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TOWN COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

NOVEMBER 16, 2021

Normand Albert 2021

Kasie Kolbe 2021

Allen Ward 2021

 Mark Lunt 2022

Donald Fellows 2022

Gregory Garrison (appt to 12/7/21) 2022

Fern Larochelle 2023

 

1. CALL TO ORDER.  The Chairman, Allen Ward, called the meeting to order and led the pledge of allegiance to the flag at 7:00 PM.

 

ROLL CALL. Members present were Councilors Ward, Albert, Kolbe, Lunt, Garrison, and Fellows.  Also present were Diane Barnes, Town Manager; Randy Cyr, Public Works Director; Nate LeClair, Fire Chief; Brett Richardson, ECD Director; Kayla Tierney, Finance Director; Haley McCrater, School Department Bookkeeper; Kelli Rogers, School Committee Member; Dan Leeman, Planning Board Member; Ron Smith, RHR Smith, Town Auditor; and Gregg Mann, Lisbon resident, in the audience.

 

VOTE (2021-228) Councilor Ward, seconded by Councilor Albert moved to excuse Councilor Larochelle’s absence.  Order passed – Vote 6-0.

 

GOOD NEWS & RECOGNITION

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Chief LeClair reported Lisbon responded to an accident at the corner of Bowdoin and Lisbon Street.  A car had hit the corner of the house putting a huge hole in the foundation.  Chief explained that Bob Robitaille and Eric Watson went to Mr. Watson’s house to get materials that he had on hand and then went back to the scene to secure the corner of the building.  He pointed out that these two volunteers went above and beyond for our Lisbon residents.  Council commended Bob Robitaille and Eric Watson for going back to the scene making sure the job was done.  

 

Gregg Mann from King Road reported the sign “blind drive” ahead is not visible right now to motorist traveling along King Road and that it is covered with branches and leaves.  He said if Public Works could trim these branches that would be nice. 

 

Mr. Mann reported 25 years ago he circulated a petition to have the speed limit lowered on King Road, which eventually was lowered from 40 MPH to 30 MPH, but still the traffic goes by much faster than it should.  There are no paved shoulders on this road.  He said there is a curve in the road along with the hill that blocks the view for quite a few driveways.  He reported some neighbors do walk along this road.  He requested the town approach the state to discuss better signage promoting the speed limit again.  He pointed out that recently someone died at the corner of King Road and Lisbon Street where several other accidents have happened by Dingley.  He suggested better signage or a traffic light be installed to prevent further deaths.  He reported the turning lane at the Post Office that almost extends to the Credit Union is not long enough to get into and out of the Credit Union, making it difficult for motorist to merge back into the traffic on Lisbon Street there.  Again, Mr. Mann said, these are higher accident spots and it’s too bad that a certain number of individuals have to die before we design and create a safer traffic solution.

 

Councilor Ward recommended Mr. Mann contact the Police Department about monitoring the traffic speed on King Road.  Councilor Lunt said he used to live over off King Road, that he was very familiar with these issues, and that he supported what Mr. Mann was saying.  He asked the Town Manager to contact MDOT about better signage and traffic patterns at these higher accident areas in town.  Councilor Albert thanked Mr. Mann for bringing these to their attention.     

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS – NONE

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION & RESPONSE FOR AGENDA ITEMS – NONE

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

VOTE (2021-229) Councilor Fellows, seconded by Councilor Albert moved to approve the following consent agenda items:   

 

A. Municipal Accounts Payable Warrants -  $924,834.29

B.  Municipal Payroll Warrants -  $337,198.01

C.  School Accounts Payable Warrants -  $667,469.83

D. School Payroll Warrants -  $ $1,227,423.94

E. Minutes for October 19, 2021

F. Set Public Hearings for December 7 for the Slovak Catholic Association, Coombs Mountfort Post 158, Campbell’s Used Auto Parts, and Huston’s Auto Salvage

G. MDOT Modification #2 to Three-Party Partnership Agreement authorizing the Town Manager to sign the Third-Party Agreement on behalf of the Town of Lisbon

H. Municipal/State Agreement Proposed Improvements to Route 125 authorizing the Town Manager to sign the Municipal/State Agreement and authorizing the use of Dingley TIF funds to pay for the Town’s 10% share

I. Ratify Election Results

J.  Waiver of Foreclosure authorizing the Treasurer to record a waiver of foreclosure in the Registry of Deeds for properties at 18 Mill Street, 19 Mill Street, 15 Mill Street, 11 Upland Road, 10 Mill Street, and 18 Lisbon Street

K.  Road Name Request for Cattail Lane off of Mill Street.

 

Order passed – Vote 6-0.

