Town of Cranberry Isles
Board of Selectmen's Meeting
6 December 2007
Islesford Neighborhood House


Dan Lief, BOS Chair Nan Hadlock, Deputy Clerk
Aaron Gray, BOS Cynthia Lief
Richard Beal, BOS Amanda Ravenhill
Denise McCormick, Town Clerk Cory Alley
Eric Dyer, Facilities Supervisor  

I. Call to Order: 8:36 A.M. by Chairman Dan Lief.
Welcome to the Board Selectman Richard Beal.

II. Review / Approval November 01, 2007 Meeting Minutes

Aaron Gray moves to accept the minutes as written for the November 01, 2007 Board of Selectmens Meeting. Dan Lief seconds the motion, with a unanimous vote by Richard Beal. Motion passes.

III. Review / Approval Financial Warrants

In reference to the payment of Selectmens Stipend for Hal Newell, the Town Clerk has spoken with the auditor James Wadman who advises that payment be made for services rendered in 2007. Mr. Newell passed away last month.

Warrant #50:5451.68
Warrant #51:9873.76
Warrant #52:48892.85
Warrant #53:4979.57
Warrant #54:95768.32
Total:$ 164966.18

All warrants were signed by the Selectmen.

IV. Communications
A. Request for Improved Town Office Accessibility

The Selectmen have received a letter via the Deputy Clerk from Joy Sprague of Islesford. The letter asks if it might be possible to add a railing on the front steps at the Town Office. Outside maintenance of the building is the responsibility of the landlord according to the current lease. It is the Town's responsibility to make the building accessible to all. The Facilities Supervisor is authorized to contact Eric Valdina, owner of the building, to ask permission to add a railing and possibly a ramp for handicap accessibility, to also check the width of the doorways for compliance and to pursue quotes on rails and ramp.

B. RJD Appraisal Fee Increase Request
The Selectmen have received a letter from RJD Appraisal asking for a 3.5% increase over last year in their budget. The 2007 budget was $23,900.00. With a 3.5% increase for 2008-2009, the total budget for RJD Appraisal would be $24,700.00. Currently Matt Caldwell of RJD Appraisal is working for Town of Cranberry Isles and as reported by office staff is doing a great job. The contract for an appraiser runs from March to March. Selectman Beal requests that the Tax Collector check into the figures for tax base with Mr. Caldwell in light of the recent assessment by State of Maine Revenue Services. Selectman Beal states that copies of the tax commitment books and tax maps should be in both Islesford and GCI Libraries. The Deputy Clerk will follow up on this. The Town Clerk is asked to draft a letter for the January BOS Meeting to accept the proposal and to clean up the terms.

C. Letter from Board of Property Tax Review
The Board of Selectmen has received a letter from the State of Maine Revenue Service. The proposed 2008 state valuation for Cranberry Isles is $200,250,000.00. The Towns figure for valuation is $162,852,530.00; therefore, the town is assessing our town lower than the state is. Substantial property sales of recent at Town of Cranberry Isles may have some effect on this difference. Selectman Lief will meet with the tax assessor on Tuesday, December 11.

V. Appointments
A. Planning Board (1)

Planning Board Member Bruce Komusin has recently taken up legal residence in Florida and created a vacancy on the Board.

Richard Beal nominates Mike Westphal of Great Cranberry as Planning Board Member.

Selectman Beal moves to appoint Mike Westphal as Planning Board Member to finish the term of Bruce Komusin until 2010. Dan Lief seconds the motion, with a unanimous vote by Aaron Gray. Motion passes.

B. Harbor Committee Alternates (2)
At the November 15 Special Town Meeting, Voters approved an amendment to the Harbor Management Ordinance to provide for appointing two alternates who will have voting power in the absence of a quorum. At the November 30 Harbor Committee Meeting recommendations were made for nominations for Harbor Committee Alternates.

Recommendations are as follows:

Sally Rowan attended the Harbor Committee Meeting and agreed to serve if appointed.

