budget committee member, who was also a fireman, had recused himself.
Dave Bridges said the amount of upset in the Town reflects the size of the purchase, and that the process was flawed at both Town meetings. More transparency was needed even if cumbersome.
Brian asked to move the question (to reconsider the petition). The motion to reconsider the petition carried unanimously.
Brian moved to reject the petition and arrange financing for the fire truck; motion failed for lack of a second.
Sallyann asked why even have an annual Town meeting if the vote can be redone? Ron said he thinks the Town meeting if the best way to run a town, but Lari said some people have to work & cant get there.
Brian reported on a meeting he and Clint attended in Augusta with Dave Ledew, Mike Rogers, Todd Presson and Mr. Campbell, a tax attorney, regarding the valuation on Beaver Ridge Wind. Todd submitted his 08 and 09 audits, the 09 audit being more accurate because of more figures having come in. Brian moved to find and hire a CPA to help review the figures, because they are extremely complex. Motion passed.
Brian asked if Clint has gone around with Jerry Sullivan to count residences. Not yet, Clint replied, he hasnt had time.
A contract has been signed with the Curra farm to supply vegetables for low-income families.
Brian inquired about the Town voting to put $15,000 into the FD Capital Improvement Account in case the fire truck vote fails. Ron said that could also go on the ballot as a referendum question.
NEW BUSINESS: Clint moved to call RHR Smith accountants about looking at Beaver Ridge Wind figures, and to talk about audits. Motion passed, with agreement to make no move regarding audits until 2008 is done.
Jim Waterman called Brian and asked that the snack shack be put on the agenda. Jim would like it to be removed before clean-up day (June 4), or the FVFD will remove the shingles and burn it. Tina Freeman and Brian Raven have expressed interest in it. Ron will call them.
There are still two elm trees at Prentices that need to be replanted and Prentice wants to do it now. Discussion followed about where to plant the trees. Originally they were to go on top of the hill. Cindy expressed concern about the trees blocking three flagpoles. Cindy and Sallyann will work with Prentice to decide.
A quote was received from Overhead Door to replace the rotted panel for $656.54; the job was authorized by unanimous vote.
Brian moved to sign the payroll; motion passed.
Brian moved to sign the warrant; motion passed.
Brian reported that he has been discussing a projection of next years property taxes with Mike Rogers, who is working on it. As the turbines come in to play with school & county taxes, and affect revenue sharing, we need to be able to anticipate revenues. Brian will call Mike to see if he can attend the re-convened Select Board meeting on June 2.
This recessed meeting will reconvene on June 2 at 6 PM, and the next regular Select Board meeting is June 6, 2011 at 6 PM.
Motion to recess carried at 8:55 PM.
MEETING RECONVENED JUNE 2 AT 6 PM:
Present: Ron Price, Clint Spaulding, Brian Jones, Bill Kelly, Glen Bridges, Lari Turner, Steve Holmes, Steve Bara, Bob & Mrs. Hermon, Donna & Glenn Sporie, Dave Bridges, Jerry Stefanski, Keisha Whitman, Scott Holmes, Richard & Mary Spinelli, Steve Bennett, Sallyann Hadyniak, Audrey Williams, Matt Bennett, Cindy Abbott, Tim Biggs, Jim Waterman, Nancy Bailey Farrar, Tim Varney, Erna Keller, Ethan Andrews, Dwight Gould, Lindahl Chase.
Ron asked Brian to chair the meeting; Brian opened the meeting, and said he would permit a 15-minute session for citizens issues.
Cindy presented another petition, this one calling for a six-month moratorium ordinance to prevent any wind power from being developed, circulated by Steve & Judy Bennett and Sallyann Hadyniak.
Brian read the four-page ordinance aloud. Bennett said the petition/ordinance came straight from the town of Hope, and he changed the name Hope to Freedom.
Steve Bennett explained the rationale behind his moratorium petition, starting with rumors that a couple of landowners on Beaver Ridge are interested in wind turbines. The existing project did not qualify for review by the DEP. Steve said a letter from Dr. Dora Mills, printed in a recent Morning Sentinel, who has gone on record that there are no adverse health effects from wind turbines, said she thought the noise violated allowable levels after sitting on Jeff Keatings lawn last September. DEPs Andrew Fiske said the DEP, according to Steve Bennett, would not review an expansion of less 5-6 turbines on Beaver Ridge as long as no more than 3 acres of impervious surface are disturbed. Bennett felt that BR residents have been subject to abuse, thrown under a bus, and that the Town will lose 3 houses for taxation that are being purchased to tear down. Flicker takes place for 1.5 hours a day for 3 months a year at his house, according to Bennett.
Brian asked for the discussion to focus just on the petition.
Dave Bridges pointed out that climate change is going on, and that wind energy provides significant environmental benefits, while Jerry Stefanski said he thought Maine rivers should be dammed. Sallyann thought that more turbines would mean higher taxes.
Brian explained why the Board needs the time to study the petition, and to consult the Town attorney for legal counsel. Steve wanted to make sure the ordinance would then be retroactive to June 2. Brian and Ron said that no ordinance can take effect until a Town vote; that the retroactivity may be illegal, and Brian pointed out that this is the perfect example of why the Board needs to take the time to get legal advice. The Board decided to have Bill Kelly review the petition/ordinance.
Clint moved to table the petition, seconded by Brian. Motion passed, with Ron recused.
OTHER OLD BUSINESS: Brian reported that all the tax evaluations are complete, and the commitment will be done next week.
The 2008 audit should be finished by mid-June.
Ron Smith, CPA, will meet to review Beaver Ridge Winds audit documents to arrive at an accurate cost, and a true evaluation.
PUBLIC COMMENTS ON RECALL PETITIONS:
Ron spoke about his service to the Town since 2007, serving with 4 different board members. He has carried out his job to the best of his ability, and has always recused himself on votes pertaining to the windmills. He is very disturbed about the charges in the petition, accusations the circulator knows nothing about, and who has almost never visited Ingraham Equipment.
1. Things come up that have to be addressed, usually regarding
Town trucks or equipment. Never have decisions been made, or discussions taken place about spending tax monies.
2. Regarding firing a Town employee, Ron feels that firing an unsatisfactory employee doesnt need to be justified, any more than a driver who quits has to justify quitting.
3. Illegal executive sessions: First, one person cant call an executive session, and all of these are called under the authority of state statute.
4. Conflict of interest charges. Ron said he has never voted on a question regarding BRW; check the minutes.
Ron said he is innocent of all these charges, is proud of his accomplishments for the Town, and has done the best he can.
Joe Richardson asked why he was fired. Brian said personnel issues will not be discussed in public. Ron said he and Clint wanted to save Joe embarrassment. Clint said there is no Maine law that says a firing needs to be justified.
The subject of bias was raised, on each side of the fire truck issue. Brian pointed out that bias is not mentioned in either recall petition; reasons for recall have to be listed but are not necessarily factual.
In response to the Spinellis bringing up the fire truck petition again, Brian explained, for example, that its rational to think that we only had 52 votes the first time, and that 49-50 is not a clear mandate for such a large expenditure.
Regarding the recall petitions, Clint got advice from lawyer Joseph Baiungo, whose letter stated that the statute cited by the ordinance is the wrong statute, and so the petition is insufficient. Any recall attempt could be blocked in court.
Steve Bennett said the recall ordinance came directly form MMA.
Tim Biggs pointed out because one guy loses his job, he gets angry and causes all this trouble, which makes it very uncomfortable for everyone, and makes being a Selectmen very unpleasant. There must be a better way to work this out.
Steve Bennett brought up that he thinks the Board overspent the budget by $20,000, and questioned Erna. Clint replied that they can go over budget for public works (winter roads); Steve debated heatedly until Brian used the gavel to quell the angry rhetoric.
Mary Spinelli said that people have told her that Clint has been hired by Works & Sons; Clint replied that he can hire his truck out to anyone, but simply cannot vote on it.
Bill Kelly introduced himself as Town attorney, and stated the purpose of his attendance is to advise on deciding whether or not to move two recall petitions forward, a process that can be foreign and confusing.
Regarding the comments about bias, Bill explained that there is no problem with a Selectman being absolutely biased about a political issue. People get frustrated with that when they dont share the same opinion. Also, on another subject, signed petitions may not be amended.
Bill is focusing on whether or not to move forward. He reviewed the recall ordinance. There is language directing to a statute, and he went into the history of the statute being amended. His opinion is that the ordinance is valid. He pointed out that the courts consistently favor the opportunity for people to vote with no obstacles.
His advice to the Board is that the petitions were sufficient. Going forward, the Board may go to a vote. Two votes, actually, because Ron cannot vote on his recall petition, and Clint cannot vote on his, both would constitute conflict of interest. If the Board unreasonably refuses to accept the petition, the petitioners can go to a notary to call a meeting.
Cindy asked if she isnt the one who should call a meeting according to the ordinance. Bill replied that the statute 30A MRSA section 2602 is a more specific statement. Whenever there is a general statement in legislation and a specific statement, the specific statement controls. The clerk cannot call a meeting. The Clerk has very specific duties as an elected official, but being a notary is a coincidence in this instance.
If the Selectmen refuse to move forward, the petitioners need to get legal counsel.
Either way, there must be a public hearing, where the facts are discussed. So a notice is posted in the newspaper, a public hearing is held, then the vote takes place under the authority of 2528.
Cindy had a number of concerns involving registered voters, ballot clerks, etc. Bill replied that he has never seen this happen. It would all have to be worked out.
Brian asked for the worst-case scenario: the petitions are refused, a notary calls a meeting, so how do you avoid an incomprehensible mess?
The Town could seek a declaratory judgment from a court, Ron and/or Clint could seek a declaratory judgement form a court, the Board could file suit to enjoin a meeting called by a notary.
Bennett debated Bill Kellys interpretation that a hearing is necessary; and thinks that moving this forward is the honorable thing to do. Bennett said he was recalled, and he voted for it to go ahead. Kelly said the statute specifically requires a hearing.
Dave Bridges asked what would happen if no one pursued a notary; Bill replied nothing would happen.
Cindy again expressed her concern about how an election would work. Bills reasoning is that after refusal; it goes out of Town. He doesnt have all the answers; this has never happened before.
Ron asked about type of vote; section 2528 requires a vote in the voting booth.
Clint moved to accept the petition to recall Ron Price; motion passed with two votes. Ron recused.
Ron moved to accept the petition to recall Clint Spaulding; motion passed with two votes. Clint recused.
OTHER OLD BUSINESS: Ron reported that the ball field is a mess of broken tables and trash. It was suggested to call Clayton and to give the ball teams a chance to clean it up.
Jerry Stefanski asked again about the boat launch.
Clean up day is June 4.
Jim Waterman asked if someone is going to take the snack shack. Brian Raven is not interested. He reported that Albion has returned the mutual aid agreement.
Cindy reported that the ballots for a referendum have to be available for 30 days; the vote should be by Aug. 1st. Brian said the vote will probably take place July 26th.
Nancy Bailey Farrar asked if all the hearings can be scheduled together, and could it please be scheduled for a weeknight evening so that more people can attend?
The next Select Board meeting is scheduled for June 6, 2011 at 6 PM.
Motion to adjourn at 8:35 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
MAY 9, 2011
Chairman Price called the meeting to order at 6:06 PM. Present were: Selectmen Brian Jones, Clint Spaulding, and Ron Price. Also, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte.), Scott Holmes (ACO), Meredith Coffin (Solid Waste Director), Cindy Abbott (Town Clerk), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Jim Waterman (Fire Chief), Mike Smith, Willa Dibner, Jerry Stefanski, Kim Holmes, Dave Bennett, Steve Bennett, Keisha Whitman, Steve Bara, Erin Bennett-Wade, S. Hadyniak, Nancy Bailey Farrar, Ryan Willette, Larry Turner, and others.
