PRESENT: Chairman Hathaway, Councilor Michaels, Councilor Cheney and Councilor Friedman; Town Manager B. Reed, Assistant Clerk K. Gifford. Police Chief Mark Leonard, Supt. Of Public Works Butch Free, Fire Chief Gerry Martin, Assistant Fire Chief Carl Tenney, Parks and Recreation Chair Joan Perkins; Budget Committee Members; Suzanne Hart, John Manter, George Greenwood; Lt. Scott Kigas and Firefighter Scott Ireland; Member of the Public Joseph Cheney. Councilor Kelly was absent.
ITEM 1. The April 22, 2002 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00 PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of minutes: Motion By: Councilor Cheney-to accept April 08, 2002 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Friedman, Vote 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda: Manager Reed asked to put the Manager's Review under 'Old Business' on the agenda. Chairman Hathaway stated there was a lot to cover already on the agenda and if there is time at the end it will be covered.
ITEM 4. Public Comments:
Member of the Public Joseph Cheney wanted to know when something was going to be done about the bump on the Chase Road overpass. Chairman Hathaway stated that calls have been made at State and city levels, letters have been written and it was his understanding that it is the City of Bangor's responsibility. Chairman Hathaway outlined that he spoke with Arthur Stockus, the Superintendent of Public Works in Bangor, and told him that if Bangor did not have the funds to repair the road that Veazie would help. Arthur Stockus never responded.
Chairman Hathaway inquired with Superintendent Butch Free if he could speak with Arthur Stockus and see what could be done. Superintendent Butch Free stated he would be willing to do it himself if Bangor would permit him to do so. Chairman Hathaway inquired on how much it would cost to mill it down and professionally repave the approach. Manager Reed stated it would cost in the area of $2,000.
ITEM 5. Municipal Budget
Manager Reed stated that it is estimated that community value or worth, "non-CBEC district", will increase from $91.5 million to $95.5 million. In the coming year the Town is faced with dealing with a higher community value and the loss of State Aid to education and minimal or no growth in Maine State Revenue Sharing. Manager Reed outlined that the county tax and sewer district assessment also increased tremendously in the coming fiscal year. The proposed municipal budget was decreased by some $180,000 to make up for the $250,000 increased tax cost of the school budget.
Manager Reed stated that the revenue section isn't finalized, but the figure used is the best present estimate possible given the ongoing upward economic conditions. At the present time the figure indicates a 5.2% increase. Manager Reed outlined that the increase is reflective of positive auto sales figures that occurred in 2002 and look to continue in 2003. Building, plumbing and electrical permits are expected to increase in the coming year with the construction of several new subdivisions.
Councilor Michaels inquired on how much a mill is. Manager Reed stated that with Casco Bay it is $181,000, a mill net of Casco Bay is $97,000-$98,000. Councilor Michaels asked if $98,000 was added to the budget whether it would raise the mill rate one mill. Manager Reed stated it would add a little less than one mill.
Executive Budget Section
Manager Reed outlined that the executive section isn't finalized yet. It is estimated for a 12% increase. He explained that the majority of the increase is reflected in the revised wage scale that is related to the newly created job descriptions that went with the 2001 wage study. The wage review conducted and implementation in FY 2001 is part of the Town's personnel retention plan. Manager Reed outlined that the Town is going to be experiencing another large increase in health insurance costs in the coming year. He added that there is an increase in the operations service, service cost, professional costs and the utilities and building subsections.
Manager Reed stated the request for Capital Building Maintenance was $10,000. This fund is used to address immediate capital needs of the municipal building. The next request is $10,000 for the Executive Capital Account. This funding request is the estimated additional cost of the Town's computer network and financial systems conversion that was started this fiscal year.
Parks & Recreation Budget Section
Joan Perkins stated that revenue is up this year and that is due to increased fees. Salaries, FICA, health insurance, retirement and workers compensation have all increased. Joan Perkins outlined that 89% of the total increase the department is asking for in the budget is personnel cost.
Joan Perkins stated they separated a few things into separate accounts so the Council could get a better understand of where things were going. A communications line was added and this is the cost of Parks and Recreation Coordinator Rosemary Freese cell phone.
