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Council Minutes 12/3/2001
PRESENT:        Chairman Hathaway, Councilor Cheney, Councilor Michaels, Councilor Friedman and Councilor Kelly, Town Manager B. Reed, CEO A. Thomas, Police Chief M. Leonard, Fire Chief G. Martin and Assistant Clerk K. Gifford
        
ITEM 1. The December 3, 2001 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00 PM.

ITEM 2. Consideration of minutes: Motion: Councilor Friedman to accept November 19, 2001 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Michaels,       Vote 5-0 in favor

ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda:  Councilor Friedman asked that the idea of creating a public safety director position be revisited.  It was added under New Business as Item 6b.  Manager Reed asked to add Police Chief Mark Leonard and Fire Chief Gerry Martin to the agenda to explain the events that occurred over the weekend at Duke Energy.  This item was added under the Managers Report.  Chairman Hathaway asked to add a discussion on the Comprehensive Plan to talk about scheduling some neighborhood meetings.  This item was added under New Business as Item 6c.  Manager Reed also asked to add a discussion on Holiday issues.  This item was added under New Business as Item 6d.  Police Chief  Mark Leonard asked to be added to the agenda so he could update the Council on the activity of the Police Department.  This was added under the Managers Report.  

ITEM 4. Public Comments: There were no comments from the public.

ITEM 5a.        Update on GIS System:  CEO Thomas stated that the second phase of the project is being incorporated.  This involves taking the digital data Sewell has provided along with the information from the Comprehensive Plan and incorporating it into the GIS System.  This includes aerial and topographical maps, property lines, etc.  CEO Thomas stated that in the future hopefully it  is going to make it possible for the clerks to register snowmobiles, cars, trailers, etc., by simply clicking on their house.  This will be done by linking the GIS System to TRIO, the Towns electronic database.  Manager Reed also added that there will be a DVD or CD with all this information on it in the future.  This will allow police officers and fire fighters who have laptops in their vehicles to obtain route maps or click on a house and find out who owns it and all the information pertaining to it.  CEO Thomas stated he would also like to transition the tax database toward the mapping so you can click on a house and see what the taxes and valuation are.  

Councilor Cheney asked if this was something other towns were doing or is this type of thing unique.  CEO Thomas stated that other towns are trying it also.  Manager Reed stated that Sewell had thought of featuring the Town in a showcase to show what small towns can do on a tight  budget.  Chairman Hathaway inquired about what type of things it can be used for.  CEO Thomas stated that it can be used for code issues, encroachment and property issues.  You will be able to see where hydrants, telephone poles and culverts are.  You will be able to see where sewer lines, boundaries, property lines and easements are as well.  CEO Thomas stated that this is a system that the Police Department, Fire Department, Town Office and the Planning Board can all utilize.  Chairman Hathaway stated that the system will help the Town in the planning division when deciding on subdivisions and such.  CEO Thomas invited the Council members to his office after the meeting to show them how the system worked.  CEO Thomas discussed possibly getting a projector in the future to be able to show things to the public and the Council.  

        
ITEM 6a.        Municipal Release:

Manager Reed asked for a motion to be able to sell a mobile home that the Town tax acquired.  Councilor Cheney asked Manager Reed what the history of the trailer was.  Manager Reed stated that the trailer had been abandoned and Cindy Wilcox had taken it over and wanted to bring it up to code and give it a clean slate.  On August 24, 2001 Cindy Wilcox came in and paid the taxes that were still remaining due.  Manager Reed stated that this is the third or fourth trailer that she has cleaned up.  Councilor Cheney asked if the Town actually owned it.  Manager Reed stated that the mobile home itself was tax acquired not the property and the Town doesnt really take possession of the trailer because we would have to go in and remove the trailer from the park.  Chairman Hathaway wanted to clarify what the $1,317.07 included.  Manager Reed stated that it included interest, fees and all true costs.  Essentially it is the total of all back taxes and fees paid up.  

Motion By:  Councilor Michaelsto authorize the Town Manager to sell the 1987 mobile home that was tax acquired, as is, where is with no warrantees, to person in possession Cynthia Wilcox in consideration of all taxes paid.  Seconded:  Councilor Cheney, Voted 5-0 in favor
 
        
ITEM 6b.        Public Safety Director:

Councilor Friedman stated that in light of September 11ths events that we seriously consider implementing the position Public Safety Director.  Councilor Friedman stated that the Town needs to insure that our community is safe.  Councilor Friedman stated that when you look around Veazie there are four potential targets, Duke Energy, Bangor Gas Company, Bangor Hydro and the dam.  Councilor Friedman asked that Manager Reed research old files and create a job description for a Public Safety Director and a flow chart of the new department and how that department would operate.  Councilor Friedman stated he would like to see the Police Department, the Fire Department, Animal Control and the Veazie Emergency Management Department all under the umbrella of one position.  This being the position of Public Safety Director.  Councilor Friedman wanted to clarify that he wanted to look at the position not personalities.  Councilor Friedman stated that it would help the Council to deal with one person as a public safety director that would plan and present a budget to the Council and would be easier for the Council to follow.  Councilor Friedman stated he would like a time frame for this.  He would like to have Bill report back to the Council on December 17th with the job description and flow chart.  If it is favorable to create this position Councilor Friedman would like to have the person in place by the middle or end of January 2002.  

Councilor Cheney stated that with Eastern Maine Medical Center at one end of the Town and the University of Maine at the other end it certainly made sense.  Chairman Hathaway stated that from an administrative perspective it has a lot of merit being able to have someone here for personnel issues, budgetary issues and to just have someone here full time.  Chairman Hathaway stated perhaps part of Manager Reeds research could include looking at surrounding communities who have implemented a position like this.  
        
        Police Chief Mark Leonard stated he thinks it is a very good idea and will assist Manager Reed in any way.
        Chairman Hathaway stated that the Police Department and Fire Department could be bigger, better and stronger under the leadership of one individual to coordinate all public safety activities.  Councilor Cheney inquired about who coordinated the disaster issues during the ice storm of 1998.  Manager Reed stated it was a hodgepodge of people.  Manager Reed stated that it went great but it could have been better perhaps under the supervision of a Director of Public Safety.

Motion By:  Councilor Friedmanfor Manager Reed to explore the position of Public Safety Director by creating a job description and flow chart.  Seconded:  Chairman Hathaway, Voted 5-0 in favor  

ITEM 6c.        Comprehensive Plan:

Chairman Hathaway stated that he would like to try and schedule a meeting where the Council and the neighborhoods of Ridgeview and Oak Ridge could discuss the issues at hand.  Chairman Hathaway stated that these are the two neighborhoods which are most vulnerable to significant growth and that by bringing them in the Council can help them understand what the Council and the Town are trying to do to protect the integrity of Veazie neighborhoods.  Chairman Hathaway explained that this will help prevent confusion and rumors and the public will know first hand what steps the Council is taking to protect them from public growth.  Chairman Hathaway thinks that a meeting recapping where the Council is and where they are going with things will help get some constructive input from neighbors who could be possibly effected by future developments.  Chairman Hathaway stated that where as Tracey Paul was nice enough to come in and address these issues, the Council should return the gesture and invite them in to discuss what is being done to protect their investments.  

Councilor Michaels would like to see a GIS presentation where a screen could be put up and show all of the proposals and you can take a pointer and say this is what we are looking at.  This way questions can come in and be addressed.

ITEM 6d.        Meeting Schedule:

Manager Reed stated that the School Board wanted to know if they could have a joint meeting January 14, 2002 with the Town Council to discuss school funding and what the Town Council will support.  Manager Reed stated this is something Tom Perry requested.  Manager Reed also asked if the Council planned on having a Council meeting December 31, 2001.  Chairman Hathaway stated that the meeting planned for December 31, 2001 is now canceled.  Manager Reed also inquired about the hours of the Town office on December 24, 2001 and December 31, 2001.  It was determined that the Town office would be open until noon on both days.   

        Councilor Cheney stated that the January 14, 2002 joint meeting between the Council and the School Board is a nice gesture and that the Council should respond and go to one of their meetings in February.  Chairman Hathaway stated that he wants the Council and the School Board to act as one and maximize their position and do what is good for the Town and the School Department.  The Council plans on meeting February 5, 2002 at the school with the School Board.
        
 
ITEM 7. Managers Report:

Manager Reed stated he would like to let the Police Chief and the Fire Chief outline the events of the weekend.  Police Chief Mark Leonard stated that on Saturday, December 1st, at approximately 6:55 AM, a supervisor was entering work at Duke Energy and found a package. The package was deemed suspicious due to the location in which it was found, the markings on the package and the current events in the world.  One of the problems that day was that usually there are five workers at the gas plant, but this was the initial day of their maintenance program and there were some 200 construction workers on the site.  

Police Chief Mark Leonard stated that the plant personnel did an excellent job, they activated the fire alarm and escorted the construction workers out of the plant.  He also stated that the bomb squad from Bangor was called.  The man who dropped off the package was contacted and it was determined that he had indeed dropped it off.  Police Chief Mark Leonard stated that he wasnt the normal delivery driver and just thought he was leaving it in a convenient place.  He arrived at the scene and identified the package.  

Chairman Hathaway wanted to know how many people responded to the scene.  Fire Chief Gerry Martin stated that approximately 19 fire fighters responded.  Police Chief Mark Leonard stated there were approximately 12 police personnel that responded.  He also stated that Oronos Hazardous Materials Team, Fire Department and Police Department also responded.  