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from April 25 were approved as written.
CITIZENS ISSUES & CONCERNS: Cindy presented the Board with two petitions [attached] one requesting the recall of Ron Price, the other to recall Clint Spaulding. She gave them copies of the Recall Ordinance. Cindy read from the ordinance [attached], and asked for permission to consult with Town attorney Bill Kelly. Brian read the petitions aloud, which were submitted by Joe Richardson. MMA thinks it may be an insufficient petition, but were not definite about that. The Board voted to authorize Cindy to consult with Bill Kelly.
Cindy said Jon Willette has volunteered to be on the cemetery committee.
Dave Bridges apologized that he misheard a statement from firemen getting credit for attending the 4/16 meeting, which got into the petition.
Erin asked the Town to repair her driveway on Beaver Ridge, which was damaged by plows turning around.
Steve Bennett spoke at length about property taxes, which he thinks are too high. He repeated his position that he thinks the turbines are under-taxed, and related his version of how he thinks the evaluation was calculated.
CORRESPONDENCE: Brian summarized a letter from Glen Bridges [attached] asking the Board to consult with Municipal Services for financial advice regarding the effect of purchasing the fire truck, questioning the idea of flat funding for the fire truck, and asked for a projection on property taxes. Brian called Mike Rogers, and will meet with him Friday.
Jerry Stefanski suggested the windmills are costing the Town money, and getting nothing back. Brian replied that the turbines pay nearly $150,000 in yearly property taxes.
Glen tried to remind the audience that the tax reduction predicted from the turbines was based entirely on the 2006 budget figures, i.e. if the budget remained the same, the prediction would have been accurate.
Brian repeated the large contribution of taxes from the turbines, and that the Town budget is eaten up by increased costs, such as the price of fuel. Running the Town has grown much more expensive.
FIRE CHIEF: Jim Waterman read a letter from Brian, who resigned as a volunteer fireman. [attached]. He also asked for his letter regarding the petition be attached to the minutes. [attached].
TREASURER: Erna reported:
Payroll from 4/30/11 .$2461.34
Payroll this week .$1747.17
Checkbook balance (before A/P is paid) $160,165.11
A/P for May 5 .$4824.07
A/P (accounts payable) this week .$4604.87
Checks were received: $50 fine for dogs at large, $2691.31 from MMA Insurance for repair of the damaged Town garage wall, and information was received for the Selectmen from the auditor.
SOLID WASTE DIRECTOR: Meredith reported on the April 16 meeting, at which ideas were discussed in anticipation of rising costs foreseen in the future of PERC within in 8-10 years. Meredith was asked by her Board to get feedback from the Selectmen regarding non-member towns joining UARRC: Should they have to buy in? Or could they just join and support future costs?
The State Planning Office has determined that Freedoms recycling rate is nearly 25%, up substantially. The State goal is to reach 50%. UARRC has applied for a grant from the SPO, thanks to Brian passing on the application, which would be used to increase cardboard recycling if successful.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Clint reported grading started today. Clint is looking into overhead cutting along roads that needs to be done. The intersection of Sibley needs work. The Town garage yard has been cleaned up. Clint needs to order 4-6 tons of cold patch. Brian moved to authorize Clint to purchase the cold patch. Motion passed
Sallyann complained that her road sign is down, and Steve Bennett complained that Sibley Rd. was never posted. Clint replied that he had sent someone to post Sibley, and he will have the Beaver Ridge Rd. sign put back up.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE: Brian reported that Ellen Heath of DHHS reviewed files at the Town Office, and issued her report [attached]
She found Freedoms program was out of compliance with State Statutes, and listed five problems she found relating to paperwork filled out incorrectly or not at all, with a few cases in which the date of the decision preceded the application, or applications were unsigned. Brian responded with the required plan of correction, so Freedom is now in compliance.
EMA DIRECTOR: Christine reported that she attended the monthly meeting in Belfast and received a To Go Bag, paid for by a grant. The bag contains forms and reports for emergencies, a GPS device, and a digital camera, all necessary in case of an emergency. Christine requested that the Board approve and sign a Hazard Mitigation Plan. Christine has completed 2 of 3 required training courses, and is catching up on back paperwork.
PLANNING BOARD: Glen reported that Brians question (How will the PB respond if natural resource protection regulations are weakened at the State level?) has been added to the agenda for May 10th.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE: The State Planning Office review is expected to be finished sometime between May 11 and May 25. Changes will need to be made, amendments made, and a hearing scheduled 30 days before a Town vote.
OLD BUSINESS: Brian reported that regarding the question to MMA about tabling the petition on the fire truck; MMA replied that the Board can respond on a schedule of their choosing.
Sue Pilgrim of MMA also replied [reply attached] regarding case law, which determines a Board may reject a petition. Also Bill Kelly was consulted, and brought up the precedent set about the ping-pong theory. Brian moved, seconded by Clint, to not honor the petition. Motion passed.
Brian would like to write a letter thanking Susan Wolford for her efforts with her project on Mitchell Rd. litter.
The following appointments were voted in:
Cindy Abbott as General Assistance Deputy
Jim Waterman as Fire Chief
Sallyann Hadyniak as Deputy Secretary
Ron & Brian met with the auditor in Bangor. They asked about the status of the 2008 audit, and confirmed that audits take about three months each, so the deadline to be up-to-date by March is realistic. They were also given some pointers to pass on to Erna.
John Carroll from Maine Revenue Services visited the office to audit the property tax records; no report has been received from him yet.
Brian talked to Clayton , who said the field is playable, so Brian moved to notify interested parties that the farm league can use the field. Motion passed.
Jerry Stefanski asked if the boat launch is going to be rehabilitated; he thinks its in very poor shape. The Selectmen replied that it is Town property and they will look at it. Another member of the audience suggested that swimming should not be allowed off the boat launch. Ron said some signs could be put up.
Brian contacted Gail Chase at KVCOG about financing a fire truck; low interest funding for municipalities requires about 4-6 weeks of lead time.
Nancy Bailey Farrar asked for an explanation for the rejection of the petition. Brian replied, Enough is enough. It was voted at two Town meetings, so we have to move forward. She also asked if the $6000 from Knox would go toward a new truck; reply was yes.
Willa Dibner asked if the Fire Dept. would be permitted to hold back $30,000, which the Town put away to pay for a truck? Reply: That will be decided at the next Board meeting.
The Board was asked what document was signed. Ron replied that it was the quotation, only to hold the price. Only Ron signed it on April 19, so it is not binding. For a purchase order, the whole Board would have to sign it.
Larry Turner asked if any cost would be incurred if truck is ordered and then cancelled. Brian said the only document submitted was to stabilize the price; Clint said the Board would have to ask Bill Kelly. Brian said the contract is not valid; Kelly thinks no cost would be incurred.
Clint said the purchase is ultimately up to the Board; there may be other avenues. Jim pointed out that prior to this year, audits were required to finance a truck, but now he has found a financing company that only requires balanced budgets.
A Memo of Understanding was received from the Curra Farm; Brian moved to accept the MOU; motion passed.
Brian moved that the Board meet every Monday, keeping the public meeting every other Monday, and a public work session every Monday in between, which would have to be posted. Motion carried.
Jerry Stefanski asked about the brush cut & piled along Ayer Ridge Rd.; Clint said the plan is to chip it.
Clint asked why the Firemans Association made the decision about buying a truck, why they arent putting up any money [from Knox & Montville], and how much money is in their treasury. Jim said he didnt know what was in their account.
At 8:45 Brian moved to recess this meeting until Thursday, May 12 at 7 PM, when they will meet with Jim and members of the Firemans Association.
RECESSED MEETING CONTINUED:
MAY 12, 2011
The meeting was opened at 7 PM with the Selectmen, their Secretary, & the Fire Chief present. Also Jerry Stefanski & wife, Marion Bowers, Bob Hermon & wife, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan), Willa Dibner, Mike Smith, Nancy Bailey Farrar, Ryan Willette, Steve Bara, Dave Bennett, Donna & Glenn Sporie, Hank Elkins, Sallyann Hadyniak, & Jeff Bishop.
Ron opened the discussion with an explanation of what document he signed and why. He said he did sign a paper that was a quotation; he was told the Town would save 3% being added to the price of the truck. It probably should have been signed by the other Selectmen. Ron apologized to the Town if he was in error, and related that Bill Kelly determined that the quotation was not a binding contract, and no costs are incurred.
Ron has questions to ask about the issue of the Fire truck; he would like to keep the discussion between the Fire Dept. and Board, but will accept comments, which should be relevant and benevolent.
Ron asked Jim to explain what the Firemans Associations effect was on the final decision and proposal for the truck.
Jim explained the history of the Association going back to 1948; it is an incorporated group of volunteers, with a President, Vice-Pres., and Treasurer/Secretary. Currently senior individuals: Hank Elkins, Mike Giggy, John York, George Real. They sit down and analyze their calls and their needs. They bring in the vendors to see how their prices fit. They think the front mounted pump works best for them. Two vendors were able to provide a front mounted pump, K & T and Rosenbaur. The latters price was too high, K & T also too high, so they eliminated a hydraulic lift @ $3800. A 35 extension ladder and 16 roof ladder were requested.
Regarding used equipment, Jim was told about at a converted milk truck, which was turned down. He cannot use a converted milk truck because water is heavier than milk. There was a 5 yr. old truck in Alabama for $198,700, which was too long to fit in our firehouse. Other used trucks are out there; its a money pit. It now requires a certified repairman to make repairs on trucks. Volunteers dont want to spend their time doing repairs when the emphasis is on training. Grants are subject to federal audits.
Ron established that the chassis is priced at $93,380; all the rest is for fire equipment. He asked why they need such a powerful pump. Dave Bennett replied that they do interior attack; they send men into buildings who save a lot of personal property. Most driveways are single lane, too narrow to turn around. Pump has to be certified. We need to have plenty of water for them.
Jim said he asked someone who is ordering a tender from K & T for $204,000, using a portable pump. Brian commented that using a front-end pump closes a lot of options, and asked why a front mount pump is necessary. Hank replied that to go down the boat landing to get water, you need 3 lengths of hose and three men, but one man for this truck. When the attack truck pulls into a fire scene, it works better to refill the water with a front mounted pump.
Clint said he has heard the FD say many times that this is about water supply. We have mutual aid for more pumps. Jim said if it hadnt been for Montvilles tanker in Freedom, the FD wouldnt have been able to let the owner in to save some belongings at the Bryant Rd. fire. During the day, there are not enough firemen available.
Clint made it clear that this discussion is not about the volunteers; he appreciates all that they do. This is about this large expenditure; he knows one person who cant afford her taxes who felt threatened at the special Town meeting. In the last year there were 3 structure fires in Freedom. Why isnt a used truck good enough for Freedom? Why didnt all these bids come before the Select Board?
Ryan asked if it would be feasible for a pipe to be fabricated from a mid-ship pump to the front of the truck on a used truck. Jim said regulations prevent him from doing that.
Nancy reported that she did a lot of research with towns of similar population. Only one town had a new truck bought back in 1985. All the others had used equipment, unless they had gotten a grant to buy new. She also learned that any used trucks are grandfathered from current regulations and dont have to meet the same specs as new trucks. Also, Freedoms Fire Dept. budget is quite high compared to others. Danforth, for example, has a budget of $11,000.
Ron said if you exclude Freedoms $15,000 payment, then our budget is about the same as surrounding towns, except Brooks, which is higher.
