MINUTES OF THE SELECTMEN’S MEETING

WITH THE BIT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE PARTICIPATING

 

TOWN OF FRYE ISLAND

FEBRUARY 17, 2007

 

The meeting was conducted at the residence of Brian Walker, Standish, ME; members participated via teleconference.

 

The meeting was called to order at 09:02 AM by John Nun.

 

SELECTMEN:  John Nun, Brian Walker, Grace Morin.

 

BIT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:  Bruce Nisula, Joe Potts, Debbie Anthony, Bob Miner, John Nun, Brian Walker, Grace Morin.

 

TOWN MANAGER:  Wayne Fournier

 

TREASURER:  Carl Hommel – absent

 

PUBLIC:  Tim Toomey

 

Petitions from the Public

 

None

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Ferry Ramp Repairs:

 

Wayne reported that repairs are essentially complete; the north side on the island is still hanging up about 2 inches, that will be corrected in the spring. 

 

New Apron:  After the initial 58K quote on the apron 3 more quotes were requested.  Kimbro came in at about $31.5K including $6K for steel plates from the ramp to the road on both sides.  Other bids were approximately $40K and $70K.  Wayne has authorized to Kimbro to proceed (approx 9%) with shop drawings pending a full contract because of the 90 day lead time involved.

 

Remaining work:  Of the original $70K allocated to Ferry repairs, keel coolers ($8K), pilings on the mainland ($10.5K), completing both ramps ($31.5K) and raising ferry handrails ($2.5K) remain to be done.  If we do it all, that would leave a $4-5K shortfall to be addressed at the May meeting.

 

Dredging Mainland Slip:  Roger Gagnon feels we may be at the limits on lowering the mainland ramp and that further dredging would not gain any margin in on- or off-loading operations.  This may be studied further in the future as a part of a bigger upgrade if necessary.

 

Toomey Appeal:

 

Wayne summarized the court finding in favor of Mr. Toomey – essentially based on the town exceeding the 10 day limit for an appeal.  An issue still remains with the Board that the Town did not appeal the issue of the original variance but that the Board of Zoning Appeals re-opened the case for reconsideration based on a misunderstanding of the application of state rules.  The Town lawyers feel that the court may have inaccurately ruled and that we have a 50-50 chance of winning an appeal to higher court.  We would be appealing the 10 day decision, not the validity of the variance, so, if we lost, that could still leave open the issue of the definition of the “right to a reasonable return” the next time such a case came up.

 

Mr. Toomey spoke.  He felt that the Board of Zoning Appeals and the BOS/BIT were not treating him fairly; that his rights as an individual land owner deserved more consideration. Nun explained that the Town Boards had an obligation to served the town as a whole and that this decision could have long-term adverse impact on the town; that he was not being singled out.

 

Board requested that Town Manager proceed with appeal to higher court.

 

Frye Island vs. State of Maine Update:

 

Wayne reported that all written draft rebuttals were submitted in September but still no date has been set by the court for oral arguments.  Nothing has changed.  Wayne will include an update in the Town Newsletter.

 

Water System Upgrade:

 

Contractor data collection is complete and they are ready to begin simulations of the system.  They needed GIS data, Wayne provided.  They will have some initial data that they would like the Board members to review (not approve).  Board requested that Wayne have John Crosby look at it first.

 

Long Beach Marina Dredging:

 

Wayne has had a couple of e-mail conversations with DEP.  They feel that we need to dredge out a little further (still within the original plan limits) or it will silt right back in.  They see no problems with our getting the permit; just need to fill in all the blanks.  The original estimate for barge dredging was $3-5K; Wayne had no update on that cost.

 

Gorham Savings Bank:

 

Wayne reported that transition is almost complete; transfers need to be completed.  Joe asked that Wayne confirm Gorham interest rates because we have almost $500K with Merrill Lynch still open for reinvestment.  Wayne indicated that Gorham’s CD rate is 5.5%, sleep account (mostly T-bills with liquidity) is 5.02%.  We currently have 11 accounts that we will roll up, retaining individual accounting on the books, into a single bank account.  Joe could add up some $815K that would fall into the sleep account status, Wayne indicating that approximately $682K of that was from first increment of 2007 taxes.

 

Ferry Ticket Policy:

 

John Nun had provided a revised Ferry ticket policy to EXCOM members for final review.  He suggested one additional change:  In paragraph 2.1.i. change “Managers” to “Officials” to be more inclusive.  There was a discussion to allow the Golf Club to get some sort of ferry cost relief for tournaments involving golfers from off-island.  It was decided to defer that issue to the summer of 07 and let the island manager use discretion in the meantime since there were not many occasions where this would be applicable.

 

MOTION by Nun to approve the Ferry Ticket Policy, dated 17 Feb 2007, with the change noted above, seconded by Nisula - Unanimous.

