PRESENT: Chairman Hathaway, Councilor Cheney, Councilor Friedman, Councilor Kelly and Councilor Hogan; Manager Reed, Assistant Clerk K. Gifford, Police Chief Mark Leonard, Superintendent of Public Works Butch Free, Lt. Michael Azevedo, Assistant Fire Chief Carl Tenney, Fire Chief Gerry Martin, CEO Allan Thomas, J-MAC Representative Jim McCloud, Deputy Treasurer Julie Reed, Member of the Public Katie Watt and Stephan Arsenault.
ITEM 1. The June 2, 2003 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00 PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of minutes: Motion By: Councilor Kelly—to accept May 19, 2003 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Hogan, Voted 4-0-1 in favor. Councilor Friedman abstained due to his absence from the May 19, 2003 Council meeting.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda: Manager Reed stated he had some year end adjustments that he would like to discuss and take care of. Superintendent of Public Works Butch Free stated he would like to discuss options regarding sand and salt. Manager Reed also stated that member of the public Katie Watt was present to introduce herself, she is running for a position on the School Committee as a write-in on the ballot.
ITEM 4a. History Video
Jim McCloud of J-MAC was present to allow the Council to preview the video that was produced. He outlined that there was a total of ten to twelve hours of footage. He encouraged the Councilors to take notes and tell him if there was anything they would like changed or added. After previewing the video Chairman Hathaway stated that he didn’t hear mention of Sam Blotner making appearances on the Johnny Carson show with Jack Otis. He would like to have that mentioned in the video.
ITEM 4b. Property Realignment
Manager Reed outlined that Stephan Arsenault had contacted the Town about squaring off his parcel so all property lines would run parallel. Manager Reed stated that he and CEO Thomas used the tax maps to estimate the size of the parcel. The Town Engineer will determine the exact size. Chairman Hathaway inquired where the $1.20 per square foot came from. Manager Reed outlined that from past sales and purchases that the Town had experienced the average of $1.20 per square foot.
Motion By: Councilor Friedman—to authorize the Town Manager to have the Town’s engineer and Town’s attorney prepare a deed description and real estate transfer document for the proposed parcel with the understanding that the abutter, the Arsenaults, will pay for all costs associated with the preparations of the real estate transfer documents and deeds and for the acquisition of the parcel at the value of $1.20 per square foot of land acquired, currently estimated at 541 square feet. Seconded: Councilor Hogan, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 4c. Animal Control Issue
Chief of Police Mark Leonard stated that the problem animal had been turned over to the Bangor Humane Society since the May 19th Council meeting.
ITEM 4d. Financial Update
Summary fiscal reports for the school and Town, that were prepared by Deputy Treasurer Julie Reed, were distributed to the Council. Manager Reed outlined that Deputy Treasurer Reed is still working with Advanced Data Systems to fix the reports and how they are displayed.
ITEM 5a. Print Presentation
Manager Reed outlined that the anniversary prints have been delivered. Currently the Town is looking for another framing vendor. The present vendor is of very good quality but the cost to frame is a great deal more than the print. Chairman Hathaway stated he would like to see the print on display on Election Day.
ITEM 5b. Department Updates
Manager Reed reviewed a memo he had written with the Town Council. He outlined that three staff members in the Town office is the minimum number of people required to ensure for the proper separation of duties according to governmental accounting standards. After experiencing an immense amount of staff turnover during the last three years the Town developed and implemented a retention plan for employees. Manager Reed stated that according to D. Gallant Management Associates, the minimum cost of replacing an employee is $5,000 and can cost upwards of two times the salary of the person they are replacing before productivity is achieved.
Manager Reed outlined that he included a revised organizational flow chart, the new one now includes the General Assistance program which is run by the Administrative Assistant. The Maine salary survey was also included again as well. Call volume statistics that were prepared by Deputy Clerk Beckie Woods were included as well as a memo from Office Administrator Julie Reed regarding the Town Office employees’ reaction to the May 19th public hearing.
Fire Chief Gerry Martin stated that Assistant Chief Carl Tenney and Lt. Michael Azevedo have been working together. Chief Martin stated that the comments that Veazie hasn’t grown or changed much are somewhat incorrect. The Federal and State mandates have changed dramatically as well as the amount of required training. Chief Martin outlined that there really isn’t such thing as a volunteer firefighter due to training requirements. Turnover has been minimal since the implementation of the fire department retention plan, any turnover is usually due to their full-time job.
Chief Martin stated that at a prior meeting someone had mentioned that numerous firefighters go to an EMS call and that instead one should go and if help is needed they should call for help. Chief Martin outlined that the average response time is four to five minutes and if you have a person that collapses you only have four to six minutes from the time they collapse to start CPR or there is a good chance the person will have brain damage. Lt. Michael Azevedo added that by going to services that are further away you are losing valuable time. Chief Martin stated that the department has had issues with Capital Ambulance’s response time. At the time the fire department put out the contract there were three offers from Bangor, Orono and Capital. When the current contract runs out the
department will need to determine whether to stay with Capital or not.
Councilor Friedman inquired whether the Town was doing anything to recognize Officers Ryan Welch and Chris Watson for saving a woman. Chief Leonard pointed out that the fire department responded to the incident as well and recognition shouldn’t be limited to just the police department. Councilor Friedman stated that all individuals involved should be recognized.