 

 

COUNCIL ORDERS, RESOLUTIONS, & ORDINANCES

 

AUDIT PRESENTATION

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INTRODUCTION:  Ron Smith from RHR Smith said the town has made much progress over the past year, that financially, revenues were up $1.4 million in surplus, that $1.2 million has been dedicated to special projects, and that $3.4 million is available in undesignated surplus.  He mentioned the town was ½ million in favorable for Excise Tax and that expenses, while still in pandemic mode, had not returned to what we consider normal, although is normal for our time.  He predicted it might be at least 3 years before expenses come back around to where they were.  He advised that the town not live beyond its means, that Council develop a plan and purpose, and stay true to the town and school.  He said stimulus funds will not last forever; don’t live outside that.

 

Mr. Smith said the lion’s share of the MUNIS implementation is over, but some struggles still exist.  For instance, the sewer resides on another system and is manually put into the new system.  The town is maintaining two accounting systems right now, which is not recommended.  He pointed out staff consistency is necessary and that without it there will be struggles.  He said the faster the town gets out of the old software and into the new one the better off the town will be.  He said Mrs. Tierney is up to the challenge.  Once that happens, it should free up Mrs. Tierney’s time so she will have more time for reconciling School Department accounts, talking with each other, and taking the time to be on the same page.  He mentioned the town and school were making progress with cash reconciliations and finding commonalities, but the town needs to continue to progress and needs to make sure we continue to progress.  He said the great news is that we see a lot of progress, but still housekeeping is needed overall, but great news.  He said Lisbon received the highest opinion RHR Smith can offer and that Lisbon should carry on.        

 

Councilor Ward said he appreciated all the hard work on both sides, both town and school and commended the auditors for getting the report to the town in this timeframe so both the town and school can enter into the budget season in a much better position when preparing budgets.  He mentioned this will be the second year having a Finance Committee.  He pointed out there were a lot of positive things to build upon, within the last year.  Mr. Smith encouraged the Council to look at the Capital Plan and to move money in that direction.    

 

 

BROWNFIELDS GRANT

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INTRODUCTION:  Mr. Richardson reported the town had successfully closed out the town’s 2016 Brownfield Assessment Grant in partnership with the program consultant, TRC.  In 2016, the Town was awarded $200,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The town’s Brownfield Assessment Grant provided funding to support redevelopment of commercial properties throughout the town through a range of planning activities and site assessments. The grant supported assessments of six properties, leading to expanded reuse options for property owners (Rusty Lantern and Worumbo) and the successful redevelopment of underutilized sites in Lisbon.  The grant-funded projects include:

 

6 Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) – average cost between $3,000 and $6,000,    depending on size of parcel.

 

4 Phase II ESAs/Supplemental Phase II ESAs/HBMS’s – costs depend on scale of effort, but ranged from $20,000 to $45,000 each.

 

1 VRAP project – cost ~$4,000.

 

Mr. Richardson indicated building upon that success, he and town staff were seeking Council approval to work with TRC to submit another application to the EPA for an additional Brownfield Assessment Grant Funding amount.  TRC offered to develop the proposal with minimal town staff support and this proposal is due December 1, 2021.  Should the EPA fund a second grant for Lisbon, the town would be required to carry out a bid process to select a consultant, even though TRC provided assistance with the proposal.

 

VOTE (2021-231) Councilor Albert, seconded by Councilor Kolbe moved to authorize the Town Manager to submit an application to EPA for an additional $200,000 in Brownfield Assessment Funding to support ongoing economic and community development in Lisbon.  Order passed – Vote 6-0.

 

EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION STUDY

 

INTRODUCTION:  Mrs. Barnes reported the Town of Lisbon recently requested proposals from qualified professional personnel management consulting firms to conduct a Salary Market Analysis and a Classification and Compensation Study for non-union and union positions.  The purpose of the project is to review the current salary market in comparison to the Town of Lisbon and to review existing classification/compensation plans and make recommendations for ensuring that these positions are internally equitable and externally competitive.

 

Mrs. Barnes explained compensation studies analyze our current practices and determine if they are competitive for our industry and geographic location.  Employee satisfaction and retention is important to an organization.  We want to make sure that the employees have the knowledge and skills to help them succeed.  The requests for proposals went to the following:

 

Municipal Resources, Inc. Plymouth, NH

HR Maine Consulting Yarmouth, ME

Career Management Associates Scarborough, ME

 

Bids were received from the following:

 

Municipal Resources, Inc. $32,100.00

Career Management Associates  $19,355.00

 

COUNCILOR COMMENTS:  Councilor Ward thanked all of the staff that participated in Mr. Tiner’s workplace climate study. He said the Council heard those comments and what staff had to say.  He said this the first item on the list to address as those items get carried forward.  Keeping staff is a priority.  Councilor Albert said this is the right time to do this study.  The biggest challenge is keeping seasoned staff.  Mrs. Barnes said a lot of other companies are doing the same thing for the same reasons.