Nancy thinks it is about $26,000. Ron read from 2010, $18,621 spent, raised $25,000. The excess went into their Capital Improvement Account.
Willa said that the Towns yearly contribution was always presented to the Budget Committee as being for the truck, why isnt all the money applied to the truck? Thats what it was raised for. Willa is convinced that a good, fairly new truck can be found, and offered to help find one.
Jim replied that in 2001 it was labeled as a truck fund. He proposed to the Select Board to change it to a Capital Improvement Account, which has been used for turn-out gear or other large purchases. The remaining amount of $24,000 is in case of a failure in a pump. The current balance is $109,500.05, growing at .2% interest.
Brian asked why the Town should borrow money if it doesnt have to? Ron said the article authorizes the Selectmen to spend up to $250,000 and they are limited to that. Jim pointed out that the voters at Town meeting can vote to not allow leftover funds to be rolled back into a committees or Fire Dept.s accounts. Ron said Brooks doesnt have a Capital Improvement Account. Jim saw a need for it in 2001 when the Town was only giving $1500 per year.
Nancy asked why used equipment is good enough for other small towns, but not for Freedom? One town bought a pumper tanker for $65,000.
Jerry Stefanski echoed the concern for considering used equipment.
Jim said he cannot let a man go into a house without a certified annual pump test.
Clint asked if this is an attack truck or a water supply truck. Jim replied, Both. Clint said we already have an attack truck. Albion bought a used truck that was guaranteed to pass certification. Hank said we need a 1250g/min. pump to reach far enough.
Ryan asked how many miles get put on our truck per year. If we have Montvilles tanker now, how many breakdowns have we had that caused the FD to be unable to get a fire?
Montville has a 1250 mid-ship pump with 3500 gals. of water.
Glen asked how many men does it take to hold on to the hose. Hank replied it only pumps into the attack truck. She suggested the Fire Dept. look at water supply, and consider finding new sources for new hydrants. Why does it seem that while we have a pumper with a small tank, we do need a tanker, but instead we want a new pumper/tanker to have another pump, and we also want to hold back $24,000 in case a pump breaks down. Isnt that excessive?
At the special Town meeting Nancy asked John York how much Montville paid for their tanker. He thought that they spent $65,000 eleven or twelve years ago. Used is OK for Montville.
Ryan asked how many major pump failures the FD has had. Jim replied three in 20 years. Ryan said that being new doesnt mean a truck wont break down.
Steve Bara said he is very familiar with the Fire Departments in Waldo County; they spend a lot of money to maintain their equipment. He believes Freedoms Fire Chief takes very good care of Freedom, budget-wise.
Ryan asked what the repair bills were last year. Jim replied that $3500 was set aside for general maintenance, which has been exceeded this year. Pump certification can run between $700-$1500, not counting any valve overhauls like we had to do to truck #2.
Dave Bennett said leaving money in the CIA makes sense as insurance policy.
Dave Bridges said we all are proud and respectful of the Fire Dept., but four years ago the Town was left in a fiscal financial mess. We had no audits. We cant afford to go into debt. We had an administration for four years that put us into arrears year after year with deficit spending. Our current Board is not responsible for that, but they are getting blamed. Another major problem is a lack of transparency with all of this. There is no way for people to get answers to all their questions. Dave said he goes to Board meetings, yet all this is new to him.
Brian replied that we are behind in audits, but are not in debt communication is always the hardest part to solve. Glen suggested a newsletter.
Clint asked firefighters how many of them would leave the department if the new truck doesnt happen. Clint thinks they do a great job, although he was disappointed there werent more of them at the Grange benefit dinner.
We have to count on mutual aid because some of our men arent available in the daytime. Thorndike is closest to Freedom; Albion is closest to South Freedom. What is next after this truck? A new firehouse? Other needs in this town arent being taken care of.
Clint agreed that the CIA was set aside for a truck. It may happen that we lose Knoxs $6000 in the future.
Ryan said that everyone appreciates the Fire Dept., but they are not willing to compromise. This is about dollars and cents.
Ron said his problem all along has been that we should have had a public hearing on this; the budget committee couldnt agree to support this purchase. This should have been a clue how divisive this would be. Ron reviewed the meetings, petitions and votes, and asked, What is best for this Town? There are a lot of reasons to say we cant afford it. State revenue sharing, URIP, and other funds are being cut back.
Dave Bennett reminded Ron that he said at Town Meeting that the Town can afford this. Ron replied that yes, we can always raise taxes. Jerry suggested we could get deep in debt very quickly.
Sallyann asked for a review of used trucks that Jim considered. Dave counted 7 trucks since 1994. Sallyann suggested that since they were used, they didnt get enough use out of them.
Brian put out the question of the intent of the voters; wasnt there enough information available by the April 16 meeting? Fifty voters said this was the truck they wanted; Clint said 49 didnt. Clint does not consider this a valid vote and thought the truck wouldnt happen without audits. He and Carol wanted the vote on a secret ballot [at the polls], but it came along as an article.
Nancy asked how many of those 50 votes were firemen & their families, and suggested that the meeting should have been held in the evening.
Brian felt that this process wasnt done well. Now the community is conflicted.
Nancy repeated that every year the fire truck was voted at Town meeting, it hinged on the FD receiving a grant.
Glen asked the audience to consider that the Town has three dangerous situations that we cant afford to fix. The dam is breached; if it fails it could take out the store and Thressas house. The entrance from Pleasant St. onto Rte. 137 needs a mirror we cant afford. The bridge guardrail on the Mitchell Rd. has been out for years and not repaired yet. We need priorities. Dave pointed out that two vehicles have gone off the bank, only stopped by trees.
Dave Bennett: Dont the two votes obligate the Select Board to buy this truck? Ron replied that the wording of that article does not obligate them.
Clint moved to reconsider the petition asking to re-vote as a special referendum question. Brian seconded.
Clint pointed out that the Town is not under any commitment. Timing was discussed, that a hearing has to be held 10 days in advance of a vote on June 14, with seven days notice. So 17 days are needed and we have 30 days.
Brian feels the Town has spoken twice, unfortunately a little ambiguously the second time. Ron said the Town could have the opportunity for the same kind of discussion as we had tonight, at a public hearing. Ron supports revisiting the petition because he liked what he saw tonight. Brian thought the rationale for the petition was incendiary and false. Clint disagreed; he heard from people who felt intimidated by a speaker from out of town.
Brian: what happens to the price of the truck if it is delayed until June? Jim thought that could push the price over $250,000. Clint said the small print on the quotation said the price can go up anytime. Ryan commented that if the price goes up, the Fire Dept. has money in their account.
Mrs. Hermon said it is not true that everyone could vote on the fire truck; they were told by Carol they werent registered to vote.
The motion to reconsider the petition passed 2-1, Ron and Clint in favor. Clint moved to accept the petition and put it on the June referendum, Ron seconded. Motion passed 2-1, Ron and Clint in favor.
OTHER BUSINESS: Clint said that Erna would like to take an online training course on balancing the books. Brian moved, seconded by Clint to approve the course for Erna. Erna is working on the new form, Chart of Accounts, for the State.
Clint reported that someone has asked if he can bait coyote on the Town dump. Consensus was negative.
The next meeting is a public work session, May 16th. Regular meeting
May 23. Motion to adjourn passed at 9 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
APRIL 25, 2011
Chairman Price called the meeting to order at 6:05 PM. Present: Ron Price (Board Chair), Brian Jones (Selectman), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan), Willa Dibner, Tim Varney, Dwight Gould, Nancy Bailey Farrar, Jim Waterman (Fire Dept.), Ryan Willette, Scott Holmes (ACO), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Cindy Abbott (Town Clerk), Steve Bara, Mike Smith, Jon Willette, Bob Gerrish, David Farrar, Chris Spaulding, Paul Haskell.
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from April 11 were approved as written.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Cindy presented the Selectmen a petition with 37 validated signatures. Brian read the petition aloud. [attached].
Nancy Bailey Farrar spoke, making the following points:
1. The Fire Chief was not appointed this year; therefore should not have been addressing the special town meeting as Fire Chief.
2. The Town finances should be controlled by the Board of Selectmen, not the Fire Dept; this purchase is irresponsible without audits.
3. Addressing Ron, Nancy reminded him that he had called her to express his concern that the purchase was not a good idea for the Town.
Nancy also related she asked Ron how to put the question on the June ballot, and felt she was misled.
4. The special Town meeting was rehearsed. Why were no other options offered, such as other dealers or used equipment? Why no compromise? Nancy felt it was unethical.
Ron replied that he was concerned about spending this much money and voiced that concern when sitting in on all the budget committee meetings, voiced his concern for fiscal responsibility. The article on the Town meeting made him think again. It became apparent to Ron that we can afford it, using surplus to make the payments. Im not saying its the best road to go, but I think we can do it. Ron didnt think that he mislead Nancy at all. He thought the amendment that failed was another option.
Brian made the following points:
1. Anyone can converse at a Town meeting, and its not campaigning.
2. There were vacant seats available. (Willa said she had to share a desktop with someone else, (Dwight Gould said Brian spent the meeting outside.) (Jim said there were 7 firemen there from out of town).
3. The $15,000 per year has been voted every year.
4. its false that no used trucks were considered.
5. Don Berry asked if everyone has voted who wanted to vote.
6. Ballots were counted 3 times.
Glen Bridges, speaking as a citizen, expressed her respect for the Selectmen, reminded them that she does a good deal of research for them on state law, etc. The Town of Freedom has set a precedent with a history of accepting petitions, even in one case with a lawyer present explaining to them that case law in Maine proved they could legally reject that petition based on the ping-pong theory. In June votes, we have had 270 and 280 voters recently. Why would the Select Board want the Comp. Plan voted on in the voting booth, but not the biggest expenditure in Freedom history?
Chapter 5 in the MMA manual on Meetings and Elections specifically says that their decision must be objective, and have nothing to do with their personal preferences, for example, if one of them is a fireman and wants a new truck. There is enough doubt and clear dissatisfaction about how that meeting was carried on, that in the face of irregularities it could not honestly be called a fair and proper meeting and vote. Would it be ethical to go against tradition, and the precedent of If they want to vote, let em vote?
Ron relayed MMAs answer regarding the Fire Chiefs appointment; the position is still held by an appointee in the event of a failure to make the appointment. This was an oversight, and Jim said he notified the Select Board as soon as he noticed it missing from the Town warrant.
Jim said he would have talked to anyone willing to call him before the petition was circulated. That the firemen got training credit for attending the meeting was false. Dave Bridges said that two firemen told him they were getting 10 hours of credit, and he would discuss it further with Jim in private.
Jim said 12 firemen & families had a right to be there. Seven people were from out of Freedom. Jim received a bid on a truck from Dave Kopp of $282,000, from Fire Rescue for $235,000, and was told by another firm that they wouldnt waste their time writing an estimate for a front-mounted pump pumper/tanker.
Jon Willette said he was intimidated by speakers suggesting people could lose heirlooms and loved ones in a fire. Three of his family left after the first vote because they couldnt hear, and thought the meeting was over.
Jon is afraid of losing his house as taxes rise. Jon also mentioned two elderly attendees who were intimidated and confused, and had been approached by a fireman advising them to vote for the fire truck. Jon was confused by the ballot, and voted the wrong way on the amendment.
Ryan Willette said he saw an abnormal amount of confusion. In the back of the room was a dull roar; no one could hear. Half the people didnt know what they were voting on. Ryan thinks its much more appropriate to vote this in the voting booth. Many people work on Saturdays, and couldnt be there.
