PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Hathaway, Councilor Cheney, Councilor Kelly, and Councilor Hogan, Town Manager B. Reed, CEO A. Thomas, Office Administrator Julie Reed, Deputy CEO John Ellis, Assistant Clerk K. Humphrey, Budget Committee Members John Manter, Suzanne Hart and; CES Representative Jim Parker, Members of the Public Stephan Clark and Andrew Clark.
ITEM 1. The October 6, 2003 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00 PM.
Chairman Friedman thanked the budget committee for attending the Council meeting. He also welcomed the Clarks.
ITEM 2. Consideration of minutes: Motion: Councilor Cheney—to accept September 22, 2003 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Hogan, Voted 4-0-1 in favor. Councilor Hathaway abstained from voting due to his absence at the September 22, 2003 Council meeting.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda: Manager Reed wanted to inform the Council that Councilor Cheney had been elected to serve as representative for Veazie on the PVCOG Executive Committee and Councilor Hogan will serve as an alternate.
ITEM 4a. Assessor and CEO Update
CEO / Assessor Allan Thomas was present to give an update on his department. The computer network is up and working fine, however he found three viruses this month. He will be looking into adding firewall hardware to secure things more.
CEO / Assessor Thomas stated that taxes were committed on August 21, 2003. He outlined that the mill rate was lower because Duke Energy declared $4 million more in value outside of the CBEC TIF District.
CEO / Assessor Thomas stated that he and Deputy CEO John Ellis have contacted various property owners with lawns that need to be mowed. Most of the owners have complied. One property was mowed by the Public Works department and the Town is maintaining an account so that the Town can be reimbursed when the property sells.
CEO / Assessor Thomas outlined that Deputy CEO John Ellis has been doing a good job with junk cars. He has sent out letters with pictures to the residents with junk cars on their property and the results have been quite favorable.
CEO / Assessor Thomas stated that in his packet to the Council he included an outline of all of the aspects of his job. He added that he would not be able to do it without the help of the office staff. Deputy Clerk Beckie Woods has done and continues to do a lot of data entry and work with backing up the server. He outlined that his training keeps him out of the office a lot, however, it is required training.
CEO / Assessor Thomas stated that there will be a lot to the Stormwater (NPDES) Administration. A majority of the work will be education. CEO / Assessor Thomas showed the Council a commercial for polluted stormwater. He outlined that over the next five years that everyone will be seeing a lot more of these commercials. He will be meeting with John Murphy from Bangor to gather a group to tackle the goals of NPDES as a group rather than the Town doing everything on its own.
Budget Committee member Suzanne Hart inquired on CEO / Assessor Thomas’ training. CEO / Assessor Thomas outlined that some classes are provided by the State and the Town only pays for his mileage and time. Other classes the Town must pay for, some of which can range from $150 to $300 a class. These type of classes are for GIS training and BMP training.
Councilor Cheney asked CEO / Assessor Thomas whether he thought the Town was lacking the proper equipment to improve the TV channel. CEO / Assessor Thomas stated that currently the Town has analog equipment which is now outdated. It prevents him from inserting a video clip onto the channel in which case if he did insert one he would have to manually run it each time. Councilor Cheney asked if CEO / Assessor Thomas could look into what it would cost to improve the channel and report back.
Budget Committee Member Suzanne Hart asked CEO / Assessor Thomas if he could give a percentage of time that he spends on each aspect of his job. CEO / Assessor Thomas stated that if there is a problem with a computer or the server that is his top priority. The next item would be electrical inspections for properties with no power followed by code enforcement and tax commitment.
ITEM 4b. General Assistance Ordinance
Manager Reed outlined that in the Council packets were the recommended revised appendixes for general assistance. These changes are what should have gone into effect on October 1, 2003. MMA and the State of Maine were late on issuing the federal and state guidelines this fall.
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to open the public hearing on the proposed revisions of appendixes to the Town’s General Assistance ordinance. Seconded: Councilor Hathaway, Voted 5-0 in favor.
There were no comments from the public.
Manager Reed outlined that the State requires all General Assistance programs to use the figures issued if they wish for reimbursement from the State.
Motion By: Councilor Hogan—to close the public hearing on the proposed revisions to the Town’s General Assistance ordinance. Seconded: Councilor Cheney, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to accept the proposed revisions for the Town’s General Assistance ordinance as provided by Maine Municipal Association. Seconded: Councilor Hogan, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 5a. Drainage Study Update
Jim Parker of CES was present to give a drainage study update to the Council. He stated that currently his crew is in the field locating catch basins and storm drains. He will sit down with CEO Thomas to review it when they are finished. Once the process is finished CES will print the plans.
ITEM 5b. Audit Update
Office Administrator Julie Reed stated that the Town’s auditor had started the audit the last week of July. She was present in the office today and will return tomorrow to give the final adjustment entries. Office Administrator Julie Reed outlined that the auditor should be able to attend the next Council meeting to give a summary of her findings. She outlined that the auditor thought things looked really good. The auditor is not really familiar with the new accounting software, however, she did find a glitch in the software that ADS is currently addressing.
Manager Reed added that included under the Manager’s Report was a memo from Office Administrator Julie Reed regarding the tax comparison of the current year to last year. Chairman Friedman inquired whether the numbers have changed since she wrote the memo. The numbers had not. She stated that the software did really well handling the prepaid taxes. There was only one overpayment of taxes and the Town is still in the process of determining who should be reimbursed. Chairman Friedman asked if he could be provided with a list of residents who have delinquent taxes.
ITEM 6. Public Comments: There were no comments from the public.
ITEM 7a. Manager’s Report:
a. The Council reviewed a copy of the Fire Department’s monthly report.
b. The Council reviewed a copy of the Parks & Recreation Department’s most recent minutes.
c. The Council reviewed a copy of the Conservation Commission’s most recent minutes.
d. The Council reviewed a tax comparison of this year and last year prepared by Deputy Tax Collector Julie Reed.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information/Council Comments:
Councilor Kelly inquired when the property on the Chase Road was going to be auctioned off. Office Administrator Julie Reed stated the auction date was October 7, 2003. It was noted that there were two properties on Chase Road that had been foreclosed on, however, the second property was still being occupied.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 7 & 7a, Town Payroll Warrant 7, School Warrant 7, School Payroll Warrant 7, and School Lunch Warrant 7, were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Cheney—to adjourn the October 6, 2003 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Hogan—there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0 Meeting adjourned at 7:53 p.m.