PRESENT: Councilor Hogan, Councilor Cheney, Councilor Perkins and Councilor Champaco; Town Manager B. Reed, Assistant Clerk K. Humphrey, CEO Allan Thomas, Office Administrator Julie Reed, Assistant Fire Chief Carl Tenney, Captain Pete Metcalf, Firefighter Nick Sirois, James Parker of CES, Member of the Public John Parker. Chairman Friedman was absent and excused.
Councilor Cheney was nominated to serve as Protem Chair in the absence of Chairman Friedman.
ITEM 1. The October 4, 2004 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00 PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of minutes: Motion By: Councilor Hogan—to accept the September 20, 2004 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda: There were no items added to the agenda.
ITEM 4a. CES – Town Line Discussion
Jim Parker of CES was present to discuss a few items with the Council. He outlined that Mike Avery, a surveyor for CES, gave him the summary of where the town lines are. He has also met with the surveyor for Bangor and they are in agreement on the town lines.
Manager Reed stated that the Town is concerned with retail expansion and the concerns expressed by residents regarding interstate connections near the Chase Road. He outlined that the Town should accurately know where its boundary lines are in the case that Bangor decides to locate a service road on the Chase Road.
Assessor Allan Thomas stated that the town line marker on the Stillwater side had sunk into the mud and will need to be reset.
Councilor Cheney inquired whether the Town thought there might be development in the Chase Road area. Jim Parker of CES outlined that there have been two proposals in Bangor, one behind Home Depot and a subdivision of commercial property behind Sam’s Club which abuts Barney Silver’s land. He added that knowing the true town lines will let the Town know whether it has an interest if they decide to put a road.
Another issue Jim Parker was present to discuss was the Oak Ridge Subdivision that was approved in 1989. He outlined that the road was never deeded to the Town and currently Stan MacMillian still technically owns it. Jim Parker of CES explained that drawing up an easement with a simple description would resolve the issue. Apparently back in 1989 the paperwork was never filed and taken care of by the legal staff and developer.
Councilor Champaco inquired what road was in question. Jim Parker of CES stated Ridgeview Drive. He outlined that Oak Ridge was the name of the subdivision.
The last issue Jim Parker was present to talk about was the flooding along side Longmeadow Drive. He outlined that Robert Kelly has offered an easement so that the Town could put some drainage to eliminate the flooding when it rains. John Lombard has also agreed to this as well. Manager Reed outlined that it was planned that the work would be done by Public Works.
Councilor Cheney inquired about the Davis land and how this would effect it. Jim Parker outlined that nothing would be done to his land and that the water flows in that direction. Manager Reed outlined that there are currently some issues with drainage along the Davis property where drainage is plugged up and causing issues with stormwater management. Code Enforcement Officer Allan Thomas and his Deputy John Ellis are going to be meeting with Tom Davis to discuss this in the future.
ITEM 4b. Planning Board Recommendation
Manager Reed outlined that as the Council knew, the Planning Board had a public hearing to discuss a proposed land use change. The letter provided by the Planning Board to the Council outlined that the Planning Board voted to approve the ordinance amendment. If the Council would like to accept the Planning Board’s recommendation it would take a majority vote from the Council to approve the amendment.
Manager Reed stated that Planning Board Chair Chris Cronan had written him a letter saying that he thought the process had been hurried along and the timeline should be amended. Assessor Allan Thomas outlined that once the Council sends an issue to the Planning Board for consideration, a public hearing must be held within so many days. He added that Chris Cronan thought that the Planning Board had been “short-changed” on the process however, the Planning Board was not aware of the required time frame. Jim Parker, who had approached the Council with the land use change outlined that the Planning Board had actually been given two extra weeks in addition to the required time schedule.
It was discussed and decided that Assessor Allan Thomas will come up with a new proposal for a time schedule that will extend the number of days from thirty to a longer length of time.
Motion By: Councilor Hogan—to approve the Planning Board’s recommendation to the Land Use Ordinance. Seconded By: Councilor Champaco, Voted 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 5a. Fire Department Discussion & Recommendation
Manager Reed outlined that included in the Councilor’s packets was a proposed action plan from the Fire Department pertaining to how they wish to deal with the personnel management matter that was discussed at a Town Council meeting several weeks ago. At that time Town staff was looking at the prospects of developing a Public Safety Director. Currently, Town staff believes that the department should be afforded the opportunity which is just restructuring the department’s management form. This proposal will cause the least impact to personnel and total municipal structure. Manager Reed outlined that if the department’s proposed management process fails after 4 months than Town staff would recommend taking the more aggressive restructuring approach.