Nancy pointed out that the moderator failed to clearly explain the process to the voters, that if the amendment failed we would vote on the article, and also that the Budget Committee never saw any quotes. The Budget Committee was given no figures; the Selectmen gave them no quotes.
Ron said he never felt he was in the dark about the pumper/tanker purchase.
Clint said he never heard the low quote. If Public Works was buying new trucks, it would be put out to bid. Clint also echoed others who had to push through from the hallway, and couldnt hear, and people couldnt hear that there might be seats in the front.
Dave Bridges said this issue is a real problem in the Town. People are upset about what happened at the meeting, and at the largest expenditure in the history of the Town; they want to have more to say about it. Transparency is needed here. Dave cannot remember any discussion of cost, description of the equipment, or what the Town can afford on any Select Board meeting. Maybe this wasnt handled well; maybe it would have been better to think it through.
Brian reviewed the vote on March 12, and dissention followed about whether people were properly informed. The second meeting was posted and every household received the agenda in the mail, with some figures provided. This time it was transparent. Citizens have to take the responsibility to keep themselves informed.
Clint reminded the Board that he and Carol had agreed that this was such a big ticket item that it should be voted as a referendum question in the voting booth. Then somehow it came in as an article on the Town warrant.
Nancy also mentioned how many people she knew who could not get out of work. Ron said that he doesnt have a lot of sympathy for people like that. He has to leave work for every Town meeting he goes to. Nancy further pointed out that a referendum vote would permit people to vote from 10 am to 8 pm.
Ron said if they erred at all, they should have had a bigger hall, but that is hindsight. Whoever could have predicted such a huge turnout; has never seen that hall so crowded.
Scott said the firemen had to miss training on jaws of life to go to that meeting. Scott joined the fire department to serve his community because he couldnt join the army, not to be a hero.
Glen asked about Carol & Clints preference that this be put forth as a referendum question. Where are the Select Board minutes describing the discussion and the vote about this? Clint said this was discussed at Budget Committee meeting. Cindy thought it was discussed in the office. Clint said we dont get enough turnout at regular Town meetings for such a big-ticket purchase. Clint said he did anticipate the large turnout [which over 110]. Ron said maybe it should have been a referendum question, but no motion was ever made.
Ryan suggested that if all three Selectmen have never seen such a large turnout, that should tell them that there is a huge amount of passion on this issue. Ryan repeated that you could not hear in the back of the room, and there were not enough seats for the people in the hall. The background noise was a dull roar. Ryan asked about if Rons farm equipment was all new, or some used. Ron replied that some was used, but required more repair. Ryan pointed out that in places like New York, they have such high budgets, $16 million, they are getting rid of very good equipment.
Nancy made it clear that this is not a vote against the fire department; this is a vote about the expenditure.
Brian moved to table the petition until next meeting to let things settle down, consult with MMA, and deliberate. Glen pointed out that deliberations must be public; Brian said he meant personal deliberations. Clint suggested consulting Bill Kelly. The motion to table the petition carried.
Brian said that every one here has valid viewpoints, and that their job as Selectmen is as administrators to implement what the people wish. Ron thought that if they wait until May 9, there would not be enough time to get this on a referendum vote. Glen corrected that the time frame only requires the petition to be submitted 45 days before the vote, and then a public hearing
[ten or more days before the vote, with 7 days posted notice].
CORRESPONDENCE: Brian read a letter from Susan Wolford [attached] about her project to study the possibility to reduce trash/litter on Mitchell Road. Brian moved that the Town is agreeable to her project, and will write her a letter. Motion passed.
1. Fiscal survey to be filled out for MMA.
2. Maps of Carol Richardsons road from Dwight Gould.
3. Notice of a defensive driving class.
4. Resume from Jackie Robbins.
5. Notice of personnel management training course Nov. 15, 2011.
6. CMP advising they have a new manager for tree management.
7. Schedule of TRIO classes.
8. DOT informed the Board of a new regional representative, Michael Burns.
9. KVCOGs list of products. Clint said we only buy salt from them.
10. Letter from Tim Varney volunteering to serve on the Budget Committee and/or the Public Works Committee. He has a long background in accounting.
11. Letter from Dwight Gould volunteering for the Public Works Committee. His background is in operating & maintaining heavy equipment, maintenance & repair of roads.
Clint moved to appoint Dwight and Tim to a new Public Works Committee. Brian seconded, motion passed.
FIRE CHIEF: Jim Waterman reported that they need to get rid of the old snack shack, which has a rotted floor. Maybe it could be used for a chicken coop.
The brake line in the ambulance had to be repaired, six tires were purchased for it, and truck #3 got a tune-up and brakes for $1500. The maintenance budget for vehicles is used up.
ACO: Scott got a call about an injured porcupine, which he put down.
The stray dog (see 4/11 minutes) is in a foster home, but Scott asked to be reimbursed $78.59 for a vet bill. A motion to reimburse Scott passed.
Discussion followed about the Humane Shelter being closed due to quarantine, and how to re-coup that portion of our dues. Brian suggested carrying it forward to 2012.
TREASURER: Erna reported:
Payroll for week ending 4/16/11 $1485.85.
Payroll warrant this week ..$2837.17
A/P warrant for week ending 4/12/11 .$4019.40
A/P this week .$4949.64
Checkbook balance ..$154,720.77
A check for $2088.06 was received from Maine Revenue Sharing. Usually this is $7000-8,000.
Erna relayed a conversation with Mike Chamberlain of Key Bank advising that if a fire truck is financed, be sure there is no pre-pay penalty, to allow for refinancing.
Erna set up a Veterans Memorial account in the amount of $101.82, which she asked the Board to approve. Clint moved, seconded by Brian to approve the Veterans Memorial account; motion passed.
Erna has been working on the 2008 audit, and trying to set up the Town budget to the new State of Maine chart of accounts for 2011, with a copy for each Selectman to double-check that all the numbers correspond to Town meeting figures. Brian advised Erna to ask Doug Van Horn to help with this.
Clint moved, seconded by Ron, to sign the A/P warrant for $4949.64, followed by a motion to sign both payrolls for $ 1485.85 and $2837.17. Motions carried.
CEO: The Selectmen set Wed., May 4 at noon for a meeting to negotiate a contract with the proposed candidate for Code Enforcement Officer.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Clint reported that Wentworth Rd. was spread with 4 loads of gravel for $544, including trucking, and a dozer was rented. The clean-up was going to be started on Greeley Rd., but the excavator had a problem. Raven Rd. shoulders need to be flattened out, and some trees should be removed. Work has started on Ayer Ridge Rd. cutting back trees. Clint will contact Works; hes been waiting for their loader.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE: Brian reported no GA applications. He met with DHHS, and will be finishing up his training/orientation Wednesday morning, and then filing the first quarterly report for reimbursement.
RECYCLING: Ron reported on the meeting at Mt. View on April 16. It was a well attended brainstorming session to deal with PERC closing in 2018. A study from Eco-Maine showed that single stream recycling wouldnt work to save money in this rural area, but it is doing well in Monroe. UARRC is well-managed and selling recycled products for good prices. One suggestion was to mandate recycling. Another was to create a new transfer station. More meetings will follow.
SCHOOL BOARD: Kathy Cunningham is keeping the Board well-informed. Meetings coming up: April 27, 6 PM. (with municipal reps)
May 25 Hearing on proposed budget
June 14 Vote on budget
EMD: Christine is working to get certified; she has completed two NIM (100 and 200, National Incident Management Training) courses. NIM wants Emergency Management to be separated from Fire Departments. Christine will have to have her own office.
PLANNING BOARD: Glen Bridges reported that the acting CEO came to the last Planning Board meeting to discuss a permit application from Kenny Overlock on Ledges Lane, within Shoreland Zoning.
Brian asked how the Planning Board will respond if natural resource regulations are weakened at the State level. Glen replied that she can suggest that the question can be posed and discussed at the next meeting, and she will see that it gets put on the agenda. Also, that she used to work for NRCM (Natural Resources Council of Maine), and is kept well informed by them about legislative actions.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: Dave submitted a financial statement to the Board [attached to minutes]. He reported that he told KVCOG that funds will be limited to the amount raised and appropriated at Town Meeting. The schedule now is:
State Planning Office review due April 25
Consistency review due May 8
FIRE CHIEF: Jim returned to the meeting and requested an executive session to discuss the petition. Brian questioned if that subject would be allowed; Ron thought it would be appropriate to call it a personnel matter, and Ron moved to go into executive session as authorized by 1 MRSA 405 (6) A. The Board returned five minutes later, and Ron reported that no decisions were made.
PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE: Brian said that members of the committee cannot perform work for the Town, that it would be a conflict of interest. Ryan Willette asked, What can they do then? Clint replied that they do planning and advising of the Select Board.
OLD BUSINESS: Brian communicated to Steve Bennett the contents of the letter that he had proposed to send (see 4/11 minutes). Brian is looking into whether or not the Town has any liability regarding private roads/driveways that are impassable to emergency vehicles. The Board needs to negotiate with Knox by March of 2012, and review the mutual aid agreements with Albion, Unity, Thorndike, Montville, and Palermo.
Brian has a meeting set up with Kathy Dow, the auditor, for May 5.
Clint spoke to Jerry Sullivan about fuel surcharges for recycling pick-up; Jerry agreed to adjust that. Clint and Jerry will drive throughout Freedom to count occupied dwellings. Brian inquired if the houses with dumpsters would be subtracted? Clint replied that those houses can put bags out with stickers to be picked up anytime.
APPOINTMENTS: The Board appointed people to the following Boards/Committees each by motions that were seconded and voted unanimously:
Glen Bridges to the Planning Board
Judy Nilsen to the Planning Board
Addison Chase to the Appeals Board
Mike Smith to the Appeals Board
Doug VanHorn to the Budget Committee
Willa Dibner to the Budget Committee
Bob Gerrish to the Budget Committee
Jerry Spaulding to the Budget Committee
Tim Varney to the Budget Committee
Ryan Willette to the Budget Committee
(joining budget Committee members Nancy Bailey Farrar, Erna Keller, S. Hadyniak)
Christine Spaulding as Emergency Management Director (appointed at a previous meeting)
Scott Holmes as Animal Control Officer
Kim Holmes to the Recreation Committee
Glen Bridges as Secretary to the Selectmen
Meredith Coffin as Recycling (UARRC) Director
Members of Comprehensive Plan Committee, all re-appointed
Jackie Robbins as Assessors Agent
The Health Officer position remains vacant (Ron is acting Health Officer).
NEW BUSINESS: Brian reported that he has been talking to Gail Chase at KVCOG to try to find the best financing for a fire truck. Discussion followed about financing; Brian thought the past $15,000 FD funds would represent level funding, not making taxes go up.
Ryan Willette suggested that the $6600 from Knox be committed directly to the principle on any fire truck loan.
The ball field is not in condition to be used; no grass is coming up yet, and it looks like it might not be playable this year. Brian suggested closing it. Discussion followed with Bob Gerrish describing charges per player to use the field, and donations the Town pays to the Knox Booster Club. Ron offered to call Clayton, but mentioned that Clayton thinks the grass will come. Brian moved to close the field until further notice; motion passed. Ron will notify Craig Turner.
Cindy and Erna requested to be added to the list receiving minutes by e-mail; the Selectmen agreed.
The next Select Board meeting is May 9, 2011.
The meeting regarding a new CEO is May 4 at noon.
The State will be here Friday to audit Freedoms tax records.
Motion to adjourn passed at 8:45 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
APRIL 11, 2011
Chairman Price opened the meeting at 6:05 PM. Present: Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Brian Jones (Selectman), Ron Price (Select Board Chair), Bob Gerrish, Erna Keller (Treasurer), Scott Holmes (ACO), Jim Waterman (Fire Dept.), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan), Tim Biggs, and Glen Bridges (Secretary).
