PRESENT: Chairman Hathaway, Councilor Michaels, Councilor Cheney, Councilor Friedman and Councilor Kelly; CEO A. Thomas, Assistant Clerk K. Gifford, Police Chief Mark Leonard, Fire Chief Gerry Martin, Assistant Chief Carl Tenney; Members of the Public Andrea Ostrofsky, Kathryn Ofstrofsky, Judie Bragg, Brian Perkins and Gary Brooks. Councilor Michaels arrived late.
ITEM 1. The May 6, 2002 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00 PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of minutes:
Motion By: Councilor Friedman--to accept April 22, 2002 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Cheney, Vote 3-1 in favor. Councilor Kelly abstained.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda: There were no additions made to the agenda.
ITEM 4. Public Comments: Gary Brooks stated the Sewer District had asked to be put on the agenda for this Council meeting but was declined. He added that the Sewer District would like to be on the next agenda. Chairman Hathaway explained that the Sewer District was not put on the agenda due to the fact that the Town Manager was not going to be in attendance. As far as he knew the Sewer District would be on the next Council meeting's agenda.
Councilor Friedman added that he and another Councilor have wanted to attend a Sewer District meeting, but they have been very busy.
ITEM 5. Recognition of Service
Chairman Hathaway stated that it isn't very often that the Council gets the opportunity to recognize a member of the public. He asked Kathryn Ostrofsky if she would mind telling the Council what was involved in achieving the Girl Scout Gold Award. Kathryn Ostrofsky explained that the award is the highest award in Girl Scouting. It involves a lot of badge work, leadership and volunteering, and then culminates into a major project. Kathryn Ostrofsky stated her project was working at the Maine Veterans Home. She put together a jazz band and played a set of 1940's music and recorded it and gave it to them as a CD. She also collected 150 tapes, records and CDs to add to their music library. Chairman Hathaway stated the Veazie Town Council would like
to recognize Kathryn Ostrofsky for her commitment to excellence and presented her with a certificate.
ITEM 6a. Fire Department Annual Report
Chief Martin stated the department has put in a lot of hours. For instance, the crew of firefighters that went to Florida for the pre-build conference on the ladder truck.
Chief Martin stated the department is going to start recruiting, they would like to recruit in town but it is getting hard. Councilor Cheney inquired on the age of junior firefighters. Chief Martin stated that right now it is 18 years old and above. Currently the department is waiting for the labor board to give it guidelines on junior firefighters. The biggest issues with junior firefighters is liability and supervision. Chief Martin explained that there is a bit of controversy with it. He added that one town has gone to Scouts and the liability is completely covered by the Scouts, but in that case they are called rangers not junior fire fighters.
Chief Martin stated that Firefighter Nick Sirois had filled out a grant for forestry tools and the department has received the grant and the tools. Lt. Lynn Powers also filled out a fire grant, which if received will be used to purchase a complete communications system. Chief Martin outlined that a lot of departments have applied for this grant and they should hear back in about a month.
Chairman Hathaway inquired on the current membership of the department. Chief Martin stated it is 25 with 3 leaves of absence. There are 19 continuously active with others that come when they can. Chief Martin stated the department is hoping to go to 24 hour coverage.
Chief Martin stated that the ladder truck is on the assembly line. The delivery date is still set to the same day. He stated that Lt. Scott Kigas' father, who lives an hour or less from the factory, is going to start taking pictures of the truck and sending them to the department. Chief Martin outlined that there is mandatory training on the new truck, the factory training is required or all warranties are void. Chairman Hathaway inquired on where the training is and who provides it. Chief Martin stated the factory representatives come right here to the municipal building to do the training.
Councilor Friedman inquired on how things were coming with the building renovation plans. Chief Martin stated he hasn't heard anything from the engineer. Councilor Friedman stated he would like to have more information on the status of the building renovations.
Chief Martin stated he would like to have a full-length bay added to the building. He also stated he would like to have a tower put it, an antenna could be put on top so their communications equipment could reach all over Town. It would also allow the department to dry
their hoses instead of taking up space in the bay and it could also be used for training.
The Council commented on how well the report was written.
Chief Martin stated that the goal of the department is to be self-sufficient and to provide more public service.
ITEM 6b. Police Department Annual Report
Police Chief Mark Leonard first stated that the annual report wouldn't have happened without Sheryl Sutherland, his secretary.
Chief Leonard outlined that included in the report were summaries of the various community service activities the department had taken part in. As well as the various committees, seminars and trainings the department had taken part in.
Included in the report were criminal activities, some of the large cases they have investigated, in addition to traffic enforcements and additional information which included the retirement of Bob O'Halloran. Andy Whitehouse was promoted to Detective, John Dall was promoted to Corporal after serving as a part-time officer since 1988. Officer Todd Jamison graduated from the police academy. This was the first 18 week course to be held involving all agencies and the State Police. Currently there is an officer participating in the second training.
Chief Leonard stated there was a memo from the animal control officer and a memo from Detective Whitehouse that he forwarded to Manager Reed on the growing drug problem effecting the surrounding area and the Veazie community. A report from the Maine Drug Enforcement for Penobscot county was included in the annual report as well.
There are sections that are dedicated to criminal court statistics, offense totals, and special patrols. Councilor Friedman asked if the statistics are up. Chief Leonard stated that they are up, in fact the department is handling more calls then it handled last year at this time. Chief Leonard stated that there have been 93-100 calls. He noted that if someone dials 911 and hangs up an officer as to go check it. Chief Leonard stated that he has established a policy where they will check up on all calls, this policy has resulted in 2 arrests from domestic disputes.
Chief Leonard stated that the department received a seatbelt grant from the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety to perform seatbelt patrols. An officer is put out on the street specifically to enforce seatbelt use and it is paid for by the grant.
