PRESENT: Chairman Hathaway, Councilor Friedman, Councilor Cheney, Councilor Kelly and Councilor Hogan; Manager Reed, Assistant Clerk K. Gifford, CEO Thomas, Fire Chief Gerry Martin, Assistant Fire Chief Carl Tenney and member of the public Paul Wetherbee.
ITEM 1. The October 21, 2002 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00 PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of minutes: Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to accept October 7, 2002 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Kelly, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda: There were no additions made to the agenda.
ITEM 4. Public Comments: There were no comments from the public.
ITEM 5a. Assessor’s / CEO’s Quarterly Report
CEO Thomas stated he still has a few informal abatement requests to respond to. Graham School Senior Housing is due to be turned over for occupancy in mid December. He added that Sylvain Heights is virtually complete as well. The streets are paved and all of the underground infrastructure is in place. Councilor Cheney inquired on when construction would begin. CEO Thomas stated he did not know. Councilor Cheney inquired on what the next step is for the subdivision. Manager Reed stated that the owner will have to come to CEO Thomas, Public Works Superintendent Butch Free and himself to get approval for the road.
Councilor Hogan mentioned a manhole on the Chase Road that was dug up near the subdivision and inquired whether it would be repaired soon. CEO Thomas stated it will need to be repaired before plowing season.
CEO/Assessor Thomas stated he was disappointed that tax bills did not go out on time this year. He firmly believes that people should have thirty days to pay taxes. Next year he will work harder to get them out earlier.
CEO Thomas stated that NPDES Phase II is still ongoing. CEO Thomas stated that he has spoken with Dennis St. Peter of CES about preparing the Notice of Intent to apply for a stormwater permit. Dennis St. Peter has been attending the meetings in Augusta and believes that he will be doing the NOI for other communities.
CEO Thomas outlined that the Comprehensive Plan had been sent to the State Planning Office months ago for approval. CEO Thomas stated that he had spoken with Dean Bennett of PVCOG and he stated that other communities have been having problems in getting their letter of approval.
CEO Thomas stated that as far as enforcements go, R.P.M. Motors has left Town and CW Paper has made great progress, but he will probably have another talk with Chuck Crowe. The rest of the information in his report is FYI for the Council.
Member of the Public Paul Wetherbee inquired on what the formula is in Veazie to assess property. He asked whether one acre of land is worth the same amount as another acre of land in the same subdivision. Assessor Thomas stated not necessarily, landscaping and drainage plays a role in value. Member of the Public Paul Wetherbee wanted to know what the equation was. Assessor Thomas stated that there is no equation it is his opinion. He then discussed the fractional foot method which is used in the mass appraisal process.
Chairman Hathaway explained the process to follow if a resident disagrees with their assessed value and taxes. First an appeal is made to Assessor Thomas, the next step is an appeal to a five person board of appeals.
Assessor Thomas stated that an abatement cannot be done to just the land portion of the bill. The abatement is on the whole value, however it is because of State statute that the tax bill is broken out in the two categories.
The Council inquired on the number of people who have approached CEO Thomas regarding their tax bills. Assessor Thomas stated he has had about 30 calls from people asking for explanations or abatements.
ITEM 5b. Uncollectibles - discussion
Manager Reed stated that Deputy Treasurer Julie Reed had put together a memo pertaining to clearing up uncollectibles. Also included was a balance summary of uncollected taxes by year. Manager Reed recommended authorizing the write-off of the listed accounts.
Councilor Cheney inquired why the Town would write-off the taxes on the two mobile homes. Manager Reed outlined that the trailers are no longer in Veazie, they were moved at night. If the “mobile homes” are no longer in Veazie there is nothing the Town can do to collect the owed taxes.
Manager Reed explained that the Blotner Homes parcel at the beginning of Arbor Drive is tax acquired property now and should be accepted as tax acquired. The land will hopefully be traded to Barb Dalton in return for land on Arbor Drive.
