Lamoine OKs all items during town meeting

LAMOINE — Town residents approved a $994,603 municipal budget swiftly on March 7, green-lighting the purchase of a new fire truck.

The total expenditures will be offset by a $659,550 revenue budget. The net burden for taxpayers will be about $335,000.

The revenue will be generated for the town through road funding, recreation fees, code enforcement officer fees and animal control.

During the annual town meeting, in keeping with the firefighting theme, town officials presented the Lamoine Volunteer Fire Department with the Citizen of the Year award. The group responded to a record number of calls in 2017, officials told the residents.

Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Jo Cooper said the department’s “dedication and selflessness is truly appreciated by a grateful community.”

The Board of Selectmen also honored Deputy Town Clerk Stu Marckoon with a plaque and a gift certificate for the Lamoine Marketplace, where he buys coffee. The award for Marckoon was in recognition of 25 years that he’s been working for the town.

“This person is probably the one person who would personify Mr. Lamoine,” Cooper said before announcing the award.

Upon accepting the plaque, Marckoon led the room in a sing-along of “Happy Birthday” for his wife, who was in the audience.

Residents gathered at the Lamoine Consolidated School to discuss various town warrant items, all of which were approved quickly. The meeting was finished well before a snowstorm blanketed the area.

When the fire truck came up for discussion, Fire Chief George Smith told audience members that the reason for the purchase was “a reason of safety.”

The old truck will be sold by the department. The one officials plan to buy has a ladder and only 13,000 miles on it. The purchase will cost the town $98,000.

There also was some discussion of the amount town officials plan to spend on waste management. At one point, Marckoon got up to tell the crowd that Lamoine’s recycling center will be “zero sort” in the future, meaning it will be more efficient. This is because the town will be sending its recycling to ecomaine, a nonprofit based out of Portland, instead of the Orrington-based Penobscot Energy Recovery Co.

When a resident asked Marckoon whether the new contract will cost the town more money, he said it did mean a slightly increased cost. The selectmen chose it because they felt ecomaine offered important services.

“Recycling is a money-losing project,” Marckoon said, “but in the estimation of the board, it’s necessary.”

Jack Dodson
Jack Dodson has worked for The Ellsworth American since mid-2017, and covers eastern Hancock and western Washington counties. He grew up in the Mid-coast region before living in New York City for five years, where he freelanced in documentary filmmaking and journalism. He is particularly interested in criminal justice, environment and immigration reporting.