Councilor Friedman inquired on whether the Parks and Recreation Department thought that by increasing the fees that some kids who currently participate would not be able to participate. Joan Perkins stated that there is a mechanism for those kind of cases, their fee can be subsidized. Manager Reed added that the Town has a process similar to the General Assistance application process that bases their tuition on the parent s wages.
Councilor Cheney inquired on the number of workers in the department. Joan Perkins stated that they have Rosemary Freese and then four youth workers. Two of the youth workers serve more as backups. Councilor Cheney asked whether there were any volunteers. Joan Perkins stated that the After School program doesn't really get too many volunteers. Last year there were two high school girls that volunteered.
Budget Committee Member Suzanne Hart inquired on whether the After School Program would accept State vouchers. Manager Reed pointed out that in order to accept those the program has to be a licensed daycare. He added that the Town is trying to stay away from that, it adds additional training and costs for a licensed daycare.
Fire Department Budget Section
Fire Chief Gerry Martin stated that the request for the Fire Department was $187,568.26 and $37,500 for capital. Chief Martin read down through the line items explaining the increases. The increase in the Chief and Assistant Chief's salaries is due to the additional time that is going to be spent on training for the new truck and mandatory training. It is also due to meetings that are far away. The increase in day coverage was due to the Council approving a pay scale increase, the same with the call department.
Chief Martin outlined that the Ladder 195 training requirements are a large added cost. However, he pointed out that it was going to be a "one shot deal". Most of the cost is just a one-time expense of getting the materials and videos for the training. Chief Martin stated that E-One will not guarantee the apparatus if the fire department doesn't do the training.
Chairman Hathaway inquired on how much of the cost was "one time." Assistant Chief Carl Tenney stated that all of it is. Chairman Hathaway inquired about new employees that will need to be trained. Manager Reed stated that in the course of a year the department probably only adds a maximum of five firefighters, which is only a cost of $1,000.
Chief Martin stated the capital request is for a cascade system for SCBA bottle fill. Right now the department either has to go to Orono or Bangor to fill the bottles. Chief Martin outlined that by the time training is over at 9pm, most of the firefighters in Orono and Bangor are up in the night room and have to come down to fill them. Councilor Friedman inquired on whether this piece of equipment was needed immediately or could it be put in the budget on a three year term. Assistant Chief Tenney stated the ultimate goal of the fire department is to have a cascade. With training requirements they are going to be using a lot more air. The department
has had to wait till morning to fill the bottles before and this causes a problem. If too many bottles are left empty over night and there is a big house fire that night the department will be left in a predicament. The department would like to be able to fill the bottles themselves so this never happens. Councilor Friedman stated he would like to see more information on this.
Councilor Cheney inquired on whether there was any carryforward from last year's budget. Manager Reed explained that there was $18,000 accrued which will go toward costs and orders of equipment that were ordered then delivered and paid in fiscal year 2002-2003.
Police Department Budget Section
Chief Leonard stated the requested budget is $275,521.64, which is a 7.42% increase over the 2001-2002 budget. He is also requesting $6,000.00 for capital purchases and $21,000 for the cruiser reserve. Chief Leonard outlined that there was a $2,000 increase in the Chief of Police salary this was due in part to the increased training that the State of Maine requires. A majority of the trainings occur during the evening, which causes an increased length of the workday. There is also a $1,151.12 increase in the Police Tech position due in part to the increased workload.
Chief Leonard outlined that there was a $2,880 increase in the academy line to the increase of weeks from twelve to eighteen. Chief Leonard also outlined that there were increases in Medicare, Workers Comp., health insurance and retirement which is to be expected each year.
Other increases were; ammo due to the increased cost, uniforms due to not being purchased in the last three years, personnel evaluations due to State mandates, and gasoline due to increased costs.
Councilor Friedman inquired on whether we had a police officer at the school. Chief Leonard stated we only have one at the intersection of State Street and School Street. He would like to post on the cable channel that the Police Department is looking for a civilian to volunteer to be a crossing guard. Councilor Friedman expressed his concern that the Town should budget for this instead of just hoping for a volunteer. Councilor Cheney inquired on whether the department would have a volunteer by September. Chief Leonard stated yes and he would oversee the process of hiring. Chairman Hathaway recommended putting a line item for $5,000 for this. Chief Leonard stated he would be happy to do so.