REVIEW MINUTES: Brian Jones moved to approve minutes as written; motion passed.
FIRE CHIEF: Jim reported the totals the Selectmen on the warrant for the special Town meeting are off by $2800. He asked if any work had been done yet on mutual aid agreements? No.
Ron Price asked what residents should do to keep their private roads/driveways accessible for emergency vehicles Jim replied that roads should be cleared 12 wide and 15 high, and mentioned that the ME Forest Service has a chipper that people can use. Discussion followed about whether or not the Town is responsible or liable to plow or sand roads for emergency vehicles. Brian questioned if there is a moral responsibility. More research needs to be done on this. Clint said this has already been looked into; the resident is responsible. One problem Clint pointed out is that Delta ambulance wont go through deep spring mud.
The Fire Dept. is ready to burn the dilapidated house on High Street; the shingles have been removed. A rainy day would be preferable. The concern would be embers setting neighboring houses on fire.
Jim asked the Selectmen to re-negotiate the contract with Knox for fire protection before March 2012.
CITIZENS ISSUES: None.
CORRESPONDENCE: Brian read aloud a letter from Steve Bennett, a copy of his letter from last Feb. 1 [attached to Feb 17 minutes], which suggests that the Select Board can make a decision by themselves under state 3028 to declare the road over Beaver Ridge abandoned. Brian asked that this copy also be attached to minutes.
Brian also read a proposed reply that he wrote to Bennett. Brian stated that any disposition of this road has to come before the Town. Clint reviewed the history and pointed out that Steve wants to get rid of the public easement that exists now, and that his explanation keeps changing.
Ron spoke as a citizen, with Clint taking the chair of the meeting, and pointed out that the section of that road that was discontinued is not clear, but that a public easement exists on it now, as Bob Gerrish pointed out. They cannot get public funding unless all the abutters sign on, and the road is private. Any resident may clear the right-of-way in that road due to the existing public easement.
Dave pointed out that Kelly clearly advised the Town to use statute 3026.
The Secretary read from each of the statutes, 3026 and 3028, both of which require a vote of the legislative body, which is defined as the resident voters.
Tim Biggs pointed out that the Town already spent $24,000 in legal fees fighting with Bennett over this same road.
Brian asked what to do with a proposed letter he wrote to Bennett, and moved to table further action until he can do more research.
ACO: Scott reported that he attended training for recertification on April 2. He won a Hav-a-Hart trap in a drawing, and asked whom it would belong to. Reply: the Town, because he was there at Town expense. Scott said the old Town trap is no longer operable.
Scott kept a stray dog overnight, and found a home for it, because the Waterville Humane Society has been under quarantine.
TREASURER: Erna reported:
Payroll warrant, week ending 4/2/11 ....$3409.40
Payroll this week ..$1359.36
Accounts Payable (A/C) this week $53,515.77
Checkbook balance (after A/P) ..$150,019.23
Brian moved to approve/sign the A/P and both payrolls. Motion passed.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Clint reported the 553 gallons of fuel purchased at Freedom General turned out to be bought over a period of over 3 weeks with several snowstorms. For the future, Clint is setting up a system of accountability with a fuel log kept by drivers.
Clint asked for approval to use Lee Bros. rubber-tired excavator to clean up roads and shape shoulders; the Board agreed. The apple trees on Ayer Ridge Rd. need to be trimmed and the 3-4 culverts replaced.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE: The meeting was recessed so that Brian could hold a public hearing on the GA Ordinance. The Board reviewed the schedule of payments, Brian moved, seconded by Clint, to approve Appendix A-I. Brian advised that the schedule is an amendment to the existing ordinance and will have to be revisited in September.
RECYCLING DIRECTOR: Reminder of meeting at Mt. View April 16 at 7 PM. Brian said he cant be there.
PLANNING BOARD: Glen explained further the answer to the question (from last meeting) why the Board has not yet produced another Commercial Development Review Ordinance. To add to what Nancy Bailey Farrar said, courts have been nullifying ordinances that arent backed up by Comp. Plans, so in order to expedite a new ordinance, the Board joined together with the Comp. Plan Committee to get it done. The Comp. Plan is nearly ready to go before the Town, and the PB is confident that the Plan provides the assurance that the Town does want a new Commercial Development Review Ordinance.
APPOINTMENTS: Brian reviewed the terms on Boards/Committees that have ended and has written letters to each of the individuals. Willa Dibner and Mike Smith expressed their interest in serving again; two letters have been received volunteering for the Planning Board. Appointments will be made at the next meeting, April 25.
COMP. PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave gave draft copies to the Selectmen. He reported that he thinks the maps need to be larger, and advised the Board that there are still corrections that havent yet been made in the draft.
Regarding the contract and funding, the Selectmen decided that the $4700 raised at Town meeting will have to be sufficient to finish the project.
OLD BUSINESS: The special Town meeting scheduled for April 16th was posted April 8. The mailing was taken to the Post Office in plenty of time, but was delivered a day late, an error on their part.
Brian Jones had several communications with Todd Presson regarding the valuation of the windmills, and asked that the printed e-mails be attached to the minutes.
Brian suggested revisiting the Sullivans contract based on figures provided by the Secretary from the recent census, which says the population of Freedom is 719, and occupied dwellings number 292, because the contract was based on 325 homes and the contract is over-budget. Brian pointed out that we are being charged a fuel surcharge. Clint will call Jerry Sullivan.
NEW BUSINESS: Brian moved, seconded by Clint, to go into executive session to review Code Enforcement Officer applications. Ron cited MRSA 405(6)A authorizing the Board to do so. The Board returned in 10 minutes; no decisions were made, one applicant is being considered.
The next Select Board meeting is April 25, 2011. The special Town meeting will be Saturday morning at 10 AM.
Motion passed to adjourn at 8:30 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELEECTMEN
MARCH 28, 2011
Chairman Price called the meeting to order at 6:03 PM. Present were Selectmen Ron Price, Clint Spaulding, Brian Jones and Secretary Glen Bridges. Also, Erna Keller (Treasurer), Cindy Abbott (Town Clerk), Jim Waterman (Fire Chief), Scott Holmes (ACO), Meredith Coffin (UARRC Rep.), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan), Janet Boynton (Cemetery Cmte.), Mike Giggy, Bob Gerrish, Willa Dibner, Mike Smith, Nancy Bailey Farrar, Jerry Spaulding, Jordan Waterman, Clayton Wentworth, Dwight Gould, Ethan Andrews (RJ reporter), Steve Bennett, Matt Bennett, Adrienne Bennett, Jeff Keating, Marc Payne, Erin Wade, Dave Bennett, Todd Presson (Beaver Ridge Wind).
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from Feb. 16 and March 2 were approved as written. The minutes from March 14 were approved with one addition.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Steve Bennett stated that he wants to be on the Planning Board and said that sitting members do not get preference. Glen pointed out that the adopted policy states otherwise. Brian told Steve to put his interest in writing.
Steve asked why the Planning Board had not yet produced a wind power ordinance, directing his question to Nancy Bailey Farrar, former PB Chair, who replied that KVCOG recommended for the PB to produce, and the Town to adopt, a Comprehensive Plan, because changes were coming from the State Planning Office. She explained that the Planning Board joined together with the Comp. Plan Committee to achieve that goal. Steve explained that his motive for wanting to be on the Planning Board is to write a wind power ordinance.
Steves next issue was to request a public hearing regarding his wanting to make the road over Beaver Ridge private. Brian suggested taking this up under Old Business.
Cindy Abbott presented the Board with a petition, signed by 85 registered voters, calling for a re-vote on the purchase of a new pumper tanker fire truck. Questions were raised about how long the Town Report should be available prior to Town Meeting. Ron read the petition aloud [attached to minutes].
Nancy Bailey Farrar, the petition circulator, asked that a letter be attached to the petition, addressing it to the Selectmen.
Nancy explained that residents were not aware of this article on the warrant, which was not easily available after working hours. In years past, postcards were sent 7 days ahead. She felt that an expenditure of $250,000 should have been a referendum question, but that a re-vote will draw a better representation of voters.
Jim Waterman pointed out that Town Reports used to be delivered to every household.
Ron Price said the issue before the Board is to accept or reject the petition. Clint moved, seconded by Ron, to accept the petition.
Brian asked for time for discussion, and expressed his view that our responsibility in a democracy is to be informed. People who dont show up dont have the right to complain; a lot of the signees didnt show up at Town Meeting.
Jerry Spaulding remarked that if the petition is also pursuing democracy, then hed rather not take a tongue-lashing.
Ron moved the vote; motion passed with Brian abstaining. A date will be set for a special Town Meeting, with 7 days posting, and 7 days notice by mail.
FIRE DEPARTMENT: Jim reported that he received a call from the CEO of Beaver Ridge Wind, followed by a letter with a check for $10,000, a donation to be put towards the fire truck. The check will go into the Fire Department Capital Improvement Fund.
Regarding the petition, Jim presented the Select Board with a contract from Tom York of K & T for the new pumper tanker fire truck for a total of $246,104. This price is only good until March 31, so will increase April 1st. Lease/purchase programs require financial statements from the Town, but not audits.
Matt Shaw, from Knox, will no longer be the go-between for Brooks, Knox, Freedom and Montville. The $6600 figure on the Town Warrant for Knox is wrong; it should be $6000. Jim suggested that Selectmen from abutting towns get together to review mutual aid agreements; payment for fire protection for Knox should be split 3 ways.
Jim also would like some changes regarding auto accident and grass fire response. Jim gave the mutual aid agreements to the Board for review.
ACO: Scott reported that he went to court March 22; Robert Muehlmann pleaded no contest, and he was fined. Scott also got a call about a dog whining in the woods near someones house, which he could not help on. Another call was from a Deputy Thompson reporting some kids throwing a cat into a house on Greeley Road.
CEO: Applications have been received for the position of Code Enforcement Officer.
RECYCLING REP: Meredith reminded the Selectmen of the meeting at Mt. View auditorium on April 15th at 7 PM. Discussion will be how to move forward on waste management after PERC closes. Meredith would like to have a conversation about it with one or all Selectmen.
TREASURER: Erna reported:
Payroll, week ending 3/21/11 $6094.80
Payroll this week .$1814.14
A/P including $10,000 gift to FD. $16,813.48
Checkbook balance .$189,409.30
Erna also reported the total budget for the year, following Town Meeting, is $821,113, with $488,578 raised and appropriated.
Clint moved, seconded by Brian, to sign the payroll; motion passed. Motion to sign warrant, moved by Clint & seconded by Brian, also carried.
Erna mentioned that the Town Garage ran out of heating oil, which was just filled (177.3 gal.) on February 9th. [Further discussion under new business].
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Clint reported a complaint from Brad Tyrone that his lawn is being encroached upon by Town trucks. Clint also said that as soon as the weather warms up, road grading needs to be started. Ron asked what was going to be done about the culvert frost heaves on Ayer Ridge Road; Clint said they can be filled with dirt.
Jim Waterman asked if the Selectmen have discussed private roads being brushed/trimmed to allow emergency vehicles to pass. No decisions on that yet.
EMD: Christine Spaulding would like to talk to Jim Waterman about the requirements of the EMD job.
COMP. PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave reported that KVCOG is hoping to submit the Plan to the State Planning Office for review this week.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY: Jim reported that the grant received for the sub-floor of the Meeting House has been sent in with their final budget.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE: Brian reported no applications. The next Selectmens meeting will also be a hearing on the General Assistance Ordinance.
OLD BUSINESS: Dwight Gould asked if he should keep plowing Carols driveway, and if he is going to be paid his last payment. Reply was yes to both.
Brian moved, in regard to Steve Bennetts request to have the Town make the road over Beaver Ridge a private road, to ask Steve to provide written language, legal language that can would be satisfactory to the Town attorney, for Freedom voters to read. Clint seconded; motion carried.
Brian brought up the need for town board and committee appointments, noting that several terms are up. A health official also needs to be appointed. Brian will contact the members whose terms are up to see if they want to serve another term, and to put it in writing. Several board members present expressed their willingness to serve again: Mike Smith, Willa Dibner, and Glen Bridges who mentioned second-hand, that Lainie Kertesz wants to serve again.
Brian said that he has not yet written Carol asking for her proof about her driveway being a Town road.
NEW BUSINESS: Brian, in reviewing Town expenses, expressed concern about two recent expenditures. One was the purchase of 553.6 gals. Of diesel fuel on Feb. 22. [Later this was discovered to be fuel used over a period of several weeks of snowstorms]. The second issue was the oil tank at the Town Garage needing to be filled. Brian asked for a locking cap to be installed on the tank; Clint said it is impossible to siphon fuel out of that tank and it was probably from heat turned on while work was being done on equipment.
Todd Presson introduced himself, and asked if the Board would take another look at the evaluation of the turbines, which, though originally based on actual costs, was raised over a million dollars, with no basis for the increase. BRW does not intend to appeal, but would like to agree to some rational way to assess the turbines fairly.
Brian asked to be brought up to speed, citing cost, income, and market value as considerations. Jackie Robbins found only two sales of turbines, one in PA and one in New Brunswick. With no information on income, then he thinks the weight falls on cost figures.
Clint explained that all BRWs cost figures were submitted, and the $9,765,826 original valuation was based on those costs, and approved by Mike Rogers of the State Property Tax Division. Todd pointed out that BRW had to pay the cost of the new transmission lines from Beaver Ridge into Thorndike.
Brian referenced the Marshall & Swift guide, whose figures for turbine values ranges from $2400 to $5575 per KW. Todd Presson said he called Marshall & Swift about those estimates, and found that they hade no basis for their numbers.
Brian asked if Todd would submit verifiable figures on cost, and Todd agreed to do so, adding that this is the first theyve been asked to do that, and also that he may call GE to find out if their price on turbines is still confidential.
Clint thought it would still be wiser to have Jackie Robbins do the valuation; saying the Board is not qualified to do it.
Steve Bennett complained that Carol had told him that the Board had a confidentiality agreement with BRW and refused to let him see it. Clint explained that the agreement had never been signed. Steve continued to question and debate Todd Presson, until Chairman Price gaveled him to be quiet, explaining that the public may listen to this discussion, but not participate. Bennett still persisted in debating Todd Presson, at which point Ron again gaveled Bennett to stop disrupting the meeting.
Clint publicly thanked Todd Presson and Beaver Ridge Wind for the donation of $10,000, followed by applause.
The next meeting will be April 11, 2011 at 6 PM, and will also be a public hearing for the General Assistance Ordinance.
Motion to adjourn carried at 8 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
MARCH 14, 2011
The meeting was called to order at 6:07 with the following present: Selectmen Clint Spaulding, Ron Price, and Brian Jones. Jerry Sullivan & Mrs. Sullivan, Bob Gerrish, Meredith Coffin (UARRC Rep.), Scott Holmes (ACO), Fire Chief Jim Waterman, Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte.), Chris Spaulding, Dave Schofield, (acting CEO, LPI), Doug Gould, and Glen Bridges (Secretary).
ELECTION: Ron Price was nominated/ voted to chair the Board.
REVIEW MINUTES/ SEC. REPORT: No minutes were available to review. The Secretary has not been successful in finding minutes or tapes from when she was away (Jan. 31 and Feb. 28). The Board voted to authorize Glen to correct grammar/spelling and condense the Feb. 16 minutes. Glen welcomed Brian to the Board and offered other services for the Board: to research statutes & MMA website, write letters, e-mail queries to MMA, and fill Brian in on recent Board activity history.
Glen offered to create a task list following each meeting and the Board agreed to try it.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Bob Gerrish expressed his opinion that since the Town originally made the decision to discontinue the road over Beaver Ridge retaining access, the Town should be the authority to change that-not the Selectmen.
Ron asked Bob about the idea of rerouting the snowmobile trail near Hardwood Lane. Bob said they are making progress, but being held up by one absentee landowner.
Scott Holmes inquired if the Board will consider changing the meeting day to better accommodate conflicting Fire Dept. meetings. [See New Business].
Doug Gould presented the Board with 1859 maps showing that the Richardson driveway was never a road. Brian suggested the burden of proof is on Carol, and moved that the Board write a letter to Carol asking her to submit her evidence that her driveway was a road. Motion passed.
SOLID WASTE: The Board discussed the contract with Sullivan Waste. Discussion followed about the fee for rising fuel costs, which are going to be split if diesel fuel goes over $4/gallon, but with ongoing negotiations as fuel prices change. The Board voted to accept Sullivans contract. Recycling pick-up will be $250 per month ($3000/year). Door-to-door spring clean up, will be June 4.
FIRE DEPARTMENT: Jim reported he gave Erna the name of a leasing company, which has already called her. Hes working with K & T about an International 7400 series, which doesnt use urea, priced about $93,380 for the bare truck. [With fire equipment, the price will be around $245,000.] The price has already been reduced by $3300, and Jim is looking to reduce it further. Ron commented that engines that use urea are more efficient.
Jim expects to hear offers on other pumper tankers, ranging from $245,000 to $282,000, the latter too high.
Jim is meeting with Tom York from K & T on March 21. A final proposal will be made by the FD by the end of the month. Jim expects to put down $75,000, with financing for $171,000 for 7-15 years. Brian asked if eliminating the $15,000 yearly funds raised and appropriated by the Town for the FD capital improvement fund would produce a zero net change, and asked Jim to try to come up with figures that would not increase the Towns usual contribution.
Jim would expect delivery of the truck by next December.
Audits are not required by K &T, but 3 years of balanced budgets are required. On the other hand, Key Bank does require up-to-date audits.
UARRC/RCYCLING REP: Meredith Coffin invited the Board to a meeting being held to bring Selectmen up to date on the recycling center, the future of PERC, and also with a representative from ECO Maine to discuss single stream recycling. Open to the public, this will be April 15, 6PM at the Mt. View auditorium.
CEO: Brian suggested advertising as the way to find the best candidate to hire for the CEO position. The Board voted to advertise in the Morning Sentinel for Wednesdays edition. The timeline would be to get applications within 10 days, and make a decision at the next meeting.
LPI: Clint moved to appoint Dave Schofield as licensed plumbing inspector; motion passed.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Brian commented that the roads were very well managed this winter; he was able to get out any time of day, every day.
Regarding the accident with the loader, there were no injuries to the operator, and no damage to the loader.
ACO: Scott reported that Kurt Thomass dogs killed chickens belonging to Ken Gould. The two parties are settling damages privately.
LPI: Dave reported that there is no activity on plumbing permits. Brian inquired how failed septic systems are handled. Dave replied that he inspects a system if there is a complaint, and there are several options for resolving the problem depending on the situation.
Clint asked Dave to check on a building under construction on Greeley Rd. to see if a building permit was granted.
Dave reported that there are a number of electric poles that are not being taxed and gave the Board a list of those.
Dave reported that the new statewide building codes would require occupancy permits. And likewise, banks, insurance companies, and contractors will be requiring them. The new State government may slow down the implementation of the new standards.
TREASURERS REPORT: Brian asked Erna if payroll could be done earlier so he could review it; Erna replied that if meetings are on Monday, and payroll ends on Sunday, then it couldnt be finished any earlier.
Erna reported: payroll, week ending March 7... $3021.70
payroll this week $3522.89
A/P this week ..$50,886.27
Checkbook balance $185,317.24
Brian moved to sign this weeks payroll; motion passed. Clint moved to sign the A/P warrant of $50,886.27. Motion passed.
Erna reported Carol has been paid her final check. Erna asked permission to do state reports, such as BMV, IF & W, dog licenses, and 941 payroll issues, every other week. Clint moved the question; motion passed.
Clint asked if the Town should buy portable toilets for the ball field and Town Garage instead of renting them, to save money and pay only for cleaning. Discussion followed; the Board agreed to look into it before signing the AAA rental contract.
ASSESSORS: Ron said that the Assessors need to sit down with Jackie Robbins to go over each property card, making sure that everything necessary is entered on each card.
Discussion followed about how personal property as assessed and taxed.
HEALTH OFFICIAL: A Health Official needs to be appointed
GENERAL ASSISTANCE: Brian volunteered to be the GA Officer; and will ask Cindy if she will assist. Motion to nominate Brian was seconded and passed.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR: Ron moved to appoint Christine Spaulding; motion passed with Clint recusing himself.
PLANNING BOARD: Glen reported that the Planning Board asked the Select Board to double check to see if the property card for Lot #10 on Ledges Lane has been notated with its status: This lot is a Special Exception located in a Resource Protection District and is required to comply with those restrictions in the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.
Clint reported that he told a volunteer for the Planning Board put his interest in writing.
CEMETERY COMMITTEE: Ron mentioned that Janet Boynton is having a health problem, but hopes she will continue to chair this committee. Brian suggested that Mt. View seniors could work on cemeteries as part of their community service requirement.
OLD BUSINESS: Ron reported that he talked to the auditor: 2008 should be finished by June 1, then work will start on 2009. The goal is to be up to date by March 2012. She will e-mail weekly progress reports to Ron.
On the issue of the road over Beaver Ridge, Brian volunteered to write a letter to Steve Bennett asking for a written proposal, complete, including the proposed easement, abutter agreements, and any other required paperwork, such as a survey.
Bob Gerrish commented that the road hasnt been used for six years because Bennett allowed Sallyann Hadyniak to refuse public access.
NEW BUSINESS: The Board agreed that Monday meetings work for each of them.
The next meeting is March 28 at 6 PM.
Motion to adjourn at 8:03 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary
Postponed from Feb. 28, 2011
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
MARCH 2, 2011
Meeting called to order at 6:08 PM. Present: Selectmen Ron Price, Clint Spaulding, Carol Richardson. Also, Scott Holmes (ACO), Erna Keller (Treasurer), and Joe Richardson.
REVIEW MINUTES: Minutes from Feb. 16 were accepted with corrections.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Joe Richardson complained about a letter he received terminating his employment. Carol said someone damaged the garage with truck #8. Clint explained that the time cards proved that it was Joe was driving the truck when it went through the back of the garage. A heated discussion followed, escalating until Ron moved the Board into executive session under the authority of 1MRSA 405 (6)A to discuss this personnel matter. They returned at 6:47.
CORRESPONDENCE: Carol reported that Kelly advised the wording for Steve Bennetts article on the Town warrant has to be discontinue, not abandon. The old 1955 easement would have to be discontinued. Discussion at Town Meeting on Bennetts article will be limited to 15 minutes.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported:
Payroll for week ending Feb. 11 .$2975.67
Payroll this week $2086.30
A/P this week ..$18,334.68
Checkbook balance $221,241.43
Carol moved to sign the payroll & warrant, seconded by Clint; Motion passed. Erna reported the Town Reports are being printed. Also, the auditor will be here March 8-9.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Clint reported that the Public Works Dept. needs a screen. He has found one available for $4500 (delivered), that price is good if we buy it right now. Ron moved, seconded by Carol, to buy the screen. Motion passed. Carol moved to take the funds out of Contracted Services.