Chief Leonard stated he also included some articles that discussed the Veazie Police Department and its involvement in investigations and arrests.. In the final section of the report were a few letters the department had received for participating around Town in certain events.
Councilor Friedman inquired on the status of the crossing guard. Chief Leonard stated he is just waiting for the budget to be approved and then he can go ahead with finding someone for the position.
Chairman Hathaway inquired on the DARE program. Chief Leonard stated there is an officer in the department interested in teaching the program he just needs to complete the academy. Hopefully he will attend the next academy. Chief Leonard outlined that there is a requirement that an officer must be 2 years post-academy, but this requirement has been agreed to be waived for this officer.
Councilor Cheney inquired about the new cars and when they would be out on the streets. Chief Leonard stated that the cars were here, the lead car was scheduled to be done on this day but it is only half complete. The camera is going to be installed tomorrow. Hopefully in the next week and a half it will be ready.
Chairman Hathaway asked if the department still gets a lot of complaints from the community on speeders. Chief Leonard stated yes and no. He outlined that one complaint is the intersection where the Chase Road comes out to State Street and there have been repeated complaints on people speeding on the Thompson Road. Chief Leonard also spoke with a gentleman with concerns on vehicles on Hobson Avenue.
Councilor Cheney asked if there is an officer posted by the school in the zone where it is 15mph. Chief Leonard stated that they been at the intersection to help kids cross. Councilor Friedman stated he thought the Town should install the school zone yellow blinking lights that flash in the morning and in the afternoon. Chairman Hathaway asked Chief Leonard if he could check into this.
ITEM 7a. CEO / Assessor's Report
CEO Thomas stated that this was his quarterly report not his annual report. The winter is the slowest season for permits and such. He has had a workstudy student since February and this is his last week. The computer server project is moving slowly. CEO Thomas stated he has received the server and he will be hooking it up to two computers in the office for a month to see how it works. Then he will run it just in the office for a while before hooking the Police and Fire Departments into it.
CEO Thomas stated the Comprehensive Plan has been sent back to the State for approval, he doesn't think there will be any problems.
As far as code enforcement, he has sent a number of letters this quarter. RPM Automotive, JC Auto and Drinkwater have all received letters concerning their violations. CEO Thomas stated that CW Paper is another problem area. He outlined that it will probably take all summer to resolve it. Chairman Hathaway inquired why it would take all summer to resolve it. CEO Thomas stated that these things take time, judges don't take land ordinance issues very seriously. He added that he can push it, but still thinks it will take time.
CEO Thomas gave an update on the Graham School Senior Housing project. He outlined that a resident complained that the project is encroaching on the pond and that there is silt in the pond. CEO Thomas stated that DEP came and checked it and there were no violations.
The Dalton Subdivision should be finalized at the next Planning Board meeting next week. American Concrete has started their addition doubling their factory area.
CEO Thomas explained NPDES Phase II to the Council. It is part of the Federal Clean Water Act. By March 15th of next year the Town has to file a letter of intent to apply for a permit. CEO Thomas outlined that anything the Town takes into it's storm systems goes back into the water. There is a possibility you can 'op-out' of being regulated under the RS4. The Town can join with Bangor, but Veazie's mapping is beyond Bangor's. Councilor Friedman inquired on whether the Town is going to work jointly with the Water and Sewer Districts.
CEO Thomas stated to a degree yes. The Town needs to show that it's flush systems don't go into our storm drains. CEO Thomas explained that at the end of each section there is a list of items that the Town has to do. The Town doesn't have to do all the items on the list but it does need to do a few. CEO Thomas stated that the Town has to map its storm sewer system.
Councilor Friedman stated that there must be grants available on this. CEO Thomas stated that he hasn't heard anything yet on grants. CEO Thomas stated that the Town's mapping is so far along it doesnt have to do much but go out with the GIS system and map the points.
Chairman Hathaway stated he thought this sounded like an unfunded mandate. CEO Thomas stated it is a federal unfunded mandate. He explained that Veazie is getting hit with this because it is part of an MS4, Bangor. Four major metropolitan areas are getting hit with this. The big MS4's like New York and Chicago got hit with it several years ago.
ITEM 8. Manager's Report:
8a. Enclosed is a memo pertaining to the Annual Data Collection Report with charts included.
8b. Enclosed is an informational memo pertaining to the conferences that Manager Reed will be attending and how he may be contacted during his absence.
8c. Enclosed is a copy of a newspaper article from the Bangor Daily News pertaining to the budget workshop and the projection that the mill rate is not likely to change.
Councilor Cheney asked if the Town got any feedback from that article. Councilor Friedman stated he hasn't heard anything yet. Chairman Hathaway stated that the Town should really try to get the mill rate lowered. CEO Thomas outlined that as the Town lowers the mill rate it increases the taxes in the future because it increases our value to the State.
Councilor Friedman stated that he would like to see the County tighten up their budget a bit, it is spending more on incarceration than education.
8d. Enclosed is a copy of the proposed 2002-2003 Community / Economic Development Plan. Manager Reed has issued this draft document so that the Council will have it prior to being present at a future Council meeting.
ITEM 9. Requests for Information/Council Comments:
Councilor Cheney stated that the approach to the bridge on Chase Road has been fixed. Bangor Public Works grinded it down and fixed it. They did Veazie's side but not the other side of the bridge.
ITEM 10. Warrants: Town Warrant 24 & 24A, Town Payroll Warrant 24, School Warrant 21, School Payroll Warrant 21 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 11. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Friedman--to adjourn May 6, 2002, Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Cheney, Voted 5-0 in favor. There was no further discussion. Meeting adjourned.