Public Works Department Budget Section
Manager Reed outlined that because of the new accounting system, Superintendent Butch Free had to consolidate sublines so it was up to date with GASB 34. The custodial expense of $7,000 has been put into the payroll line. Cemetery maintenance was also put into the payroll line.
Superintendent Free stated that there is a reduction of $2,000 in the drain cleaning line that indicates the department is in it's second year of the program. Budget Committee Member John Manter inquired on whether the drain cleaning is done in a sequence. Superintendent Free stated no, it is selective. Currently there are 150 drains which half get cleaned each year, so it is on a 2 year rotation. Manager Reed stated a drainage study is currently being done. Manager Reed outlined that hopefully when the GIS system is implemented and in use Public Works can utilize it to see what catch basins have been cleaned in a certain year and which basins are due because of
rate of fill up.
Superintendent Free stated the amount requested for capital is $11,700. It will be used to purchase chains for both trucks, tires for the backhoe, tires for the bobcat, leaf vacuum, sidewalk sander attachment for bobcat, metal band saw and a two-way radio for new truck.
Highway Maintenance increased $5,000 for covering paving costs for several of the Town's streets. Superintendent Free stated he has discussed a few of the streets, Brookside, Ridgeview, Woodlane and the upper portion of Rock Street with Manager Reed. Councilor Michaels inquired on whether the department could look back and see what roads have been done and when. Superintendent Free stated those things were kept track of.
Superintendent Free stated that two other requests were a ten-ton trailer and a used 450 bulldozer. The current trailer doesn't have electric breaks and isn't large enough to transport the Bobcat and backhoe. The bulldozer would be used on ditching and drainage projects and would be better suited for some of the jobs that the Bobcat does.
Superintendent Free stated the department would like to replace the old recycling shed behind the municipal building with two new storage units. The two units would be 20x80 containment units and would provide ample storage for mowing machines, rollers, etc.
Lastly, Superintendent Free stated there will be a reduction of $15,000 in Sidewalk Projects and these funds will be used to construct a new sidewalk and bus stop starting at the Main Street parking lot and continuing to Olive Street and ending at the northeast corner of the parking lot.
Councilor Cheney inquired on whether Public Works would be getting a big street sweeper. Superintendent Free stated they would be. He is hoping to have Lane Construction Co. come the last of April - first of May to get it done.
Fixed Costs Budget Section
Manager Reed stated that rates for the Water District would not be changing. A new Street Lining account has been created due to numerous positive comments after last year's painting. Roadway lining will be conducted annually. Manager Reed read over the remaining fixed cost items with the Council.
Community Investment Budget Section
Manager Reed stated that the Conservation Commission and the Historical Society stayed the same. Community Planning has decreased, these funds will be used towards the continuing development of the Town's community master plan.
A fund for Veazie's 150th Celebration was created in the amount of $15,000. Discussion topics have included a parade, town cook out, community dance, Town history play, crafts fair and a fireworks display. Chairman Hathaway is currently taking the leadership role on the event with the help of the Parks and Recreation Committee and other interested parties. Chairman Hathaway requested that the amount be increased to $20,000 to sufficiently fund the event. He outlined that events would start in March and lead up to the four day event. It is still in the planning stages and hopefully the Town can start to solicit donations as well as corporate donations.
Reserve Budget Section
Manager Reed stated that the Conservation Land and Tree Reserve had a decrease and will allow for the Conservation Commission to make recommendations to the Town Council on possible open space acquisitions. It will also allow for the community planting of trees and other community planting projects. Councilor Michaels inquired on why there was a decrease. Manager Reed outlined that the problem the Conservation Commission is having is the purchasing of land. The strategy the Town should use to work more with land value. Manager Reed stated he didn't think the Town could afford to buy land outright, the price of undeveloped land is just too high.
Conservation Commissioner John Manter stated the commission is working on transfer development rights to add on to the land use ordinance. He outlined that there are only a couple of towns that do it and there is no form or procedure for it at this time.
