July 25, 2011

Town of Cranberry Isles
Municipal Advisory Commission
Meeting Minutes
Islesford Neighborhood House
Saturday July 25, 2011

Ron Axelrod, Chairman, Jim Fortune, BOS Administrative Assistant, Katelyn Damon, Cory Duggan, Selectmen Phil Whitney

Malcolm Donald, Karin Whitney, Courtney Chaplin

Others in Attendance: Blair Colby

Call To Order: 8:45 A.M.

Reviewed Agenda:
Ron Axelrod reviewed the meeting agenda. The Town Office Study was the first item followed by the snow plowing discussion to accommodate those in attendance.

Reviewed the Minutes of the June 11, 2011 MAC meeting: Cory Duggan made a motion to accept the Minutes of the June 11th meeting as written. Second by Katelyn Damon; unanimously approved.

Town Office Alternatives Study and Public Hearing: A draft of a warrant article for the special town meeting was done. The wording of the warrant article would need to be similar to the one that was proposed at the annual town meeting in March with a total cost including interest of approximately $200,000. At the July 15th public hearing the MAC presented two alternatives that involve new construction or renovations. The study focused on two alternatives: 1). Construct a 550 sq. ft. addition at the new fire station on Maple Avenue (the Selectmen would recommend increasing this to 750 sq. ft.); 2). Renovate the old fire house on Islesford, which has 630 sq. ft.

A third alternative is to enter into a long-term lease at the current Town House location on Islesford. The owner does not want to sell the property, but would agree to a 5-year lease (with options to renew). A fourth option to co-locate with the school at Longfellow School on Great Cranberry is possible but it was deemed less viable than the other options as there is an on-going renovation project at Longfellow, and the intended primary use is for an elementary school.

Another option has been raised by others at a meeting of the Neighborhood House Board of Directors earlier in July, and was raised again at the MAC public hearing on July 15th. This option would have the Neighborhood House construct a 450 sq. ft. town office addition to the Neighborhood House as part of its project to renovate and update the existing building. The Town would not build the addition; the Neighborhood House would build it and rent or lease it to the Town similar to what they do currently at the offices in the Town House.

The July 29, 2011 Recommendation to the BOS summarizes MAC’s understanding, approach and recommendations on the New Town Office.

Motion by Ron Axelrod to recommend deferring a vote on a new town office until annual March 2012 town meeting, with the possibility of exploring the potential of adding the Neighborhood House as a possible option. Second by Jeff Berzinis.

Vote: 3 to 1 in favor of the recommendation

TCI Municipal Liaison to Town of Southwest Harbor and Town of Mount Desert: Malcolm Donald was not present for the meeting. This item will appear on next months agenda.

GCI Snow Plowing Contract: The Board of Selectmen asked the MAC to analyze snow plowing costs and look at options for snow plowing on GCI. Information comparing snow plowing costs between LCI and GCI was provided that itemizes yearly costs including the purchase of equipment for both islands and depreciation schedule for the equipment. The spreadsheet also compares the contract costs for plowing on GCI for the past three years.

The options discussed by the Selectmen and at previous MAC meetings are:
1. 1 to 3 year contract;
2. LCI model where the Town purchases and owns the equipment and then hires a driver.
3. Offer a lump sum contract that would base the total amount paid on the costs of plowing and the equipment depreciation.

It was suggested that the equipment depreciation should be over a 5 year period rather than 10 years shown on the spreadsheet. This would show the true cost, as the Town will likely be purchasing new equipment every 5 years on average.

The spreadsheet shows that GCI snow plowing would cost about 12% more than LCI due to the fact that there is slightly more length of public roads on GCI. If the depreciation is for a 5 year period, the overall cost for snow plowing on GCI would be$33,981, which represents savings of $16,000-17,000 over a three period.

Blair Colby said that he would agree to do a single year contract for the 011-012 plowing season; he thought that it was already approved at Town meeting in March.

The MAC would like Jim Fortune to work with Cory Duggan, Katelyn Damon and Jeff Berzinis to develop a memo for the Selectmen outlining the options.