 

VOTE (2021-232) Councilor Ward, seconded by Councilor Albert moved to award the bid to Career Management Associates in an amount not to exceed $19,355.00.  Order passed – Vote 6-0.

 

TURN OUT GEAR PURCHASE

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INTRODUCTION:  The Fire Chief is requesting permission to use Bergeron Protective Clothing as the sole source provider for the Fire Department turnout gear.  Bergeron Protective Clothing is the dealer of Globe Firefighting Garments for Maine and New Hampshire.  The Fire Department went to Globe three years ago after reassessing our options in the market.  Globe is the oldest manufacturer of firefighting garments in the country, they are located in New Hampshire, and are used by several Maine departments including Lewiston, Auburn, Portland, Bangor, Topsham, and Brunswick.  He said once the garment is chosen the town only has one choice for a vendor.  Staying with one brand of garment ensures that the town has continuity in gear purchased.  The State of Maine requires that all firefighting equipment meets the NFPA standards.  Firefighting garments are rated and certified as an ensemble.  Meaning that mixing different brands of gear places the firefighter into a non-certified ensemble.  Doing so opens the town up for potential liability if a firefighter were ever injured. These garments get damaged, wear out, and need to be replaced on a regular basis. 

 

Chief LeClair said the current quote is 10% higher than last year.  2020 prices per set were $2,468.92 and this year its $2,742.94 per set. This is due to an increase from the manufacturer for the flame retardant chemical that all gear manufacturers use.  However, the quoted amount is still in line with what was budgeted for the five sets needing to be replaced. 

 

VOTE (2021-233) Councilor Albert, seconded by Councilor Kolbe moved to approve purchasing Fire Department Turnout gear from a single source, Bergeron Protective Clothing.  Order passed – Vote 6-0. 

 

 

REQUEST TO AUCTION OLD EQUIPMENT

& GRANITE CURBING

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INTRODUCTION:  Randy Cyr requested Council approve sending one vehicle from the Recreation Department, two vehicles from the Public Works Department, one large lot of granite curbing, and one generator from Police Department to Auctions International to sell.  Mr. Cyr said these vehicles and generator are non-operational and dead.  The granite curbing is from jobs going back several decades that is not being used and taking up too much space in the Public Works Yard. 

 

COUNCILOR COMMENTS:  Councilor Ward said he appreciated Mr. Cyr taking the lead on cleaning up the yard.  It’s a win-win situation.  Mr. Cyr said he was surprised by the amount the town received for the last items sent to auction and indicated auctions bring typically higher amounts than the town can do on its own.  These items should be gone before the snow arrives.    

 

VOTE (2021-234) Councilor Albert, seconded by Councilor Fellows moved to approve sending the 2002 GMC from the Recreation Department, the 2004 Ford F250 and 1999 NAVI truck from Public Works, granite curbing, and the G100F1 generator from the Police Department to Auctions International to sell.   Order passed - Vote 6-0.

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

A.     COUNCIL COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

1.School: Councilor Albert indicated he had nothing new to report.  

 

2.Planning:  Councilor Fellows said the Planning Board received a new application for a subdivision.

 

3.LDC: Councilor Fellows said LDC is working on promotional banners and deciding on what information and pictures to put on them.

 

4.      Conservation Commission:  Councilor Ward reported the Conservation Commission meeting was cancelled.

 

5.Recreation:  Councilor Albert reported a massive number of individuals attended the Soccer tournament and teams were rocking.

 

6.County Budget:  Councilor Ward said the Androscoggin County Committee Budget meeting is tomorrow night and the final amount has not yet been decided.  They tabled action on the budget to obtain answers to a few more questions.

 

7.Library: Councilor Lunt said he had nothing new to report.

 

8.Water Commission: Councilor Fellows said Arthur McLean is the new Chairman for the Water Commission.  They recently adopted their 2022 calendar year budget.  He mentioned the corrosion control project that may be starting around the first of the year. They are still waiting for tanks that should be delivered soon.

 

9.Finance Committee: Councilor Albert reported the Finance Committee will be gearing up at their next meeting for the budget season.