Councilor Cheney asked if there was a resident evacuation.  Police Chief Mark Leonard stated that there were only roads blocked off around the area.  

Councilor Friedman stated he would like to direct the Chiefs and the Town  to send a letter of recognition on behalf of the Council and Town to those who responded to the incident.  Councilor Friedman also wanted to know whether the Veazie Fire Department has participated in the Emergency Response to Terrorism training that Police Chief Mark Leonard teaches state wide.  Police Chief Mark Leonard stated that only the Fire Chief had.  

Chairman Hathaway asked if anything significant happened during the event, for example someone falling down.  Police Chief Mark Leonard stated that nothing like that happened.  Chairman Hathaway also inquired about how the 200 people were accounted for.  Police Chief Mark Leonard stated that there was a checklist at the gate so they knew roughly how many people had come and gone.  He also stated that a secondary sweep was made by the Police and Fire Department to check for secondary devices and for any remaining people.    

        Police Chief Mark Leonard also wanted to bring the Council up to date on the current activities of the Police Department.  He stated that they have acquired a grant for three laptops for the cruisers, one of which will be for the Fire Department as well.  Police Chief Mark Leonard stated they are rugged computers, water repellent and drop resistant.  

Another item that was acquired through a grant was an in-car camera, so the Police Department now has two.  Police Chief Mark Leonard also stated that as the Council is aware the Police Department does school crossings in the morning and officers are noticing individuals running the red light at the intersection of Chase Rd. and School St.  He stated that the camera will catch the license plate and the driver will be sent a warning.

Councilor Kelly stated that the light at the intersection is not working correctly.  Councilor Michaels was in agreement and thought that at night the lights should flash when there isnt any traffic.  Manager Reed stated the police have contacted Bangor Electrical to have it checked out a couple times.  Councilor Friedman would like the Town to contact the people who sold the light to the Town and have them come fix it.  Manager Reed outlined that the State dictates how the light functions.  Manager Reed explained that the State wants State Street moving smoothly where it has 8000-9000 trips a day and School Street  has 2500 a day.   Manager Reed noted that this is only at peak times of the day so on the off peak times it doesnt seem to have good time slotting.  Councilor Friedman stated that people are getting impatient waiting for a green light so they are just running it.  Councilor Friedman also added that because of this the Town could have a real problem so the Town needs to do something soon to resolve the issue.


ITEM 8. Requests for Information/Council Comments:
        
        Councilor Kelly had a question about the Sewer District report.  He noticed the account information was cut off and only the dollar amounts were showing.  The Council requested another copy of the report.

        Chairman Hathaway asked that Manager Reed recap on a discussion he had with the Sewer District Superintendent pertaining to joint issues.  Manager Reed stated he is going to form together a letter that talks about in terms of economic development that the Town might want to buy service capacity that it can reserve for industrial business or commercial development in the future.  The Council endorsed the concept of the proposal.

Councilor Friedman would like to invite the Sewer District up to a future meeting to discuss the issues at hand.  The Council would like to schedule this meeting for the end of February.  The Council would like to see that a proposal be sent to the district in January.  

        Councilor Michaels wanted to mention the water quality in Veazie.  Councilor Michaels wanted to point out that the water quality has been very clean lately, compared to the past.  Manager Reed stated that at certain times of the year the water quality changes, he thought it might have something to do with the University of Maine starting back up after breaks.  Councilor Michaels pointed out that water quality affects property value in Veazie.  

        Councilor Cheney had a couple questions about the trail head that runs from the new school to the old school.  She wanted to know who designed it and who approved it.  Councilor Cheney thought it was a very nice gesture but the ramp could have been extended instead of putting the stairs there.  

        Chairman Hathaway mentioned scheduling a future meeting to review code enforcement actions, infractions and updates.  Chairman Hathaway stated that CEO Thomas is supported and wanted to make sure that he is enforcing codes aggressively and appropriately.

        Chairman Hathaway also wanted to point out that in this months edition of the Maine Townsman there was an article about controlling speed limits in your city or town.  Chairman Hathaway stated that with the help of engineers the Town can set speed limits here in Veazie.  Councilor Friedman pointed out that School Street and Chase Road are State aid roads therefore the Town can not change those.

ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 12 & 12A, Town Payroll Warrant 12, School Warrant 10, School Payroll Warrant 10, and School Lunch Warrant 10, were circulated and signed.
  
ITEM 10.        Adjournment: Motion By: Councilor Friedmanto adjourn December 3, 2001, Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Cheney there was no further discussion.  Voted 5-0 Meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted,



Karen Gifford
Assistant Clerk


 

Town Office: 1084 Main Street, Veazie, ME 04401
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