The consensus of the MAC is to outline the options and recommend that the GCI snow plowing be done with a fixed price contract that is comparable to LCI, including equipment depreciation costs.

Motion by Ron Axelrod to make a recommendation to the Selectmen to put out to bid a new fixed rate contract for snow plowing on GCI that includes equipment depreciation costs over a 5 year period, and is comparable to the LCI costs for snow plowing. The cost will be somewhat higher for GCI due greater road length. Second by Katelyn Damon.

Vote: The MAC members present vote unanimously to approve the motion.

Jim Fortune will outline in a memo for the Selectmen the options discussed by the MAC and outline the recommendation made by the MAC.

Road Improvement Plan for Little Cranberry: The information provided to the MAC is inadequate for the Commission to have an informed discussion about roads at the July meeting. Jim Fortune will locate the road plan that was done for GCI, which also had recommendations for LCI road improvements. The MAC will do the following for a road improvement plan:
• Update/status for current projects underway in 2011.
• Update on past planning by S.W. Cole (what was rejected by voters and what still needs to be done).
• Update on status of the GCI/LCI road plan by Kleinschmidt.
• Put this on the August MAC meeting agenda for discussion.

The Town is currently in the process of having survey and engineering work done by C.E.S. for Main Street (from barge ramp to Maple Avenue intersection). The purpose is to get a design for road reconstruction and drainage improvements. Last year, C.E.S. completed a design for the Mosswood/Main Street intersection drainage improvements. The Town has only budgeted for the design and survey work this year. Any reconstruction will have to take place in 2012, pending approval at Town Meeting. MAC members noted that road reconstruction will also be needed for approximately 700 LF of Sand Beach Road and a section of Main Street next to the Palmer and Krasnow homes. The FY 2011 budget includes money for routine maintenance only. Jim Fortune will contact CES about provide the plans for the Main Street reconstruction, and the drainage improvements at Mosswood and Main, for the August meeting.

The MAC asked Jim Fortune to contact Bill McGuiness and Sonja Moser about having the shrubs/trees at the intersection of Sand Beach Road and Main Street in front of their house trimmed back in order to improve site distance and visibility at that intersection.

Manset: The MAC and Town would like to update the spreadsheet from 2010 that analyzes the income and expenses for the Manset properties. The MAC would like to show the reserve fund on the spreadsheet so that it shows a true financial picture for the facility. This will be necessary for the Selectmen and Town voters to make informed decisions about Manset. There should also be a list of planned repairs at the facility. The MAC should obtain copies of the loan documents along with the information on the reserve fund.
• Analyze the impact and cost to the Town to maintain the buildings and property. This will include updating the Nov. 2010 MAC spreadsheet and information
• Analyze the need for a year-round dock
• Parking needs
• Maintenance needs (immediate and long-term)
• Tear down buildings or maintain them
• Leases
• Purchase field behind the warehouse building
• Possibly analyze sale of Marsh property (this has been brought up and discussed in previous years)
• Can sale of property go toward reducing the debt on the Manset Property; what are the stipulations of the loan

The MAC discussed the Whittington memo from 2010 concerning the potential for selling the Marsh property. There were some concerns expressed about the value statement at the end and the MAC feels that perhaps the appraisal should be updated.

The issue of a year-round dock at Manset was raised. It was suggested that this is a Harbor Committee responsibility. If TCI is interested in a year-round facility, we should explore the possibility of partnering with Southwest Harbor and the potential for making improvements at the lower Manset Town Dock (Southwest Harbor) and using that facility rather than building a new dock. What would be the justification? Is there more money from the initial grant, or is other grant money available.

We currently have an option to renew the Northeast Harbor parking lot lease for another 10 years after the current lease runs out at the end of 2012. There may not be urgency right now because of this.

Motion by Ron Axelrod to defer to the Harbor Committee and the Board of Selectmen, since the issue of a year-round dock is really a Harbor Committee issue. Second by Cory Duggan.

Vote: Unanimously approved the motion.

Audience Communications:

Adjournment: (11:00 A.M.)