PRESENT: Chairman Hathaway, Councilor Cheney, Councilor Michaels, Councilor Friedman and Councilor Kelly--School Committee members K. Carr, R. Wetherbee, A. Ostrofsky, Peggy Lewis, Principal Nichols and Supt. Perry Budget Committee members J. Lord, G. Greenwood, and J. Manter and W. Hogan. J. Parker from CES, B. Perkins, G. Brooks, State Representative Mary Ellen Ludwin and Town Manager B. Reed, CEO A. Thomas, and Deputy Clerk J. Reed
ITEM 1. The April 9, 2001 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 6:30.
ITEM 2. Consideration of minutes: Motion: Councilor Michaels--to accept March 26, 2001 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Cheney
Vote 3-0 in favor. Councilors Friedman and Kelly abstained
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda: Nothing was added to the agenda.
ITEM 4a. Public Comments: No comments from the Public
ITEM 7a. Sewer District Appointment: Taken out of order—Chairman Hathaway acknowledged that Sewer District Chairman Robert Olesky should be recognized for his years of service as a Veazie Sewer District Trustee and resident of the Town of Veazie. The Veazie Sewer District asked that a new appointment be made to fill the vacant position. Brian Perkins submitted a letter to the Town Council stating he was interested in serving the remainder of the term. Motion: Councilor Cheney—to appoint Brian Perkins to the remaining term of Robert Olesky as a Veazie Sewer District Trustee. Seconded: Councilor Friedman—Vote 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 5. Budget Workshop: K. Carr outlined that the committee has been working monthly since last September on the budget process. The committee has been incorporating the 5-year plan. They continue to monitor enrollment and enrollment studies due to the fact that modest growth can present a high impact on the school budget.
Supt. Perry stated that this year’s budget is on target and that this year should end in the black. Next year’s proposed budget increase is $216,252 with the largest increases being in salaries in accordance with the teachers’ bargaining agreement. Perry points out that teachers’ salaries are still not in-line with similar sized communities. Additionally, Bangor and Brewer are not included in this assessment of salaries. In addition to salary increases, benefit costs have increased substantially even with the teachers and staff making contributions to their health insurance.
This year the school would like to expand 2 positions, one in the foreign language program and one in the Special Ed program. The committee also recommends increasing the bus runs to two in the afternoon.
The Highlights of the School Budget Proposal were discussed as illustrated in the Veazie School Budget 2001-2002 School Year. Chairman Hathaway thanked Supt. Perry for his presentation.
A recess was called at 8:00—The meeting reconvened at 8:15 and House of Representative Mary Ellen Ludwin asked to speak; permission was granted.
Ludwin complimented Manager Reed and M. Trainer on a great job on the presentation of LD518. She also thanked them for their effort, which will make available the use of LD518 for other communities in the future. Ludwin stated that the VZ series of license plates will be available soon and that 2-300 will be set-aside for the Town. She encouraged councilors to call her with viewpoints on legislative issues rather than e-mail because the e-mail has become a lobbyist network.
ITEM 6a. Patterson Project: J. Parker of CES explained that while working on the Patterson project it was discovered that the drainage line that runs under Main Street is beginning to corrode and suggests lining the culvert before it collapses. He said it has been approximately 50 years since the current culvert was installed and that current technology allows for relining. Otherwise replacing the culvert will entail digging up Main Street, which would involve disturbing water and sewer lines and this would cost about $38,000 to do. The relining project has an estimated cost of $19,800 (Barney Silver).
Chairman Hathaway asked Parker if Silvers combined this project with the Patterson Project if the cost would be reduced? Parker stated that he could not speak for Silvers but assumed that if the equipment only had to be in the area once then cost should be reduced based on that alone. Parker stated that it would make sense to do both projects combined so that the Patterson’s property would only have to be disturbed once for the
Motion: Councilor Friedman—to appropriate up to $19,800 additional funds to reline the culvert under Main Street and coordinate the construction with the Patterson Erosion Wall Project. Seconded—Chairman Hathaway—Vote 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 6b. Retention Plan--Continues: Manager Reed presented his wage studies for the Administrative positions but explained that he has not done a wage assessment of Thomas’s position because obtaining the information for the Assessor/Code enforcement Office has been next to impossible. Reed explained that most communities do not have the number of land use regulations that Veazie has for its size. It was noted that Veazie is an urban area and most towns do not have the complex tax base mix that Veazie has. Additionally, he added that those communities that do have the complex issues of a mixed tax base scale and land use regulations employee two persons, one for each position.
Councilor Michaels suggested using the standard deviation wage to see how it fit into the budget and add a 10% bonus for longevity. Michaels expressed that the town wants to retain happy, productive employees. Or in the event an employee leaves it would be in the Town of Veazie’s best interest to be appealing to attract people employed by other towns with experience in local government.
ITEM 6c. Review Draft of 10-year plan: The council decided to postpone this discussion until the budget workshop on April 23, 2001.
ITEM 6d. Manger’s Review: Moved to the end
ITEM 7b. Fire Department Annual Report: Manager Reed explained that Chief Martin had intended to be at the meeting but was called away unexpectedly. Based on the EMS run charts, Councilor Michaels asked if there was coverage when the greatest numbers of calls come in and Manager Reed said it was a close match. Councilor Friedman and Chairman Hathaway said that the reported reflected a lot of effort and a good job.
ITEM 7c. Assessor’s Report: Councilor Friedman told Thomas he had done a good job on his report. He then inquired about outstanding properties that are currently in code violation and asked what was going to be done in the future? Thomas asked the council how strict they wanted him to be in matters of code enforcement? The council agreed that Thomas should be aggressive in matters of code enforcement.
ITEM 8. Manager’s Report: The following items were included:
Please find enclosed the following items:
a. A memo outlining the charts enclosed pertaining to regional Tax History comparisons, Tax Rate Comparison vs. Mean Tax rate and UDF ratio 1985 - 2000. Councilor Friedman said he would like to see part of this report in the Annual Town Report.
b. A copy School Committee minutes April 3, 2001
c. Veazie Police Department Quarterly Report
d. Additional information on a registered sex offender residing in Veazie
e. Veazie Fire Department March 2001 Report
f. Veazie Parks and Recreation minutes from February 2000
g. Veazie Historical Society minutes from February 2000
h. Orono-Veazie Water district Minutes March 7, 2000
ITEM 6d. Manger’s Review: The council went into executive session for the Manager’s review. The council reconvened at 10:10. Motion: Councilor Friedman—to offer Manager Reed a contract in the amount of $55,000 Seconded: Councilor Michaels—Vote 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 9. Requests for Information/Council Comments: Councilor Cheney asked about the tax reminder cards that were sent out in the mail. She said an upset citizen had approached her about the issue. Chairman Hathaway noted that tax status is public information. Manager Reed said that next year the reminders will be mailed in envelops but that some people have called to say thank you about the reminder.
Councilor Cheney asked about contracting for street sweeping and why the Town did not purchase one. Manager Reed stated that the town had looked into the purchase of a sweeper in the past but a new sweeper cost about $80,0000. Silvers had offered to sell the Town of Veazie a sweeper a few years back but the yearly upkeep costs are $4-6,000.
Councilor Friedman expressed concern about the piles of dirt that are beside the road on Chase Road and said he wanted Public Works to pick them up and for the CEO to speak with the owners or the Police Department to ticket the owners because it is against the law to place materials in the street.
ITEM 10 Warrants: Town Warrant 19, Town Payroll Warrant 19, School Warrant 19, School Payroll Warrant 19, and School Lunch Warrant 19, were circulated and signed.
ITEM 11. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Friedman-to adjourn April 9, 2001, Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Michaels, there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned 10:20 PM.
Julie D. S. Reed
Deputy Town Clerk