The Board of Selectmen hosted a Public Workshop with Code Enforcement Officer Bailey Beers on proposed changes to Chapter 38 which is Rangeley’s Zoning Ordinance on September 20th.  The proposed changes will impact Shoreland Zoning Regulations, Lighting, Signs, the Conditional Use Permit process, Zoning Board of Appeals and the Land Use Tables.  Due to the volume of material to be reviewed the Selectmen opted to offer three two hour Public Workshops starting Tuesday, October 19th from 6:00 to 8:00pm.  The other two workshops are scheduled for Monday, November 22, 2021 and Monday, December 13, 2021 both run from 6:00 to 8:00pm.  All property and business owners are encouraged to make an effort to inform themselves about how any changes will affect how they are allowed to use their property or conduct their business.  A copy of Chapter 38 including the changes is available for public viewing at the Town Office. The Town Office is working to place a copy on the Town’s website.

The Public Hearing to discuss a dangerous building located at 124 Carry Road in Oquossoc was cancelled because a landowner response verifying notification had not been received by the Town.

The Board of Selectmen voted to adopt the State’s amended General Assistance Ordinance along with it’s appendices.  This ordinance is set to be official as of October 1, 2021.

A contract extension was granted for the completion date on the Loon Lake Road Project. The time extension became necessary when the Selectmen approved delaying the application of the top layer of pavement until next spring.

The Selectmen, Town Manager and the Town’s Human Resource Consultant Annalee Rosenblatt discussed a proposed list of towns to be included in a salary survey.  A salary survey is used to compare non union employee wages among towns with similar characteristics.  Part of the discussion revolved around just how similar to Rangeley some of the towns on the list were.  It was decided to have the Town Manager and Human Resource Consultant create a list of criteria useful in evaluating other towns on the list to minimize substantial differences.

In 2019, prior to the hiring of the present Town Manager, the Town allocated money for a salary survey but did not initiate the process.  The money was then authorized to be used for non union employee pay raises for 2020.  Correspondence received by the Selectmen in July 2021 sought answers to questions that resulted from this past spring’s budget process.

One question was why the Finance Director’s 2020 pay raise came out of the Airport Budget since she no longer had any affiliation with that department.  The answer was that the Town’s payroll software displays all departments an employee has been paid out of in the past and the pay raise money was put into and taken out of the wrong account accidentally.

The other main question brought up in the correspondence had to do with the Fire Chief’s 2020 pay raise.  During the budget process for 2020 the Selectmen and Budget Committee publicly discussed and publicly voted to approve a 2% pay raise for the Fire Chief which was the same increase as other non union employees. The Warrant Article for the Fire Department which was approved at Town Meeting contained an approximate 28% raise for the Fire Chief.  This raise had not been publicly discussed or publicly voted on by the Selectmen and Budget Committee.  The Selectmen were asked to look into this situation to see how it happened and then prevent it from happening again.

The deadline for the final withdrawal of funds from the Road Loan is September 27, 2021. The Selectmen authorized the Town Manager to withdraw the final $2,150,000.00 available from the Road Loan.

The Selectmen reviewed the Town Manager’s request for proposals (RFP) for legal services. The RFP is seeking qualified applicants to serve as the Town’s attorney on a contractual basis. The Town Manager has the authority to issue RFPs and received no feedback on his proposal from the Selectmen.

Face coverings were briefly discussed and the Selectmen endorsed a personal preference policy.

Fire Chief Bacon applied for a Maine Municipal Association Safety Grant to obtain four bullet proof vests.  The Town applied for a Maine Municipal Association Risk Reduction Grant to improve the handrails at the entrance to the Town Office.

A ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate upgrades to the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway is scheduled for October 6th at 4:00pm.  This ceremony will be held at the new Sandy River Scenic Turnout located in Madrid adjacent to the one lane bridge at the northern end of the Reeds Mills Road and Route 4.

The Town Office will be closed on Friday, October 1st so that staff may attend the Maine Municipal Association’s Annual Convention.

The next Board of Selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 4, 2021 at 6:00pm.

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