 

B.      TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

 

Mrs. Barnes reported the town is working on and should be delivering Thanksgiving Baskets on Monday.  She mentioned the town is accepting applications for the Giving Tree at this time.  The Route 125 project went out to bid today.  She said it should be about a month before those estimates would be back.

 

C.      Department head written reports

 

TRAFFIC LIGHT AT PEPPERMINT CORNER

(Route 196 & Littlefield Road)

 

Councilor Lunt requested the Town Manager reach out to MDOT regarding signage and a flashing light at the intersection of Route 196 and the Littlefield Road, along with lengthening the turning lane by the Post Office and Lisbon Credit Union.  Councilor Kolbe said her husband drives a big truck and often enters and exits by Dingley Press, which is by the intersection of Littlefield Road and Route 196, and that he often complains about how many close calls and the degree of restricted visibility truck drivers experience when turning onto Route 196.  She said there have been at least 3 or 4 deaths at the intersection at Peppermint Corner. 

 

TURNING LANE NEAR LISBON POST OFFICE AND LISBON CREDIT UNION

 

Councilor Fellows explained that the turning lane is not long enough near the Lisbon Post Office and Lisbon Credit Union.  He said more room is needed to prepare for turning and, also, getting out onto Route 196 on the Credit Union end.  Councilor Albert agreed, and said making the call would be a great first step. 

 

PUBLIC PARKING LOT AND TRAIL HEAD SIGNS

 

Councilor Lunt reported there are still no signs indicating the trail head off Capital Avenue.  He requested signs at the corner of Capital Avenue and Route 196, along with signs indicating the public parking lot for the trail head off Capital Avenue. 

 

MILLER TRAIL – EROSION CONTROL PROJECT

 

Councilor Ward thanked the Public Works crew for doing such a great job with erosion control on the Miller Trail.  It looked awesome.          

 

APPOINTMENTS

 

LDC & Appeals board

 

VOTE (2021-235) Councilor Ward, seconded by Councilor Albert moved to accept the resignation from Christopher Rugullies on the Board of Appeals, to appoint Noly Lopez to the Appeals Board, to accept the resignation from Dean Willey on the Lisbon Development Committee, and to appoint Jo-Jean Keller to the Lisbon Development Committee as an Associate Member to 2023.  Order passed – Vote 6-0.

 

 

ANNOUNCment of ETHICS PANEL APPOINTMENT

BY SCHOOL COMMITTEE

 

The Chairman announced the School Committee appointment Leonard Lednum, a Regular Member to the Ethics Panel Monday, November 8, 2021.

 

COUNCILOR COMMUNICATIONS

 

Councilor Albert said thank you one and all for the privilege to work for this community.  I understand better and appreciate more how hard staff, committee members, and volunteers work.  He said, thank you for all I have learned from each of you.  Although we may not all share the same opinions, we did have fun.  He thanked his wife and children for their sacrifice and patience when he wasn’t home because he was attending meetings. 

 

Councilor Fellows recognized Councilors Albert, Kolbe, and Ward for their commitment over the past six years serving the citizens of Lisbon during some very difficult and not so difficult times at when there were disputes or opinions going back and forth on different topics, it was still a job well done.  He presented each Councilor with an engraved Portfolio on behalf of the town to show our appreciation for their time and contribution. 

 

Councilor Ward said six years ago when first elected he was prepared to be very vocal and in the minority, however within the first month that played out very differently.  All were on board with thinking we can do a better job with our schools and the infrastructure.  He said he would do the same thing again and not change our course. 

 

Mrs. Barnes said it has been a great six-years, that this Council has moved Lisbon forward into a good position, and wished each Councilor the very best.           

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION & RESPONSE FOR NEW ITEMS

 

Greg Mann said it is very sad to have to say that so many individuals have to die before a change gets made to make our roads safer.  He acknowledged that it is even said to know that postal workers have to hear these collisions and come to help.  Councilor Albert thanked Mr. Mann for bringing this issue forward and indicated he should call the Lisbon Police Chief if speed is an issue, and mentioned that Public Works can cut down those limbs to unblock the sign.     

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

VOTE (2021-240) Councilor Fellows, seconded by Councilor Kolbe moved to go into Executive Session at 8:03 PM per 1 MRSA Section 405(6) (A) Personnel Matters.  Order passed – Vote 6-0.

 

The Council came out of executive session at 8:18 PM and the meeting resumed.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

VOTE (2021-241) Councilor Kolbe, seconded by Councilor Garrison moved to adjourn at 8:18 PM.  Order passed - Vote 6-0.

 

 

 

__________________________________

Twila D. Lycette, Council Secretary

Town Clerk, Lifetime CCM/MMC

Date Approved: December 7, 2021

 

 

 

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