Assistant Fire Chief Carl Tenney stated the department would like to see feedback from the Council to make sure they are on track and that they are meeting the needs of the Council.
Councilor Hogan outlined that he thought the recommendation sounded good and he wanted to make sure that it works within the costs.
Councilor Cheney outlined that she thought the issue with the Public Safety Director was that the full-time employees needed a full-time person to go to. Assistant Fire Chief Carl Tenney stated that he thinks the department’s proposal will be effective. He stated that serving as the supervisor to the full-time firefighter he will always be in contact, he currently comes in everyday during the work week and he can always be contacted by cell phone.
Consensus was to proceed with the department’s proposal and to evaluate it in four to six months.
ITEM 5b. EMS Funds
Manager Reed outlined that the Fire Department is requesting to have its EMS revenues from fiscal year ’03-’04 transferred to the department’s EMS operations account. It has been past practice to transfer the revenues to the EMS operations account.
Motion By: Councilor Hogan—to transfer the balance of $3,915.82 in the Fire Department’s EMS revenue account to their EMS operations account. Seconded By: Councilor Perkins, Voted 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 5c. Projects Update
Manager Reed outlined that he put this item on the agenda again since they did not have much time at the last meeting to discuss the work plan and goals and objectives. He wanted to make sure that if any Councilors had any questions over the goals and objectives list that they were answered. It was outlined that the list is very helpful to let everyone know what is going on with the Town.
Councilor Hogan outlined that he hopes dialogue will continue between departments and entities because communication is essential.
ITEM 6. Public Comments: There were no comments from the public.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report:
Manager Reed outlined that each Councilor should have received a memo in their packets explaining the server going down during the prior week. He added that Town staff worked very hard to make sure customers’ needs were met and they even stayed open late to allow customers to come back after the server was back up and running. Manager Reed stated that he was happy with the consultants response to the problem, they were here within two hours. No data was lost when the server went down.
Manager Reed outlined that he had drafted up a letter that could be cut and tailored for residents who have questions on property taxes and the tax cap proposal.
a. The Council reviewed a copy of a letter written in response to a resident’s concerns regarding property taxes.
b. The Council reviewed a copy of a letter from the Veazie Garden Club’s president regarding their support for the Conservation Commission and its efforts to control invasive plants in Veazie.
c. The Council reviewed a copy of an article from the Penobscot Times on the Fire Department’s fire safety campaign.
d. The Council reviewed a copy of the Town of Orrington’s newsletter regarding their fees for the hazardous waste collection.
e. The Council reviewed a copy of a note from a resident regarding property taxes. Attached was the Town’s repsonse.
f. The Council reviewed a copy of an article from the Penobscot Times regarding Milford’s property tax rise.
Manager Reed added that this year Public Works will be working with the University of Maine and the Town will be taking its leaves that are collected roadside to the Paige Farm on campus. The process will take longer and more truck time will be used but it will delay the development of a new compost site which would be an added cost.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information/Council Comments:
Councilor Cheney wanted to voice her appreciation to the Town Office staff for working through the server shutdown and also to all the other departments for all of their hard work. She also asked for the public safety employees present to be introduced. Assistant Fire Chief Carl Tenney introduced Captain Pete Metcalf and Firefighter Nick Sirois. Police Officer Jeff Gotreau introduced himself to the Council.
Councilor Cheney inquired on when Greystone Trailer Park would be hooking up to Town water. Manager Reed stated that the Water District is holding the project up right now. He outlined that the contractor is all set to go on the project.
Councilor Cheney outlined that there seems to be a lot of junk in behind the Stonehouse Cafe. Code Enforcement Officer Allan Thomas stated that he will look into it.
Councilor Perkins asked who was responsible for the vegetation hanging down over the retaining wall by the Jones property on State Street. Manager Reed outlined that the State was responsible. Councilor Perkins outlined that it is a dangerous area for someone to be riding their bike and the State should be contacted to fix it. Manager Reed pointed out that the designated bike route in Veazie does not run between the two spots where Main Street comes out to State Street. The designated way is down Main Street.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 7 & 7A, Town Payroll Warrant 7, School Warrant 7, School Lunch Warrant 7 and School Payroll Warrant 7 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Perkins—to adjourn the October 4, 2004 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Hogan—there was no further discussion. Voted 4-0, Meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.