Councilor Michaels mentioned a house for sale in the Lemon Street neighborhood. He outlined that it could be purchased and converted into green space. Manager Reed explained that this fund was for open space not so much for urban development. A budget could be created for urban development under economic development. There was then discussion on whether the Town wanted to take an active part in purchasing land to benefit the Town. The Council asked Manager Reed to come back at another meeting with information on urban grants and a revised Community Development Plan update.
Manager Reed reviewed the other reserve items with the Council. The Municipal Building Reserve increased and is the estimated cost to overhaul the fire bays. CES is currently designing the retrofit and the Town should have a final design by May 6th.
The funding request for the Community Center Reserve will be added to last years approved funding and all of the proceeds will go towards the redevelopment of the facility in the coming fiscal year 2002-2003. Manager Reed outlined that it still hasn't been decided what is going to be done with it. There are a lot of opportunities to address and see what the best rate of return will be.
Manager Reed stated the figure for this year's Veazie Community School Reserve Fund came from the school department's building replacement and capital needs study that was issued in 2001. This fund will be available when the new Veazie Community School facility needs capital improvements.
The Council and Budget Committee were in consensus that a lot of work had been put into the budget and things looked acceptable. They were happy that the Town would be able to "hold the line" and keep the mill rate at 17.2. A budget workshop was scheduled for Wednesday, May 15, 2002 at 7:00 PM. The Budget Committee, School Committee/Department and department heads will attend.
ITEM 6a. Draft - Final Environmental Audit Report
Manager Reed stated this item included in the Council packets was the final draft copy of the Town s Environmental Audit Report conducted by GZA. In general, the Town did very well on its evaluation. Manager Reed pointed out that everything recommended can be addressed in a timely fashion and no single item is a significant violation. Manager Reed stated that the Public Works Department asked GZA to submit a proposal to address the issues defined within the report. The proposal for environmental services, implementation of recommendations and training of Town employees will be addressed later in the meeting under item 7A. Manager Reed outlined that once
the document is finalized, estimated May 1st, the Town will then have 21 days to submit the official findings to the EPA, then the Town will have 60 days for corrective actions to take place.
Motion By: Councilor Cheney--to accept the finalized document from GZA. Seconded: Councilor Friedman, Voted 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 7a. Proposal for Implementation of Recommendations
Manager Reed outlined that included in the Council packets was a proposal requested by the Public Works Department pertaining to the final draft copy of the Environmental Audit Report. The scope of the work is broken up into several different tasks. Task one addresses the EPA self-disclosure form filing. Task two is the corrective actions implementation plan which will include sampling and testing, employee training programs, assistance in the set up of the central storage area. Task three addresses the hazardous waste and universal waste management program of the Town. Manager Reed also outlined that this section pertains to the creation of operations
Manager Reed stated that one reason the Town is in this is because it has the big pickup every year in the spring. Superintendent Free outlined that the Public Works Department is picking up items that were not considered universal waste materials but are now considered universal waste like televisions and florescent lights, these things need to be stored in containment areas. Superintendent Free added that he is going to speak with GZA and see if the storage units added to the budget for next fiscal year would suit the needs of a universal waste building. If they do, Superintendent Free would like to purchase a third one.
Superintendent Free stated that a lot of what GZA wrote in the report was about oil and antifreeze, he must have a container to contain it. He stated the department has one 55 gallon drum that contains the Town's waste oil.
Manager Reed pointed out that we participate with Bangor on the annual hazardous waste pick-up. Superintendent Free stated that the department purchases synthetic oil now and they are accruing less oil now, approximately one barrel every two years. Councilor Michaels inquired on whether the department buys oil that is tested. Manager Reed stated the department buys new certified oil.
Motion By: Councilor Friedman'to implement work tasks number one and two as submitted in the proposal by GZA. Task number three should be addressed after task one and two are completed. Seconded: Councilor Michaels, Voted 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 7b. Police Department - Sale of police cruiser
Manager Reed stated that an item was added to the Council packets, this was a letter from Fleetmaster. They are willing to pay $10,000 for the 2001 Crown Victoria. Councilor Cheney inquired on how much the Town paid for the vehicle. Manager Reed stated he thought it was $19,500. Manager Reed outlined that the transmission went three times on it, twice while it was under warrantee. There were numerous other problems as well.
