LINCOLNVILLE — At the March 13 meeting of the Select Board, a pair of draft charges for two committees were approved, the board continued its review of the budget before sending it back to the Budget Committee, and a challenger emerged in the race for a pair of Select Board seats.
Jean Botley addressed the board during the opening public comment portion of the meeting.
“I would like to officially announce that I have turned in my papers successfully,” Botley told the board. “I am currently going to be running for Select Board. I’m looking forward to speaking with the community and I’m looking forward to giving back.”
The seats of current Select Board members Mike Ray and Josh Gerritsen will be up for election in June. At present, Botley is the only candidate to turn in nomination papers with the required number of signatures. Mike Ray and Robyn Tarrantino have also taken out nomination papers, but have yet to return them. The deadline for submitting nomination papers is April 14 at 4:30 p.m. Nomination papers are available in the Town Office and must be returned with the signatures of 25 Lincolnville voters.
At the outset of the meeting, the board approved a draft charge for the Digital Equity and Digital Inclusion Committee. Gerritsen explained the difference between this committee and the former Lincolnville Broadband committee.
“Back in December the Broadband Committee completed its work,” he said. “We came out with a plan which included the digital equity and digital inclusion committee, who will actually implement that plan.
Membership on this committee will include up to eight residents and one or two members of the Select Board. Residents should have an interest in the purpose of the committee and be appointed by the Select Board.
The board also approved a supplemental charge instructing the Wage and Personnel Policy board to review the compensation currently offered to the fire chief, deputy and assistant fire chiefs, inland harbor master, animal control officer, emergency management director and code enforcement officer.
The board accepted the resignation of Inland Harbor Master Justin Twitchell.
“It’s with huge regret,” said board member Keryn Laite. “It’s one of those situations where you don’t need him until you need him. It’s been great having him there.”
The board discussed a communication received from the Sewer District. Lincolnville has offered to purchase property owned by the Sewer District and made several attempts to contact the district regarding the purchase. Sewer District communication to the board indicates they would be interested in leasing the property.
Board Chair Ladleah Dunn said the next step should be to get together with a representative of the Sewer District. Dunn asked Town Administrator David Kinney if a meeting with the town attorney should precede a sit-down with the district.
“It makes perfect sense that the board understand what it’s trying to accomplish, and the ways to do that,” Kinney said. “That way you can all be on the same page when you sit down with (the Sewer District representative), particularly since they are offering something different than the board wanted initially.”
Purchasing the property is a critical piece of improving the boat ramp at the harbor, which has a shallow pitch that could be greatly improved if the town owned the property.
In other business, the board made several minor adjustments to the draft of the FY 24 budget received from the Budget Committee.
The board added $1,000 to the Fire Department budget to ensure the department’s conversion to fiber can be completed.
“I think it’s important that our communications be up to speed,” Laite said.
A $1,500 funding request for Habitat for Humanity was cut. In the past, Lincolnville had given a parcel of tax-acquired property to the organization. The land came with no clear title and was returned to the town.
“We give them a piece of land and they gave it back,” Laite said, “and now they’re asking us for money?”
Board members determined that no Habitat projects were occurring in Lincolnville, with none on the horizon, and eliminated the request.
“If you’re asking our taxpayers to pull money out of their pockets,” Dunn said, “there needs to be some investment in our community.”
Following the adjustments, Dunn noted the Lincolnville FY 24 budget would not include any frills.
“With a straight face I don’t see any room in this budget,” Dunn said. “I am resolved to the numbers we will be putting forth to the taxpayers.”
The next meeting of the Lincolnville Select Board will be March 27.