 

Town 2006 Audit:

 

Wayne reported that he had discussions with the auditor, Talbot, to get the audit completed by March and they said they could do but it would involve a lot of data collection better done in the island office after opening and records are moved back into the town office on island.  They need room to do this where several personnel are involved with computers and need iterative access to the town data.  Additionally, they need access to checkbook reconciling still to be accomplished by Calvin (checks are still being written against 2006 bills) and there are properties still carried on the town records that artificially inflate the tax base.  Joe asked if 15 June was a reasonable deadline for the audit; Wayne indicated that he thought that was reasonable, he would get back with auditors.  Finally, Wayne explained that all transactions involving cash are big audit issues and the ferry ticket operations fell high in that category.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Amato Escrow:

 

Wayne explained that a $1500 escrow account was set up to ensure that trees removed in violation at Emerald Point were replaced.  Trees have been replaced to satisfaction of the CEO.

 

MOTION by Nun to refund $1500 to Mr. Amato, seconded by Morin – Unanimous.

 

Golf Club Kubota Lease:

 

Bruce said this was approved last year; necessary again this year, with 2008 being the last year for the lease.  Continuation of the lease is in the Golf Course budget.

 

MOTION by Nun to approve payment of $5470 from the Golf Equipment Reserve  for Kubota lease, seconded by Walker – Unanimous.

 

Carry Forwards:

 

Following items were requested by Wayne to be carried forward from 2006:

 

1)     $$1,073.00 for change to the change to add extension to the ferry haul-out clutch handle.  Work will be completed in Spring 07.

2)     $18,184.34 to cover remaining costs on State of Maine Suit.

3)     $27,869.53 to complete ferry gantry (apron) costs.  Work will be completed in Spring 07.

4)     $2,900.00 to pay for golf turf cart purchased in 06 for 07 payment.

5)     $2,753.00 to complete island ferry area drainage construction.  Matching funds have been provided by PWD.

 

MOTION by Nun to authorize payment of requested Carry Forwards, seconded by Morin – Unanimous.

 

Additional Investments:

 

Wayne requested authority to invest funds not needed for cash flow into additional 6-month CDs.  With over $800K on hand and approximately $600K needed to carry costs until end of Jun, when the second increment of taxes is due, Wayne recommended purchase of not more than two additional CDs at $97K each.

 

MOTION by Nun to authorize Town Manager to purchase additional CDs to a limit of $200K, subject to final cash-flow determination; Wayne to inform Board of actions taken, seconded by Walker – Unanimous.

 

Island Opening Date:

 

The Board agreed with Wayne’s request to officially open the island on Friday, 27 April 2007, Joe to post notice on the island web page.

 

2007 Ferry Schedule:

 

MOTION by Nun to approve the 2007 ferry schedule previously provided by the Town Manager, seconded by Nisula – Unanimous.  Joe to post to island web page.

 

Ferry Electronic Tickets:

 

Wayne reported that Bob Russo has been working to do an on-line demonstration of an e-ticketing capability for the ferry operation.  Any authorized person (islander, contractor, etc) would be able to log in and purchase ticket(s).  Sales would be logged and credited to proper accounts?  Printed tickets would be scanned by ferry crews for usage.  Cost to the island is estimated at $25 per month.  Details are pending actual demonstration but Wayne would like to provide demonstration access to Board members for comment, probably not happen before spring opening.  No further action by the Board at this time. 

 

Golf Policy and Fee Schedule:

 

Bruce reported that the Golf Club had positive cash flow in 2006; Operations Reserve stands at $39K and Equipment Reserve at $25K.  The proposed club house expansion is nearing final interior design, will be followed by affordability analysis.  Expansion will be fully funded before start of work to complete.

 

MOTION by Nisula to approve the 2007 fee schedule recommended by the Golf Committee in meeting minutes dated 27 Jan 07 and posted on the island web site, seconded by Nun – Unanimous.

 

MOTION by Nisula to approve revised Golf Policy Handbook as recommended by the Golf Committee in meeting minutes dated 27 Jan 07 and posted on the island web site, seconded by Nun.  In discussion Bob Miner asked if the private owner car fee applied to more than one cart; Bruce responded:  Yes, a discount was discussed but tabled. – Unanimous

 

MOTION by Nisula to expend $3000 from the Golf Club Equipment Reserve for purchase of a utility cart to replace the current worn out EZ-Go, and, from the Golf Club Operations Reserve, $8000 to replace the tee on Hole 5 and $1000 to purchase a window air conditioning unit for the lounge.   If approved, the actual transfers will be made if and when specifically requested by the Golf Committee. Morin second – Unanimous

 

Fourth of July Fireworks:

 

Wayne introduce the issue of establishing a date for the Town fireworks, complicated by the fact that 4 July is on a Wednesday.  Bruce stated that the Golf Course had a tournament on 30 Jun but that probably was not a factor to consider.  After considerable discussion it was decided to set the date at Saturday, 7 July, primarily to accommodate more people who would likely stay into that weekend following a 4th of July vacation.  Wayne reported that $895 were left over from the 2006 display; that he intended to go again with a $5,500 display.  Wayne also confirmed that fireworks donations were deductible so long as the donations were made to the Town.