Motion By: Councilor Hogan—to authorize the Town’s Treasurer to write off and accept as tax acquired property the following accounts for the particular tax years:
#167 Tim Perry, Tax years 1992 ($42.90) and 1993 ($85.59) – write off
#054 Blotner Homes as tax acquired property
#828 Key Bank, Tax Year 1995 ($385.43) – Mobile Home Missing – write off
#895 Scott Herbest, Tax Year 2000 ($226.32) – Mobile Home Missing – write off
Seconded: Councilor Friedman, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Chairman Hathaway stated he thought the Town had something in place that before a mobile home could be moved the owner had to come in and get a permit at the Town office. CEO Thomas stated that movers or owners of the property need to come in and get the permit that states that all taxes, water and sewer have been paid. However, it does not stop people from moving the trailers illegally.
ITEM 6a. Municipal Building Update
CEO Thomas stated that things are mostly done. The roof isn’t quite finished yet, gutters need to be added, windows were put in but need to be framed and the steps are not here yet. He stated there is a lot of “finish” work to be done. John Parker is going to be putting some trees in and talking with the Veazie Garden Club about plants.
Councilor Cheney inquired about the ceiling in the Town Office. CEO Thomas stated that an electrical firm is coming into the office in the morning to look at the wires. They will try to do it in the evening so it will not disturb things during the day. A separate firm will put the ceiling up. The whole process can be done a couple weeks.
Manager Reed asked that the Council amend a motion that was made at the September 9th, 2002 Council meeting. The amended motion more accurately states the amount of the change order and where the monies should be coming from.
Motion By: Councilor Hogan to amend the motion made at the September 9, 2002 Town Council meeting to read—to accept change order #8 as submitted by Buck Construction and to authorize the additional funding for change order #8 ($86,673) to come from a transfer from the undesignated reserve account to the municipal building reserve account. Seconded: Councilor Cheney, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report
a. Manager Reed stated that he and the Superintendent of Public Works, Butch Free, met with Sewer District Superintendent Gary Brooks and it went well. It was emphasized that everyone should feel comfortable contacting one another. An agreement was made to keep a timely schedule of common projects with one another. The next meeting will be with CEO Thomas and will address what the Town can do to help the district in the planning process when it comes to developments and subdivisions.
b. Enclosed was a copy of a memo and budget report submitted by Deputy Treasurer Julie Reed pertaining to the current fiscal year budget.
c. Enclosed was a copy of a summaries for the Town’s investment accounts and special funds
d. Enclosed was a copy of the Water District’s report
e. Enclosed was a memo from Assistant Clerk K. Gifford pertaining to the schedule for the Town’s newsletters.
Councilor Cheney inquired whether something could be done to make the newsletter a little more catchy. Manager Reed outlined that the Town is somewhat limited to what it can do as far as the post office is concerned. Also, now that the routes in Veazie have changed 400 or so additional newsletters will go to non-Veazie residents.
Councilor Friedman inquired on whether any other entities received a schedule for the newsletter. Assistant Clerk K. Gifford stated she sent a schedule to the Water District, Sewer District and Veazie Community School.
f. Enclosed was a copy of the Fire Department’s monthly report
Councilor Cheney asked how the open house went on October 12, 2002. Assistant Fire Chief Carl Tenney stated it went great. There was a rescue off the roof done, confined space demonstrations, displays and food. Channels 2, 5 and & 7 covered the event and most of the people that attended stayed most of the day.
Councilor Cheney stated she has seen the new ladder truck being driven around the neighborhoods. Assistant Fire Chief Carl Tenney stated they are driving it around to see if it fits and also to certify the firefighters on driving it and to get them familiar with the Town and how it handles in some confined spaces.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information/Council Comments: Chairman Hathaway inquired on whether Deputy Treasurer Julie Reed could attend the next Council meeting to give an update on financial statements, capital and reserve accounts and undesignated accounts. Chairman Hathaway stated he is also curious on the status of the audit.
Chairman Hathaway noted that the plant manager of Maine Independence Station, Tom Broad, will be relocating to Charlotte, North Carolina for a new position.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 8 & 8A, Town Payroll Warrant 8, School Warrant 8, School Lunch Warrant 8 and School Payroll Warrant 8 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Friedman —to adjourn October 21, 2002, Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Cheney, Voted 5-0 in favor. There was no further discussion. Meeting adjourned.