Superintendent of Public Works Butch Free stated that a few years ago the department talked about getting a salt shed. Duke Energy has a quonset hut that they want to sell. It was purchased last February and it cost $5,827.34 plus installation and balast costs and they would sell it for $4,500 with balasts included. The Town would have to disassemble it and have it reassembled somewhere else. It would cost $1,500 to have it installed and would most likely cost the same to have it disassembled. Superintendent Free stated all together it cost around $12,000 to buy it and set it up behind the municipal building. He outlined that he hasn’t spoken with CEO Thomas yet to see if there are any codes and whether it’s feasible. In lieu of all the complaints of sand and sweeping,
this would allow the department to go with 100% pure salt with liquid calcium added to it. Manager Reed outlined that Superintendent Free had already set aside $4,000 for a storage unit and some funds for paving down back behind the building. Manager Reed will work with Superintendent Free and come back with a final price.
Superintendent Free also added that Maine Local Roads is awarding he and Gary Hammond with Road Scholar Awards. Manager Reed outlined that few people in this area have this certification.
Councilor Cheney inquired on what effect the salt will have on the roadsides. Superintendent Free stated that he doesn’t think it will have a big impact on things except for pine trees. He pointed out that the State uses salt and the interstate usually gets green first.
Councilor Cheney noted that there are still sand piles beside the roads. CEO Thomas will approach the owners regarding having them cleaned up.
ITEM 5c. Sick Time Reserve
Manager Reed outlined that the Town auditor had asked the Town to create a sick time or paid leave account after some past experiences that adversely affected several department’s budgets over the last several years.
Councilor Kelly inquired whether the account would be funded once a year or monthly. Manager Reed stated it would be annually. He added that another option would be to add a short-term disability that the Town would pay, however currently the Town has a voluntary one that over 50% of the full time employees participate in.
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to authorize the creation of a sick time/paid leave account in the amount of $20,000 with funds coming from the Undesignated Fund. Seconded: Councilor Friedman, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to authorize the consolidation of fund balance Economic Development account 300 to Economic Development account 100, the fund balance of CP Highway Projects account 300 to Highway Projects CP account 100, the fund balance of CP Municipal Building account 300 to Municipal Building account 100 and the fund balance of CP Street Project’s account 300 to Sidewalk Project account 100. Seconded: Councilor Hogan, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion by: Councilor Friedman—to authorize the Town Manager to bill the CBEC TIF District Account for its share of the municipal facilities improvements that is directly related to public safety improvements for the fire department, which services the CBEC TIF district in the amount of $165,483.50 as detailed in Manager Reed’s memo dated June 2, 2003. Said funds are to be applied to the project’s account. Seconded: Councilor Hogan, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor Hogan—to authorize the transfer of $49,298.00 from Undesignated Funds to the Municipal Building project reserve account for Site Work improvements. Seconded: Councilor Friedman, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Councilor Cheney inquired on what the balance was of the Undesignated fund. She outlined that $50,000 had been transferred to stabilize the mill rate and the recommended motions for the municipal building add up to $100,000. Manager Reed stated that in a past Council meeting he had outlined that he estimated the balance to be some $425,000 prior to using the $50,000 to stabilize the mill rate in the coming fiscal year. The estimate takes these figures into account. It was also noted that the Town would end the year in a surplus. Revenues have continued to be positive and costs have been manageable. In general the fund balance should end up very positive for the year.
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to authorize the transfer of $32,346.10 from Undesignated Funds to the Municipal Building Project account for building improvements. Seconded: Councilor Kelly, Voted 5-0 in favor. Motion By: Councilor Friedman—to authorize the transfer of $22,942.00 from Undesignated Funds to the Municipal Building Project account for utilities improvements. Seconded: Councilor Hogan, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Manager Reed outlined that in the current fiscal year General Assistance is going to be overspent and in order to receive our 50% reimbursement from the State we need to have the money in the General Assistance account.
Motion By: Councilor Friedman—to authorize the transfer $3,500 from Undesignated Funds to the General Assistance Account 100. Seconded: Councilor Hogan, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Manager Reed outlined that the police department’s budget is going to look overspent, however, we have billables from Ellsworth and the DEA. He recommended transferring funds to cover the D.A.R.E. program’s training and supplies.
Motion By: Councilor Hogan—to authorize the transfer of the balance of the Regional Dispatch 100 account to the Police Department’s D.A.R.E. program 100 account. Seconded: Councilor Friedman, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Councilor Cheney inquired whether any funds were budgeted for the Science Club. Manager Reed stated there were not. He added that CEO Thomas will be donating some old computers to the club.
ITEM 6. Comments from the Public
Katie Watt was present to introduce herself. She will be running for the unopposed one year position on the School Committee as a write-in. She outlined that she just moved here from New Jersey a year ago and loves it here and would like to become more involved. She has three children in the school system.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report
a.) The Council reviewed a memo from Chief Leonard on motor vehicle accident response time.
b.) The Council reviewed a copy of the Veazie Town Forest News from the Town Forester Carol Redelsheimer.
c.) The Council reviewed a copy of the Shoreland Zoning News.
d.) The Council reviewed a copy of a letter of thanks from the Veazie Community School PTO to the Town Office employees.
e.) The Council reviewed a copy of a certificate for the 2002 Project Canopy Assistance Award the Town received.
f.) The Council reviewed a copy of a memo on the tax reform initiative.
g.) The Council reviewed a copy of the Fire Department’s monthly report.
h.) The Council reviewed a copy of the Parks & Recreation Committee’s most recent minutes.
i.) The Council reviewed a copy of the Conservation Commission’s most recent minutes.
j.) The Council reviewed a copy of the Veazie 150th Committee’s most recent minutes.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information/Council Comments: There were no requests for information or comments from the Council.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 24 & 24A, Town Payroll 24, School Warrant 24 and School Payroll 24 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Friedman —to adjourn June 2, 2003, Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Hogan, Voted 5-0 in favor. There was no further discussion. Meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM.