PRESENT: Councilor Cheney, Councilor Michaels, Councilor Friedman and Councilor Kelly, also present were Town Manager Reed, Deputy Clerk Reed, Supt. Free, ACO Thomas. Chairman Hathaway was excused. Motion: Councilor Michaels-- nominates Councilor Friedman to Chair the February 26, 2001 Council meeting. Seconded: Councilor Kelly, Vote 3-0-1, in favor.
ITEM 1. The February 26, 2001 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:05PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of minutes: Motion: Councilor Kelly --to accept February 12, 2001 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Michaels
Vote 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda: Manager Reed added 5c Community Development Plan update and 5d Legislative update on proposed LD 518.
ITEM 4a. Public Comments: No comments from the Public
ITEM 5a. Municipal Building Update: Dave Merritt was unable to attend but will be available for the next council meeting for further discussion and answer questions about the proposed municipal building improvements.
Manager Reed outlined to the council that a priority list should be formed for the needed repairs. The staff’s list of recommendations is as follows:
1. Municipal Building Shell Improvements
2. Entrance and Canopy
3. Site Improvements
4. Public Works Additional Space
Councilor Cheney asked how long the proposed Public Works "additional bays" project would be put off? Manager Reed explained that there is still research, which needs to be done and details need to be worked out. He noted that the current proposal does not fit the Town’s site without additional land acquisition. The need for a storage facility for salt and sand will require enough land to place a building on. There was a discussion of other possible sites. At the current time, the land in the cemetery is the only land the Town owns and is out of the flood zone. Another problem with a separate site for storage is that it would require a minimum of two people to work in the event of a storm.
ITEM 5b. Cemetery Discussion: Supt. Free explained that section 11 in the cemetery only has a few lots left and would like to pursue development of section 12. Councilor Cheney asked about costs of lots. Free stated that currently the plots are arranged in sections of four at a cost of $800 but with developing the future section the price may need to be raised to cover the development costs. Before construction of the site begins, test boring will be conducted in various areas to a depth of 6 feet to establish if the ground can be dug to at least 4-41/2 foot depth without any complications. The Town manager outlined that years ago, before his tenure, there was a bridge buried in the back portion of the cemetery and there was a great deal of concrete material so the site
will have to be assessed prior to beginning development.
ITEM 5c. Community Development Plan: Manager Reed handed out a draft of a letter written to Jim Nimon outlining the three tiered Community Development Plan.
1. The Village Revitalization Plan
2. Former Town Hall / Community Center Redevelopment
3. Business Park / Industrial Park Development
It was the consensus of the Town Council that the Community Development plan was accurate.
ITEM 5d. Legislative Update LD 518: Manager Reed informed the Town Council that he had received a phone call from State Representative Mary Ellen Ludwin last Friday. The nature of the call was in regards to LD 518. The Legislature will conduct hearing on the bill on Wednesday. He outlined that he was requested to give testimony. It was discussed that the Town of Veazie wants this issue addressed so that they have the option of going to the Maine Municipal Bond Bank. The MMBB believes there is a need for legislative backing to avoid lawsuits and legal contractions in Title 30A. With LD 518 the Town would have a fail-safe contingency plan, which would allow the voters decide if a Senior Housing project is worth a General Obligation Bond. Manager Reed pointed out that
Representative Ludwin has been very active with the Town of Veazie.
ITEM 6a. Rapid Renewal: Manager Reed recommends that the Town participate in the Rapid Renewal Program but with the e-check option only. Currently, the charge card option would cost the Town a merchant fee of 2.07%. Councilor Michaels did not think it is a good idea at this time due to the Town having all new staff. The consensus of the Town Council was that the Town should wait before participating in the Rapid Renewal Program.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report:
The following items were included in the Manager’s Report:
7a. The 2000-2001 Budget Meeting Schedule. The manager outlined that the superintendent had several conflicts but everything has been worked out now.
7b. A thank you letter to Chief O’Halloran from Rev. Swart in regards to Todd Jamison helping him get his car out of the snow. Community policing is at work again.
7c. A letter to George “Butch” Free from the Department of Transportation. The grant application for community signs were turned down and the Public Works department will be attending the March 12th Council meeting to discuss options regarding the community signs.
7d. An FYI copy of the letter mailed to Richard Campbell in regards to the J. R. Graham School.
7e. A letter received from High Peak, Incorporated in regards to a telecommunications tower. Councilor Cheney asked if the Town was opposed to such a tower and/or if the ordinance would allow a tower. CEO Thomas told the council there is an ordinance pertaining to communication towers. As for the Town’s position on the issue, that is yet to be determined because it would depend on how tall the proposed tower is and the proposed location, neither of which have been conveyed to Town. Thomas also said that similar letters have gone out to other area communities. He pointed out that sometimes there is an advantage to have a tower local because the communication’s companies sometimes offer incentives, i.e. reduced communication rates, to municipalities in exchange for local cooperation.
7f. The approved 2001 Penobscot County Budget and its impact on us, $92,381.25, which is an increase of roughly $19,000. This sum is expected to rise again next year.
7g. Information on the proposed “Highway of the Future.” The focus is on the extensions of I-395 to route 9.
7h. A letter from New England Heating revealing the amount the Town has been overcharged and the corrective action that they are taking. Manager Reed explained that when PVCOG accepted the bid the cost was Bunker + .03-cent but that New England Heating has been charging Bunker + .13-cent. The owner said it was because of the mandatory .10-cent environmental taxes. Careful examination of the contract did not mention the additional .10-cent charge so therefore the company agreed to credit the overcharged amount back to the Town.
7i. A letter from Adelphia in reference to payment of franchise fees to the Town of Veazie in the amount of $5,252.61 for the period of July 1 to December 30th. Councilor Michaels said he is still having problems with his cable reception and wants to know what can be done about it. Councilor Kelly said he also has similar problems. The company has not been very responsive to his complaints. He has called the cable company and has had problems scheduling a time for the cable company to look into the problem.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 18, Town Payroll Warrant 18, School Warrant 18, School Payroll Warrant 18, and School Lunch Warrant 18, were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Cheney--to adjourn February 26, 2001, 2001 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Michaels, there was no further discussion. Voted 4-0. Meeting adjourned 8:21 PM.
Julie D. S. Reed
Deputy Town Clerk