Dan Lief moves to appoint Sally Rowan as Harbor Committee Alternate. Richard Beal seconds the motion, with a unanimous vote by Aaron Gray. Motion passes.

Barbara Stainton is recommended as appointment for alternate by the Board of Selectmen. Richard Beal will speak with her to see if she is interested in serving.

C. Road Commissioner
Selectman Lief questions the need for appointing a Road Commissioner when we already have the services of the Facilities Supervisor and the Municipal Advisory Commission. Eric Dyer will check to see if the Town is required by law to appoint a road commissioner. This item will be on the agenda for the January Board of Selectmens Meeting.

VI. Old Business
A. GCI Dock Repairs

At the November 15 Special Town Meeting, Voters approved the borrowing of up to fifteen thousand dollars for the engineering work for the Great Cranberry Island dock repairs. Harbor Committee Member David Thomas has recommended the possibility of adding another set of stairs on the west side of Great Cranberry Dock. The Harbor Committee agrees that stairs on the west side could provide for safer passenger landings during inclement weather. The Harbor Committee recommends that the cost of the stairs be included in the engineering analysis. The Selectmen authorize Eric Dyer to go ahead and hire for the engineering work at GCI Dock.

Richard Beal moves to authorize the Town Clerk to apply for a tax anticipation loan to fund engineering as approved at last special town meeting. Dan Lief seconds the motion, with a unanimous vote by Aaron Gray. Motion passes.

The Selectmen discuss the borrowing of up to one hundred seventy thousand dollars for construction of a municipal storage and garage facility on Little Cranberry Island, as authorized by Voters at the November 15 Special Town Meeting. Selectman Lief questions whether the full amount authorized be borrowed or not. The First Bank has been approached and analyzes the Town of Cranberry Isles borrowing capacity as favorable and not burdened with a lot of debt. Some considerations banks use to make loan decisions include the history of paying debt, the ability to raise taxes, the ability to collect taxes, property values, etc. Selectman Beal recommends that loan documents for the Town include clauses for the ability to pay back the loans without penalty, and also the ability to borrow as money is required.

Dan Lief moves that Dan Lief work with the Town Treasurer to approach local banks for a long term financial proposal for the Islesford Municipal Garage Project, which expects to be finalized by March 2008 Town Meeting. In order to meet expenditures we might have for the project for January and February 2008, we will also talk to banks about interim financing, which would be replaced by long term financing in March. Aaron Gray seconds the motion, with a unanimous vote by Richard Beal. Motion passes.

In reference to the SHIP 2008 Grant applied for to help fund the GCI Dock Repairs, no news on a decision. The amount of the grant applied for is $138,600.00 and the Department of Transportation has said we may have an answer by the end of this month. The Facilities Supervisor is advised to proceed with the engineering work now.

B. LCI Transfer Station
Eric Dyer has spoken with Ed Gray and no progress has been made with the pad or electrical for the compactor at Islesford. Eric has also spoken with Corey Goodwin several times with no progress. Selectman Lief asks if it might be possible to get a rack built for the compactor in order to begin use of the equipment. This is not recommended by Ed Gray. Selectman Lief would like to see Islesford running under the new contract with Mr. Gray in January.

This project is considered top priority with the following immediate needs:

C. Municipal Garage Building
The Facilities Supervisor has spoken with Tom St. Clair of Sullivan to discuss a metal building for Islesford. The Selectmen have requested that the Facilities Supervisor create a timeline for the municipal garage project, approved by the Fire Department and M.A.C., to be presented at the next Board of Selectmens Meeting.

D. Public Interest Payphones
Both public interest payphones have been installed, one each at GCI and Islesford. The phone at GCI is in working order, and the one at Islesford had some static on the line that is in the process of being corrected. Richard Beal asks for the phone numbers for both payphones. Eric Dyer will follow up on this request.

E. School Consolidation
Apologies to Superintendent Liebow who came to Islesford for a Board of Selectmens Meeting that had been postponed until Thursday. Selectman Lief did have the opportunity to meet with Mr. Liebow and Ted Spurling of the School Board for a briefing on the school consolidation process. If Town of Cranberry Isles opts in under the recently submitted regional school unit plan, there would be zero impact on T.C.I.  K-8 students. The Superintendent's Office services would remain the same, but some things will change for high school students. Free choice of high schools will remain the same for islands. T.C.I. has the choice to opt in or opt out of the regional school unit with Union 98, to be decided by vote in 2008. Superintendent Liebow is doing an analysis on all municipalities involved with the plan, in order to estimate the cost to each town. Currently, the towns contribution is $8000.00 per student per year. If the Town opts out of the plan, there are two options: to build our own high school or, to contract for services from the Union 98 Superintendents Office. Richard Beal recommends that, following public hearings, a straw vote be taken at the annual meeting in March to get a feeling for what the voters would like. The Deputy Clerk is asked to contact the School Board to get input on a possible warrant article.

F. Snow Removal

G. Budget Process
The Municipal Advisory Commission will be holding a budget workshop meeting on Friday, December 07, 2007 at 8:30 A.M. at the town office by teleconference. It is recommended by Richard Beal that the wording of warrant articles requesting money be flagged as recommended amount so that voters have the right to increase or decrease the figures.

VII. New Business
A. Animal Control Officer Vacancy

It has been determined by the Board of Selectmen that the animal control officer position has been vacant as Debbie Wedge has moved off island. The Selectmen will ask around to see if there is another resident is interested in the position. In reference to payment of past due taxes, it is reported that Debbie Wedge has not made a monthly payment since October as previously arranged with the Selectmen. The Board recommends that if no effort is made by Ms. Wedge by January 2008, then the tax collector shall be asked to take action.

B. Town Report
It is recommended by Selectman Beal that the Regional School Unit Plan and the endangered habitat maps be included in the annual report. Town office staff will meet this afternoon with Dan Lief to go over initial plans for this year's report.

C. Town Meeting Warrant
A letter has been received by the Selectmen from Hugh Dwelley, President of Islesford Historical Society. The letter is requesting that the following be included in the warrant for annual town meeting:

"To see if the voters of the Town of Cranberry Isles will appropriate and authorize the Treasurer to expend up to $2000 toward the cost of restoring and renovating the cemetery on Baker Island. Said sum to be matched by Islesford Historical Society."

Mr. Dwelley visited the cemetery at Baker Island last summer and witnessed that many of the graves are sunken in with stones on edge, etc. He also points out that the town collects taxes from three properties at Baker Island and spends little if anything on that island.

It is brought to attention by Selectman Beal that it is already the Town's responsibility to maintain cemeteries within its borders where no one has been buried for fifty years. At this time Mr. Beal is working on a proposed Town cemetery ordinance for consideration by voters.

The final warrant for annual town meeting is to be signed by the Board of Selectmen at their February Board Meeting.

D. Shoreland Ordinance Amendment
The Land Use Ordinance for the Shorelands must be updated to match or exceed new State requirements by July 2008. Selectman Beal is currently working on an amended ordinance draft.

E. Stair Chairs for Docks
Zone 2 Fire Chief Courtney Chaplin has requested that a stair chair be purchased and added at our Islesford Town Dock. This type of chair would help to load individuals who have trouble boarding a boat via the stairs. The cost of the chair is estimated at $ 2500.00. The Facilities Supervisor suggests that a stair chair might also be purchased for the GCI Dock as well. The Islesford Emergency Medical Services has a chair that is deemed inadequate for our purposes at the dock. The Board of Selectmen would like to know more about the chair and would request input from GCI Residents as to need. The Board would like a more detailed proposal for consideration.

VIII. Other Business

IX. Audience Communications
No communications at this time.

X. Adjournment: 11:23 A.M.
Dan Lief moves to adjourn the meeting. Aaron Gray seconds the motion, with a unanimous vote by Richard Beal. Motion passes.

The next scheduled Board of Selectmens Meeting will be on
Tuesday, January 08, 2008 at Great Cranberry Island.
Please note: The public is encouraged to attend.

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