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Council Minutes 6/18/2001

PRESENT:        Chairman Hathaway, Councilor Cheney, Councilor Michaels, Councilor Friedman and Councilor Kelly, Town Manager B. Reed, CEO A. Thomas, Fire Chief Martin and Deputy Clerk J. Reed

Oaths of Office: Roderick Hathaway and Robert Kelly were sworn into office.

Election of Chairperson: Motion: Councilor Friedman--to nominate Councilor Hathaway to be the Chairperson for the Veazie Town Council for fiscal year 2001-2001. Seconded: Councilor Kelly, Vote 4-0-1. Councilor Hathaway abstained.

ITEM 1. The June 18, 2001 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00 PM.

ITEM 2. Consideration of minutes: Motion: Councilor Cheney to accept June 4, 2001 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Kelly, Vote 5-0 in favor

ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda:  There were not any additions made to the agenda.

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

ITEM 5a.        Town Meeting follow-up session: Chairman Hathaway stated he has had complaints about Oakridge Subdivision (Ridgeview Drive) with drainage problems. It appears the crown in the road is causing problems for residents. Manager Reed has discussed this issue briefly with J. Parker about a solution. The road was built in the late eighties. Councilor Michael’s asked if there is any recourse to the developer. Manager Reed stated that this would not happen by today’s standards of subdivision plans but it was done too many years ago. The Town is aware of the problem and has been looking into a solution with the town engineer.

        The questions concerning networking Veazie with Orono and if there would be an addition needed to upgrade in another 5 years.

        There were questions about wage reviews—Councilor Cheney stated that she had been approached by several people about Manager Reed’s wage raises over the past two years. Councilor Friedman stated he had been approached also but he reminded people that when Kempen left he was earning a lot more than what Manager Reed started at. Fire Chief Martin stated that retention is an issue everywhere. Orono lost two teachers to Brewer because of a $7,000-wage difference. The purpose of the wage study was to retain employees. Councilor Friedman stated that many of the people he has spoken with are happy with the way the Town is being run. It was noted that the same people complain every year. It was also noted that certain people may have personal issues in some cases. Councilor Michaels stated that the word needs to get out that the town is being run properly and productively.

        Councilor Kelly mentioned that the school lumps the salaries into one line where the Manager’s salary is separated out and becomes a target.
        Councilor Cheney asked about the issue of the past quote about the mill rate a being 10 mills. Manager Reed researched the history of the Bangor Daily News articles. The articles were written prior to any TIF discussions or agreement. He noted that the article was based on what would it mean if it happened at that very point in time.
        It was discussed that Town Office plans were stretched beyond reality. Councilor Cheney stated that the Police Department is doing a great job. As the Town Meeting was in process the Veazie Police Officers were arresting two fugitives from justice.

        The Council discussed the replacement of the “Welcome to Veazie” signs. It is a budgetary item. The item was an estimate based on four new welcome to Veazie signs.

        There was a comment about Mr. Leonard’s concerns of the ½ million in school budget that the Town’s School Board has no control of and believes the town should contract with one area high school. Councilor Michaels stated that there should be a Veazie High School type Year Book which would include all students in the different schools. Councilor Friedman stated that when he was on the school committee, John Bapst asked the members to attend their meeting and were interested in what people had to say. There was discussion of how Veazie students succeed in many different schools and the school department does a great job preparing them.   
ITEM 6a.        Springfield-Fire Show: Fire Chief Martin passed out additional information about the type of Quint that the Town is interested in purchasing. There will be a show in Springfield that will have two vendors with the product. Councilor Friedman stated he would like to see some people attend the show.  It is a great opportunity to communicate with people in the business and learn from them. Chief Martin stated that if the truck is custom ordered it would take about 6 months before the truck would be ready. Chairman Hathaway stated that the department has put a lot of time putting the specs together for the truck that is needed for the department. He stated that he would like to have someone else look at the specs prior to purchasing. Chief Martin stated that the specs were put together while S. Lahaie was still fire chief. Councilor Michaels asked if there are any consultants who can be hired to look over the specs and make recommendations. Councilor Friedman stated that Bangor’s Fire Chief Cammack has complimented Veazie’s Fire Department.
        Councilor Friedman recommends that fire fighters be invited to attend the show too.

        Chairman Hathaway asked if T. Broad was interested in any of the input in the purchase of the new truck. Manager Reed said T Broad has been involved. Councilor Cheney asked what the goal date to purchase is. Manager Reed stated that the goal is by the end of the summer.

ITEM 6b.        Appointments:

        Motion: Councilor Cheney-- To appoint Suzanne Hart to Budget Committee for a three-year term. Seconded: Councilor Friedman, Vote
        5-0 in favor.

Motion: Councilor Cheney—To reappoint Allan Thomas to the following offices for a term of one year: Code Enforcement Officer, Electrical Inspector, Plumbing Inspector, Building Inspector, Tax Assessor, Address Officer, and Pole Permit Officer.  Seconded: Councilor Friedman, Vote
5-0 in favor.

Motion: Councilor Cheney-- To appoint Steven Shaler to the remainder of P. Reilly’s position on the Planning Board. Seconded: Councilor Michaels, Vote 5-0 in favor.

Motion: Councilor Kelly—To reappoint John Manter to another three-year term on the Planning Board. Seconded: Councilor Friedman, Vote 5-0 in favor.

Councilor Michaels asked if experts had been consulted in regards to development. He stated that when Sam’s Club came to town they had an army of people that dealt with the town and many other big developers do the same thing. The council would like to see the comprehensive plan expedited so the Council can get on with their work.

The Public Hearing can be held on comprehensive plan at the same time as the State Review of the plan is underway.

ITEM 6c.        Location Permit: There was a discussion in regards to a utility permit that Bangor Hydro Electric needs to install a 43kv line. The power line is larger than the existing line. The council stated they wanted  a representative from BHE to attend the next meeting to discuss what trees will have to be cut and any other pertinent information needed prior to approval.

ITEM7.  Manager’s Report:

7a. The engineering budget is over and more studies will have to be conducted to resolve the potential problems. There are concerned about the fumes that are being omitted from JC Auto. The Town’s concern is for the resident’s health that lives next door. J. Lacomme has been cooperative and has installed equipment to help reduce the emissions.   
        7b. Residents have been complaining about RPM Motors appearance. Chairman Hathaway stated that the Town should step-up efforts to clean up the Town’s appearance within the rights of law. One possibility is to enforce the curb cut and set back requirement. The basic issue is that there is not enough land for the type of business that is currently being conducted, if the curb cut issue is enforced. Councilor Kelly asked how many cars can the property handle at one time. Councilor Michaels asked if the problem is that the cars are ugly. Chairman Hathaway stated that the Town must have standards to control the appearance of business properties. Manager Reed stated that in order to do that there would have to be a site plan review. If the curb cut issue is enforced it will effectively limit the business parking.

        7c. Manager Reed had provided a copy of the FERC Ruling # 2403, there was no further discussion.

        7d. The Public Works Department was sent a letter of appreciation from the Veazie School.

        7e. The letter Code Enforcement Officer Thomas sent to T. Davis was sent back rejected.

        7f. A letter was sent to Sherry Williams in regards to the Police Department policy on Children at play signs. Councilor Cheney stated that for the record she believes that children at play signs are a good idea.

        7g. The Council was provided a copy of the School Committee agenda and minutes.

ITEM 8. Requests for Information/Council Comments: Chairman Hathaway stated that in the school lunch warrant there were items added after T. Perry had signed off on the invoice and did not feel that this is appropriate.

Councilor Cheney stated that she was speaking with residents that wanted to know why the Town Meeting is in June, why is the tax bill come out in
August and why can’t there be two payments. The Manager stated that people know that they will be getting a tax bill due upon receipt but the interest date starts October 1st. He outlined that to go to a two-payment option would possibly put the Town in a position where money would have to be borrowed and that would cost the Town additional funds. The manager discussed the very high collection rate.

There was discussion about the same people being on the delinquent list every year and that the Town should be more strict in its policies regarding delinquent taxes.

It was stated that the Oriental Dang Restaurant is up for sale again.

Councilor Cheney stated that the construction of the July 4th float is underway.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 24, Town Payroll Warrant 24, School Warrant 24, School Payroll Warrant 24, and School Lunch Warrant 24, were circulated and signed.

ITEM 10.        Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Michaels--to adjourn June 18, 2001, Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Cheney, there was no further discussion.  Voted 5-0 Meeting adjourned

Respectfully submitted,

Julie D. S. Reed
Deputy Town Clerk


Town Office: 1084 Main Street, Veazie, ME 04401
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