 

Yacht Club Fees:

 

Wayne reported that he had no liaison with the Marina Committee on this matter. 

 

MOTION by Nun to retain 2006 fee structure for 2007 as recommended by the Marina Committee in meeting minutes dated 3 Sep 06 and posted on the web site, seconded by Morin – Unanimous.

 

Police Coverage on the Island:

 

Wayne reported that the town Police Chief, Dana, has taken a position on the Norway Police Department,  but has proposed that he remain as the Frye Island Chief with one or more assistants to cover for him when not available as needed on the island.  The Board members were uncomfortable with an open-ended approach as to who would be providing security services on the island.  Dana had assured Wayne that all coverage would be fully qualified.  Wayne said there would be no cut in the services provided.  The Board asked Wayne to get a statement of services to be provided and some sort of assurance that we would have a continuity of personnel who could relate to the island, its environment, its problems and make us feel like we had “our cop on the beat”. 

 

Wayne advised the Board that there had been a break-in reported over the winter.  He checked with MMA and there is no way we could restrict people from coming onto the island when we are shut down – the roads are public property.

 

O’Grady Request for Abatement:

 

Wayne reported that he had received on 16 Feb a formal request for tax abatement from David and Doreen O’Grady, Lot # 1112.

Board requested Wayne write a letter informing O’Gradys that the Board of Selectmen, acting as the Board of Assessors, are reviewing his application; we have 60 days to respond.

Wayne was asked to check with MMA and town lawyers on the legal basis for a response.

Separately, Wayne was asked to discuss the implications of the O’Grady 23 Jan 2007 e-mail, subject:  Response to Building Fees, with MMA and town lawyers.

 

Winter Rent:

 

Calvin has objected to Wayne about the Board reduction of winter rent in the budget process; Wayne feels the objection has legitimacy.  Board members agreed that the ferry trailer was not adequate and could not be expanded as a winter office alternative and that Calvin’s house was the most viable alternative until more permanent alternatives can be found.  Board members also agreed that $300 per month was a reasonable rent for limited office/storage space (on the order of $3.60 per sq ft, assuming approximately 500 sq ft utilized).  Wayne indicated he could find funds in the current operation budget to cover the costs.

 

MOTION by Nun to divert $1200 from current operating budget to pay winter office rent of $300 per month for remainder of year, seconded by Morin – Unanimous

 

Town Lease from FII:

 

Joe indicated that the lease needed to also include the Transfer Station and Maintenance areas, pending their future transfer to the Town.  Wayne will send corrected copies of the lease to Joe and John for signatures.

 

Future Meetings: 

 

Dates were set for future BOS/BIT/Town meetings as follows:

 

0900 26 May 2007

090016 Jun 2007

0900 07 Jul 2007

0900 04 Aug 2007

0900 01 Sep 2007

1900 07 Sep 2007

0900 22 Sep 2007

0900 06 Oct 2007 – Town Meeting

0900 20 Oct 2007

 

 

Additional meetings may be scheduled as required with 7 days notice.  Joe to post to island web page.

 

REVIEW and APPROVALS

 

Meeting Minutes

 

MOTION by Nun to approve minutes of 20 October 2006 and 14 December 2006 Board meetings, previously provided, seconded by Walker – Unanimous.

 

 

December/End of Year Financials

 

Wayne presented December and end of year financials with detailed discussion of significant items.  Revenues were approximately $1200 over budget, due in part to the way we budget ferry administrative personnel in management fees.  He reported that  $105,097 would be carried forward in the Fund Balance (vs approximately $150K originally estimated, difference due primarily to mis-estimate in school taxes).  Wayne reported that Calvin and TRIO are now at the point of being able to do actual analyses in addition to bookkeeping so he is able to provide a much clearer picture in the monthly financials.  Board members noted that this report was much clearer than in the past and that numbers appeared to trace well; Wayne was congratulated for an excellent report.

 

MOTION to go to Executive Session according to MRSA 1 Paragraph 405 (6) (A) to discuss personnel issues.

 

Returned from Executive Session – discussed personnel issues as authorized under MRSA 1 Paragraph 405 (6) (A)

 

MOTION to adjourn at 2:05 PM made by Nun, seconded by Walker – Unanimous

 

Executive Session Minutes separately provided to Wayne for permanent files.

 

Respectfully submitted,

John B. Nun