OLD BUSINESS: Clint voiced concern about the price of the diesel fuel surcharge in the Sullivan Waste proposed contract.
Clint asked if the Town gets a discount if heating oil is paid for within 10 days. Carol moved to pay the oil bills as soon as they are received. Motion passed.
The Board also passed a motion to authorize Clint to order sand when he needs it.
The next meeting is March 14, 2011 at 6 PM.
Motion to adjourn at 7:13 PM.
Glen Bridges (typed from tape recording)
Meeting postponed from Feb. 14th
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
FEBRUARY 16, 2011
The meeting was called to order at 6:08 PM. Present: Ron Price (Chair, Selectman), Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Carol Richardson (Selectman), Scott Holmes (ACO), Erna Keller (Treasurer), Susan Friend, Steve Bennett, Jerry & Mrs. Sullivan, Willa Dibner, Doug Van Horn.
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from Jan. 31, 2011 were approved as written.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Steve Bennett requested a public hearing be set up, and bring his road issue to a vote. He repeated his plan to re-build 4500 of road and a new route of 2000 across land owned by abutters. Steve repeated his easement offer, noting that each abutting landowner would have to sign on to it,
Carol will let Steve know when the Board hears from Bill Kelly. Steve commented that he much prefers a vote at a special Town Meeting; that a small Town should be able to get together to discuss things. Carol replied that discussion can take place at a hearing, and stated her preference for a secret ballot vote, so that everyone gets to vote, including housebound residents and the elderly.
Ron read a long letter from Tony Sirois regarding the ongoing problems being caused by snowmobiles passing too close to houses on Elliott Lane. In 2006 a large increase was seen of 50-60 speeding snowmobiles, seriously affecting the health of one resident who is afflicted with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Disorder, along with some vandalism to signs and intimidation.
Carol brought up complaints some time ago about vandalism to the trail.
Doug Van Horn spoke on their behalf, and again offered that he, Levesque and Sirois would help build a trail routed where it used to be. The parties should be negotiating to resolve this problem; the Board thinks it is a civil issue.
CORRESPONDENCE: The Selectmen have to sign a certification for a farmers market that a local farmer lives and farms in Freedom.
A letter from Ken Gould was received regarding a parcel of his that had the book and page deed numbers wrong. Carol said she changed it in 2008, and now has corrected it. Ken should pay the tax, and then he can apply for an abatement, according to Carol.
TREASURERS REPORT: Erna reported:
Payroll for week ending Feb. 7 $3338.13
Payroll this week $3082.21
A/P last week ..$16,915.22
A/P this week (includes Feb. school payment $52,474.79
Checkbook balance $220,257.98
Carol moved to sign both payrolls and both warrants; motion passed. The 2007 audit is essentially finished, just needing approval from Selectmen. Erna will make appointments for early March to begin 2008.
ACO: Scott reported that the court case on Feb. 15 against Muehlmann failed because the wrong date was put on the paperwork. Robert Muehlmann was charged with contempt of court after using profanity in court, fined $250 with 6 months probation. He was ordered to have no contact with his neighbor, or will have to serve jail time. Scott expects the case to go to court with corrected paperwork on March 22.
Scott received a complaint from a resident in the village about a neighbors dog defecating in his yard. Scott phoned the dog owner, and followed up with a second warning by certified mail. A third complaint will produce a summons.
A resident on Smithton Road complained about a dog barking for a month. Scott spoke to the owners, who were very apologetic and said they will control the dogs barking.
OLD BUSINESS: The Board reviewed the proposed contract from Sullivans for waste disposal. The recycling pick-up was changed to $250 per month. Fuel charges will be negotiated if diesel fuel goes over $4.00/gal. Number of houses was changed from 350 to 325. Pickup was set at $1.35 per house per week. Ron moved to sign the corrected contract, Carol seconded; motion passed.
EXECUTIVE SESSION: Ron moved to go into executive session at 7:23 PM as authorized by 1 MRSA (405 (6)A to go into executive session to discuss a personnel matter. The Board returned at 7:35 having made no decisions.
The next Selectmens meeting will be Feb. 28 at 6 PM.
Motion to adjourn passed at 7:35. Budget Committee meeting to follow.
Glen Bridges (typed from tape recording)
Meeting postponed from Feb. 28
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
JANUARY 31, 2011
Present: Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Ron Price (Select Board Chair), Carol Richardson (Selector), Sallann Hadyniak (Deputy Secretary), Erna Keller (treasurer), Jackie Robbins (assessor) Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Sullivan (Solid Waste), Nancy Bailey Farrar, Benjamin Lafreniere, Robert Gerrish, Christopher Spaulding and Brian Jones.
The meeting was opened by Chair Ron Price at 6:10 p.m.
Carol moved to accept the minutes from January 17 after the three corrections. Ron second the motion, all were in favor.
1. Payroll Warrant this week is $101.92 (Pay Run 2-I forgot Carol on first Pay Run) and $1953.22 (Pay Run 1)
2. Payroll for week ending 1/24/11 was $162.92 to cover pay run 3 to fix payroll for snow storm that was added wrong because couldnt see the AM-PM.
3. Our checkbook balance is $280,514.12.
4. A/P this week will be finished in next couple of days. Cindy has all of her end of month bills for the State to be mailed.
5. Cathy sent an email back on 2007 audit. Audit Email is in the folder.
The report was submitted by Erna Keller. The bank was at the office last Friday and Erna gave them all the information regarding the fire truck.
Carol made a motion to pay all three payroll warrants; motion passed.
Jim Waterman stated that he is still getting bids for the fire truck,
Carol was asked to call Jerry Sullivan to talk about the recyclables. He agreed to be paid the same as the prior collector the amount of $3,000.00 and would pick up the recyclables once a month on the last Friday. A discussion was held regarding the surcharge on fuel. After a lengthy discussion, Ron made a motion to table this contract for solid waste disposal until our next meeting which will be held on Wednesday February 16 at 6:00 p.m; motion passed. By then Jerry should have a figure that will be agreeable with the board and the contract papers will be ready to sign. The pickup will begin in February on the last Friday of the month.
CITIZENS CONCERNS: Robert Gerrish presented the Board of Selectmen a problem that the snowmobile club is having with two residents outside the 200 foot limit near the Hardwood Lane/Elliot Lane/Arrowhead lane.
This led to a very lengthy discussion. The following are some of the highlights of that discussion.
There was a survey map on the table for Robert to look at. He would like to have an updated tax map so that they know what roads are open/closed. The complaint is regarding 600 feet of road that no snowmobile signs (4) are being put on by Mr. Sirois and Tom Levesque who do not want the snowmobiles to use this section.
Game Warden stated that it is a civil suit.
On the map it shows it was researched and done by a surveyor. There is a 50 foot wide road with a right-away, therefore Rons opinion is to say that this road is open as a public right-away until a court of law deems otherwise. It was only Rons suggestion from that point on isnt the Boards problem.
Ron moved that Elliot and Hardwood Lane, being part of a subdivision approved in 1974, a public right away exists over that road until proven otherwise in a court of law. (Arrowhead Acres) approved February 18, 1975. Carol seconded the motion. All were in favor.
Carol suggested that Robert come to the next meeting where the minutes will be approved and then will send a copy of the minutes to the game warden, the state police, Sirois and Levesque. Before the 16th a letter will be drawn up and sent tomorrow. Ron made another motion that the Board will send letters with a copy of Rons motion that was approved by the Board and that letter will be available to any game warden or law enforcement people who want to come and look at it or get a copy of it. Clint seconded the motion; motion passed.
Robert Gerrish also brought up the subject that Tony Levesques stepson does not have a septic system. Ron stated that they will send the code enforcement officer to check it out.
Steve Bennett submitted a letter to Ron Price to read at the meeting regarding Beaver Ridge Road.
Because of an abatement request by the BRW, Jackie Robbins was asked to assess the wind turbines and reported back to the Board that she assessed them at 9.6 million dollars which is less then what we had for this year. If abatement is granted, BRW stated that they wouldnt expect a check but that they would give the money back to the town as a donation for this year, and the biggest issue was that they wanted to make sure their evaluation was accurate in the future.
Jackie gave a very thorough explanation as to how she came to the 9.6 million dollar assessment,
Carol was not comfortable with Jackies assessment for many reasons and because Jackie took the low end of the scale.
Because Carol and Clint couldnt come to a decision, to accept Jackies assessing of the turbines, Clint made a motion to send it to the state for them to assess, and will take it further. If the state thinks they are valued higher then let the state assess the towers.
There isnt enough information in this town for any one person to make a decision and the state keeps saying that they are worth more so let the state put a value on the turbines. Clint made a motion that we do not make any changes in it and they will have to appeal to the state. The motion was second by Carol all in favor. Ron did not vote, the abatement is not approved and it is up to BRW to choose what to do.
A letter was received from the insurance company to increase the total of insurance on the Town Office. The vote was to increase the coverage to $100,000.00 Carol contacted MMA and for $10.00 more, the
Town Office could be insured for $110,000.00. Carol called Ron and he agreed to tell MMA to insure the Town Office for $110,000.00.
Carol also stated that she has a map at home that shows her driveway is Austin Road and now wants anyone to prove to her that it was discontinued. As far as she is concerned it is still a road.
Carol also told Ron that she will provide a letter that shows BRW estimated their value at $12,000.000.00.
Clint questioned if the road was a town road or a county road. Ron said any road that was a county road became a town road.
A discussion was held regarding the plowing of Carols driveway/road. Clint stated if it is a road, then it should be plowed and wants to take care of this issue.
Carol stated that Joe Richardson has made 3 trips, Bob and Steve Spaulding one trip each. Ron stated that if there isnt any proof that the road was discontinued, then it is still a town road and it should be maintained as such. Clint agreed and said his Mom said Carols driveway was a road.
Clint made a motion that Dwight Gould finish up the year for an additional amount of $750.00 (For he is the one who is doing the contracts) to plow and sand Carols driveway which is actually Austin Road (town road) Ron second the motion, all were in favor.
Ron received a report from the Town Clerk (Cindy Abbott) who needs to know the date that all reports are due.
1. Carol made the motion that all reports are due by February 21, 2011 Clint second that motion. All were in favor.
2. The Town Reports will be Neon Green and a picture of the monument and bench should be on the front cover.
3. Budget Committee has to speed up.
4. The report listed the deaths during the year of 2010.
5. We need Augusta business machines to service the copier and we need toner.
6. An attached letter from MMA regarding the need of a time line for the Comprehensive Plan.
7. Helen Tirone was in to complain that the stop sign needs to be fixed on Greeley Road and the sign from Beaver Ridge Road is missing.
8. The town is not allowed to post speed limits. A form has to be sent into the state and they have to approve.
9. Carol stated that at the Right to Know Meeting a new law went into effect January 2011, regarding the taking of notes for meetings. It should Include, motion made, carried, discussion held, in order to keep it simpler A copy of this new rule will be placed on file.
Regarding the Comprehensive Plan, there was a schedule left that on January 25, 2011 a posted hearing will be done by Bill Pickford on February 2. There will be a hearing in the basement of the Freedom Congregational Church.
A discussion followed regarding the hearing and the books that will or will not be available. Ron will contact Bill Pickford and then will get back to the Board.
Ron Price read a letter submitted to the Board from Steve Bennett (which is attached to the minutes). and Beaver Hill Landowners Association LLC. After reading the letter a discussion was held and it was decided to send a copy of the letter and a copy of a letter from MMA to be sent to Bill Kelly, the town lawyer.
After another discussion regarding the heating system in the trailer, Clint made a motion to give Ron permission to buy the supply pump for the heating system in the trailer to get us through the year in the amount of $500.00. Motion second by Carol; motion passed.