Chairman Hathaway inquired on where the $10,000 from the sale of the vehicle would go. Manager Reed stated it would go into the police car reserve and then it would be applied to the purchase of another vehicle. Police Chief Mark Leonard stated that he has spoke with Hartley's in Newport to see if they could get next year's vehicle for the same price they paid for this year's vehicle.
Chairman Hathaway inquired on whether there was currently any money in the reserve. Chief Leonard stated he thought there was $6,000. Manager Reed explained that the department buys one car a year, but since the department bought a lemon last year it needed to buy two cars this year.
Chairman Hathaway inquired on how the new vehicle was going to be paid for. Manager Reed and Chief Leonard both stated that there is $6,000 in reserve, $10,000 will be received for the "lemon" and Chief Leonard's old car will be sold for $3,000.
Motion By: Councilor Michaels--to authorize the Town Manager to transfer ownership of the Town's 2001 Ford Police Cruiser to Fleetmaster of Auburn, New Hampshire for the sum of $10,000 in "as is, where is" condition with no warrantees expressed or implied. Seconded: Councilor Cheney, Voted 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 7c. Manager's Review
The Manager's review was passed over due to the time constraints.
ITEM 8. Manager's Report:
8ai. Please find enclosed a copy letter from Adelphia pertaining to the elimination of the dial-up service. As recalled Councilor Michaels expressed concerns and a discussion entailed with Shelly Winchenback and Gary Crosby about the issue.
8aii. This letter details that the FCC ruling that cable modem services such as Powerlink is an interstate information service rather that a "cable service" or a "telecommunications service". So in general not only will future cable revenues be affected but the Town has no standing in the regulation of this part of the service offered by Adelphia.
8b. A card of thanks from the school department employees who were at the School coffee session
8c. A memo pertaining to the Public Works Department's new employee Brian Stoyell. The position that Brian has agreed to take is an enhancement of the former public works position. Brian will be addressing EPA and DEP compliance issues as well as working with the Town on addressing universal waste management issues. Manager Reed added that Brian holds sewer facility certifications and certificates.
8d. A follow-up to Susan Grove pertaining to her subdivision and the roadway standard that she will have to meet. The roadway would have to be built to present standards as noted in the letter.
8e. A copy of the County Tax assessment which was discussed at the last Council meeting
8f. A copy of CBEC's donation for the sponsorship of the "Catch the Wave" reading program at the Veazie Community School. A check from the Town to the school will be issued in the next warrant.
8g. CEO Allan Thomas enclosed a copy of a Notice of Violation that was issued to JC Auto pertaining to the ongoing lighting violation. Also enclosed is a letter that Allan sent to Jeff back in January. Manager Reed noted that he had told CEO Thomas that his electrician was going to address the matter but had not so Allan needed to take this additional action to ensure that the complaint was being addressed.
8h. The Fire Department's Annual Report is enclosed for the Council's review. The department will discuss the report when reviewing their fiscal budget.
8i. The Police Department's Annual Report is enclosed for the Council's review. The department will discuss the report when reviewing their fiscal budget.
Manager Reed stated he would like to schedule the Police and Fire Departments to come to the May 6th Council meeting and discuss their year end reports.
ITEM 9. Requests for Information/Council Comments:
Councilor Cheney stated she was pleased to see 'street lining' in the budget. She outlined that an elderly man approached her about it stating he couldn't see the lines very well.
Councilor Cheney also requested a follow-up on the four wheeling incident she brought up at the previous meeting. Chief Leonard stated there isn t much the Town can do, it is private property. He did note that Officer Dahl had spoken with the four wheelers.
Councilor Cheney also commented on the insert from the Conservation Commission in April's newsletter. She stated she felt the insert was more the opinion of the writer rather than the commission. Councilor Cheney thought the insert should have been signed by the commission rather than just one member.
ITEM 10. Warrants: Town Warrant 23, 23A, Town Payroll Warrant 23, School Warrant 20, School Payroll Warrant 20, and School Lunch Warrant 20, were circulated and signed.
ITEM 11. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Friedman --to adjourn April 22, 2002, Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Cheney, Voted 4-0 in favor. There was no further discussion. Meeting adjourned.