Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and Phil Haines
Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mike Stowe, and Mary Grow (6:30 approx.)
1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Titus at 6:00 p.m.
2. Minutes – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 3/9/17 meeting as written.
3. Mowing bid – The Board reviewed the spreadsheet summary of the four cemetery mowing bids received as provided by Sabins. The low bidder ($19,500), Mike Stowe, was in the audience and was given the opportunity to give his pitch by Chairman Titus. Mr. Stowe stated that he has 25 years of mowing experience, and that he has mowed cemeteries in Benton in the past. He stated he answers his phone night and day, and responds quickly to any complaints or concerns about his work. When asked by Selectman Browne, Mr. Stowe confirmed that he had viewed the town cemeteries and realizes there is a lot of hand work involved. He stated he has a vacuum on his zero-turn mower that will help expedite the work. Mr. Stowe started his mowing company last December and is trying to get back into mowing work. He plans to hire two employees to help him complete the contract. When asked if he provided references with his bid, Mr. Stowe confirmed that he did provide references, and he encouraged the Board to check them. He stated that he provides good customer service. After discussion with Mr. Stowe, the Board decided to ask Sabins to check Mr. Stowe’s references. The Board thanked Mr. Stowe for coming to the meeting, and indicated to him that the Board would revisit this subject at their next meeting on April 6th and would likely make a bid award at that meeting.
4. PUT Option – The Municipal Review Committee (MRC) has sent correspondence to the Town with a recommendation that we exercise our PUT option to sell our interest in the PERC trash-to-energy plant, since the townspeople have voted to stay with the MRC as they begin membership with the Fiberight plant in Hampden. The Board discussed the two options the MRC has provided to notify the PERC plant that we plan to sell our interest in their plant. One option was to seek voter approval at town meeting; the other was to have the Selectmen just send a letter to PERC. The Board asked Sabins to seek MMA Legal Services’ advice on which option we are legally required to do, and we will revisit this matter at our next meeting.
5. Burn permit revenue – The Board discussed the request from the fire department members to give the fire department the annual burn permit revenue, estimated to be about $250, from the sale of on-line burning permits. Burn permits issued in person from town staff or fire department volunteers are free; those burn permits obtained on the internet cost $7.00, two dollars of which are returned to the municipality. After discussion, the Board agreed by general consensus to take no action on this request, and to allow the burn permit funds to continue to post to the town’s miscellaneous revenue account unless a compelling argument is heard from the fire department members to do otherwise.
6. Reports – a. Road Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. b. Financial Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented.
7. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #53 and #54.
8. Other – 1. Sabins informed the Board that the State Adult Protective Services has conducted its welfare check on the disabled adult in the tax-acquired home on Taber Hill Road. The home was found to be clean and had electricity. Sabins asked the investigator to have the homeowner call Sabins about the delinquent taxes, but so far, Sabins has not heard from the owner. Selectman Browne stated that he knows the family and would reach out to them again to see if he could get some results. Discussion was given about Sabins and L. Titus possibly making a personal visit to the home to have a conversation with the occupants about the delinquent taxes. A progress report will be provided at the next meeting. 2. The Board briefly discussed the appointment process by which the School Board is filling vacancies on their Board. With the assistance of MMA Legal Staff, we have learned the process being used is legal and required by State statute, but the Selectmen asked Sabins to notify the School Board that public notice that the vacancy exists prior to filling it will be appreciated.
9. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 6:50 p.m.
These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 4/6/17 with the following amendments: None.