Carol made a motion to hold the next Selectmens meeting on Wednesday February 16, 2011 and to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 p.m. Clint seconded the motion. Motion carried.
APPROVED MINUTES/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
JANUARY 17, 2011
Present: Clint Spaulding (Selectman), Carol Richardson (Selectman), Ron Price (Select Board Chair), Doug Gould, Glen Bridges (Secretary), Janet Boynton (Cemetery Cmte.), Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan Cmte.), Sallyann Hadyniak, Chris & Samantha Spaulding, Steve Bennett, Jim Waterman (Fire Chief).
REVIEW MINUTES: The minutes from Jan. 3 were accepted as written.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Steve Bennett asked what is happening on his request to make the road from Beaver Ridge Rd. to Sibley Rd. a private road. Clint read his response from MMA, saying that a public way is always retained [MMA response attached]. Carol read from the statute, while Steve again debated the statute and Roy Wards deposition.
Glen Bridges asked where parking would be provided to people driving up to use the recreational easement. Answer: At the gate to the wind turbine property; Sallyann said there was no room for parking at the end of Beaver Ridge Rd., being it is a one lane road.
Ron gaveled the discussion to a close, saying that we have a legal opinion from Richard Flewelling, and need to hear from Bill Kelly. This is not going to be a trouble-free or cost-free process, Ron said. The Board needs to discuss and decide how much further to proceed on this. Carol suggested that the Town could vote on this as a referendum question in June.
Doug Gould came to ask why the roads are such a mess. A long discussion followed comparing Freedom roads to other towns, and how Freedoms roads are treated. The discussion settled on the condition of the North Palermo Rd., which is too uneven & rutted to plow cleanly, and too shady to melt all the ice. Dwight suggested using clear salt; Ron said the Town does have some.
Doug asked why Carols driveway is being plowed. Carol said her driveway used to be a road and was never discontinued, and the Town has plowed it back to Red Mitchells day. A heated discussion followed, with disagreement over whether or not Carols driveway was ever a road. Back when Everett Lingley & Betty Sienkiewicz were Selectmen, Carol said they voted not to plow it. Ron answered that the driveway is being plowed because Carol has said it is a road.
Dwight offered to research the history of the road with Carol at the Office.
Glen related complaints that the 2010 property tax book is missing from the office counter, is never there, and should be available under the Right to Know statute. Carol thinks someone took it; Ron said it should be there. Carol will make copies for the counter.
FIRE DEPARTMENT: Jim inquired about the state giving the No. Palermo Rd. to the Town and voiced concern that this would drive taxes up, and Clint explained how it works, and that the Town can refuse to take over ownership.
Jim also asked for feedback about the fire on Bryant Rd.; Clint sanded the intersection, but was concerned about no traffic control at the intersection.
Jim is getting ready for the budget committee meeting coming up Jan. 20. He received a written denial for a federal assistance firefighter grant based on call volume (not enough calls). Jim complimented the Town on plowing.
TREASURERS REPORT: The A/P warrant is not ready because Trio has made changes to the computer program, changing accounts around. The payroll is $2607.36. Ron moved to sign the payroll; motion passed.
The checkbook balance is $316,061.94.
An issue came up about overtime & time cards; Truck repairs were needed, and Clint has been avoiding any conflict of interest with his brothers employment. Clint prefers that all three Selectmen make these decisions. Carol moved that Clint be authorized to call Steve Spaulding or any driver on the list in the future when necessary; motion passed.
TOWN CLERK: Nominations that have been turned in are Carol Richardson and Brian Jones for Selectman, Cindy for Town Clerk, Tax collector, and Excise Tax Collector, and Erna for Treasurer.
ACO: The contract with the Waterville Humane Society Animal Shelter needs to be signed and returned. Cost is$954.24. Motion passed to sign.
GENERAL SSSISTANCE: Carol has completed the report for Oct., Nov., and Dec., and the State will reimburse for about $600.
CORRESPONDENCE: Carol reported on an insurance notice about coverage for buildings, currently $79,000 on the office building. The Board voted to raise coverage to $100,000.
BICENTENNIAL COMMITTEE: On Feb.1st the Central Maine Pyrotechnics group will meet at 7 PM to discuss fireworks at the Bicentennial celebration.
PLANNING BOARD: The Board will meet Feb. 8. Following the completion of granting the Special Exception for lot #10 on Ledges Lane, the Board requests that the Assessors please notate on the property card and computer program that the lot is a Special Exception under the Shore land Zoning Ordinance, and is subject to the restrictions of the Resource Protection District.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE: Dave passed out a written report, and made the following points:
1. The Plan will be ready for a vote on March 12 as the Committee has been planning, and the Town expecting, for two years. Clint and Ron are in complete agreement with this timeline, and Fred Snow advises voting at Annual Town Meeting.
2. A public hearing, tentatively scheduled for March 5th in the Church basement, has to be posted 30 days in advance.
3. We can vote before the State Planning Office reviews it, but minor change can be made if necessary.
4. Our contract with KVCOG is over March 12, and Fred will finish the Plan in the unexpected event that it is not complete by March 12.
There are three very important points that need to be emphasized by the Selectmen when they are talking to people:
A. There is no zoning in this plan; the word zoning will not be in it.
B. The State requires an area to be designated for future growth. This area is right around the village, and may enable the Town to take advantage of grants. The village should become a vibrant center, while our rural quality of life is maintained.
C. There are no restrictions in the Plan affecting how residents use their land. New opportunities may be available for conservation.
Dave inquired if the Committee still has monies in their budget for one bulk-rate mailing. He has the article for the Town Report and article to vote on to give to Cindy. We should have copies of the Plan for each Selectman, members of the Committee, one for the Office, and a disc for the Town website.
BUDGET COMMITTEE: Meets Jan. 20.
OLD BUSINESS and CORRESPONDENCE: Ron reported that he spoke to Jerry Sullivan, and Sullivans Waste Disposal is not for sale and he has no intention of selling it, and offered to renew his contract on the current terms. Clint wants to see the contract because he dislikes the fuel surcharge provision (if fuel goes over $3/gallon, a surcharge is negotiated by both parties). Carol moved to renew for three years with a negotiated fuel surcharge, with a possible 2-year extension if the Town is satisfied with the service. Motion passed.
The PACE program for weatherization was discussed; the Town would need to adopt an ordinance in order to take advantage of it.
A letter was received from Ann Snyder (MMA insurance) about certain actions not completed on Town buildings following her inspection, such as a middle rail, ball field playground equipment, etc. Furnaces were cleaned.
Stan McDonald wants to give up his recyclables pick-up job; consensus was to ask Jerry Sullivan what he would charge for that service.
NEW BUSINESS: There is no heat in the Annex. The needed part for repair is $500, and Ron urged a decision because the repairman felt the heaters are not worth that expenditure. After discussing several ideas, propane was the preferred fuel, and the Board moved to authorize Ron to get estimates for two monitor heaters, not to exceed $3000. Motion passed.
Clint raised the issue of Beaver Ridge Wind and abatement. Clint suggested hiring our assessor to assess the windmills. Jackie Robbins has been working with the Vinalhaven wind project, and has been assessing Freedoms commercial property all along.
Carol said that the State can recommend a range of figures, but cannot tell us a specific amount for valuing the turbines. Carol said that Mike Rogers said that assessing turbines is new to him too.
Clint said this should be settled, or it will end up going to the County Commissioners. Carol telephoned Jackie Robbins, who agreed to do the assessment on the turbines.
Clint moved to hire Jackie to assess the windmills. Motion passed. Clint moved to postpone the Assessors meeting scheduled for Tuesday night.
Carol said she could not find the letter from Beaver Ridge Wind where they offered to donate any abatement to the Town; they just want to be assessed fairly in the future.
Glen will be out of town for the next 3 meetings; Sallyann will fill in. The next Selectmens meeting is Jan. 31, 2011 at 6 PM.
Motion to adjourn passed at 8:30 PM.
Respectfully submitted, Glen Bridges, Secretary
APPROVED MINUTETS/FREEDOM BOARD OF SELECTMEN
JANUARY 3, 2011
The meeting was called to order at 6:10 PM. Present: Selectmen Carol Richardson, Clint Spaulding and Ron Price. Also Dave Bridges (Comp. Plan), Sallyann Hadyniak, Dave Bennett, Steve Bennett, Chris Spaulding, Erna Keller (Treasurer), Glen Bridges (Secretary).
REVIEW MINUTES: Carol moved to accept the minutes from Dec. 20, 2010 as read.
CITIZENS ISSUES: Steve reported that NRCS would cost-share the reconstruction of a private road that has a public easement. Carol said if a compromise was reached, the town might vote to approve it. Bennett proposes a recreational easement for foot traffic. Snowmobiles could re-route their trail. Steve cited Title 23-3028; Ron pointed out that the Towns lawyer, Bill Kelly, advised that Title 23-3028 is not the correct statute to go by. Title 23-3026 is the statute Kelly advised the Town to use. Steve again debated the advice from Kelly, and which statute to use. Clint reminded Steve that Kelly offered to work out a compromise between the parties.
After a forty-minute discussion, Ron Price moved to take the information to MMA and Kelly to see what to do to implement abandonment. Motion passed.
CORRESPONDENCE: On Jan. 10th at 6:30 is a tour of Morse Memorial School as part of an SAD3 School Board meeting.
TREASURER: Year-end books were done 12/31/10. There is no report for tonight. All day today was spent training with TRIO. Changes have been made to the program to prevent fraud.
ROAD COMMISSIONERS: Clint reported, in response to a complaint that Ron got about road conditions, that there was no warning that two inches of snow was expected, the plows/sanders got out around 5 AM. A long discussion followed about sanding Russell Hill, and how sanding should be done, during or after scraping. Half of the sander spinner is working, half is bent. Trucks have been getting stuck at the Beaver Ridge Rd. turnaround. The sand pile is too wet.
Clint repeated that drivers need to drive according to the conditions of the road.
Ron Price voiced appreciation of the job the plow drivers are doing.
CODE ENFORCEMENT: A brief discussion about how to address the need for a full-time CEO. Carol suggested Dave Schofield could do both and save the Town money. The consensus was to put the job out to bid.
HEALTH OFFICER: Carol suggested Dave Schofield; Glen suggested maybe Marion Bowers would consider coming back.
SOLID WASTE: The Sullivan contract was extended for two years, and is up soon, and he is selling his business. The Board needs to put this out to bid.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE: 100 gallons of emergency oil was provided last week.
BICENTENNIAL COMMITTEE: Meeting Jan 4 at 7 PM.
PLANNING BOARD: Meets Jan. 11 at 7 PM.
BUDGET COMMITTEE: Meets Thurs., Jan. 20 and 27.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE: Meets Jan. 4th at 6:30 PM in the annex. The agenda is to plan strategies to distribute the plan and promote Town support for it.
The last figures needed for Fred Snow are the LD #1 figures for five years.
In addition, regarding the earlier conversation about Bennetts road issue, Dave questioned the ethics of a Town taking giving up Town infrastructure to financially benefit a very few. Ron felt that this is not unusual in a small town.
Sallyann said when there are more houses on Beaver Ridge Rd., then the Town will benefit from taxes. Dave pointed out that residential development has been proven repeatedly to cost towns and to increase taxes.
OLD BUSINESS: Clint reported that the Town can refuse to take over ownership of the North Palermo Road from the State.
The next Selectmens meeting is January 17th. Carol added that the Board needs to be prepared for trash pick-up contract bids, and bids for the CEO position.
Clint moved to adjourn; motion carried at 8:05 PM.
Glen Bridges, Secretary