PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Perkins, Councilor Cheney and Councilor Champaco; Town Manager B. Reed, Assistant Clerk K. Humphrey, Code Enforcement Officer Allan Thomas, Office Administrator Julie Reed, Police Chief Mark Leonard, Fire Chief Gerry Martin, Public Works Superintendent Butch Free; Members of the Public Robert Kelly, Dan Burgess and Matt Boucher. Councilor Hogan was absent and excused.
ITEM 1. The February 7, 2005 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of minutes: Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to accept the January 24, 2005 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Champaco, There was no more discussion. Voted 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda:
Manager Reed stated that there was a matter with JMAC Multimedia that the Council needed to address. A letter from the company’s president was distributed to the Council members. Manager Reed stated that he has tried to resolve the problem however JMAC Multimedia outlined that they wanted an official stance by the Council on this matter. This was added as item 4b.
Chairman Friedman added a plaque presentation as item 4c.
ITEM 4c. Plaque Presentation (Taken out of order)
Chairman Friedman stated that on behalf of the Veazie Town Council it is with great honor to present Robert Kelly with a plaque in honor of his seven years of service on the Veazie Town Council. Chairman Friedman and fellow Council members presented him with an engraved plaque and thanked him for dedicating seven years of his life to the Town.
ITEM 4a. Public Works Update
Superintendent Butch Free was present to give an update to the Council on current projects in the department. Superintendent Free stated that a few weeks ago there was a major breakdown of the community center furnace. He received a call from Manager Reed on a Sunday stating that there was three inches of water in the basement and water was leaking from the ceiling. He stated that he and Paul Urquhart figured out the problem and worked till 10:00 p.m. Monday night replacing gaskets and a valve as well as a major control. The problem is under control now and some work still needs to be done to the heaters upstairs.
The heating problem in the police bay has been resolved. He outlined that they had to run all new heating lines from the furnace under the floor and out to the bay.
Superintendent Free stated that so far this winter the department has used 200 yards of sand. He outlined that he did not purchase any sand this year because he decided to use a little more salt than used in past years and it seems to be working quite well. However, he had to order more salt and this had put him over budget. The reduced use of sand should make street sweeping a lot easier this year. He added that he also decided not to order sand to deplete the pile so the area could be paved this summer.
Superintendent Free stated that the department has installed a new dust collecting system in the shop downstairs. Piping has been run to all saws and sanders so when they are in use the dust is collected into a vacuum system.
Chairman Friedman stated that he was pleased that Superintendent Free used good judgment in ordering more salt even though he went over his budget. Superintendent Free outlined that it was an experimental year, he wanted to try using more salt since it works better and there is less cleanup with the storm drains and street sweeping. Next year he will know how much salt to budget for.
Councilor Cheney stated that she was concerned with runoff and wells being contaminated with the salt as well as the effects on plants and trees. Superintendent Free stated that it does not seem to affect grass and shrubs however it does damage pine trees. Manager Reed added that the Town uses an application rate four times less than what the State uses and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of damage on State roadways in Town, e.g. State Street.
ITEM 4b. JMAC Payment Request
Manager Reed outlined that from the records the Town has JMAC was authorized to do a ‘history of the town’ production but there was no mention of the $725 for the helicopter flyover. Manager Reed stated that James McLeod of JMAC Multimedia outlined that the flyover was verbally authorized by the former Town Chair as well as the video business card.
Manager Reed outlined that perhaps James McLeod wasn’t familiar with how the Town executes things and he might have thought that the Town Chair, who was also serving as the historical celebration committee chair at the time, had more authority than he really had. The $6,500 video business card is an economic development item that the Town would have to budget for.
Manager Reed stated that his opinion to resolve the matter is to clear up the $725 for the flyover and put the video business card on the back burner as an item to be possibly budgeted for in the future.
Councilor Perkins inquired on the amount of funds that actually changed hands between the Town and JMAC Multimedia. Manager Reed stated approximately $10,000 over a two year period for a multitude of different things.
Chairman Friedman stated that Jim McLeod has been very straight forward and honest with the Council and would like the Town to do the same with him. He asked the Councilors what there wishes were concerning the matter.
Councilor Cheney stated the Town should pay the $725 and put the video business card on the back burner to discuss and budget for at a later date. Councilor Perkins was in agreement as well as Chairman Friedman.
Councilor Champaco stated that she was not a member of the Council when this business transaction took place and would rather stay out of the decision, however she felt that if the Town received a service and was happy with the service then it should compensate JMAC Multimedia.
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to pay the amount of $725 to JMAC Multimedia and suspend discussion on a video business card until it can be budgeted at a later date. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 3-0-1 in favor.
ITEM 5a. Salmon Club Lease Follow-up
Chairman Friedman stated that he asked to have this item put on the agenda. The Salmon Club is concerned because they are currently operating without a lease.
Manager Reed stated that he had met with the membership several months ago and outlined to them that the consensus was that the Salmon Club and Town would continue as is. He outlined that the only record the Town had was an amended copy with no official signature. He also had asked the club if they had a copy of the signed lease too. Unfortunately they had the same document the Town had. Office Administrator Julie Reed had searched the registry of deeds but was unable to find anything. Manager Reed also noted that the Town does not have good Town Meeting minutes from the seventies into the early eighties.
Manager Reed stated that in the past he proposed to the Salmon Club that they provide the Town with an updated lease. Current use is accepted and the Town is happy with the club paying their dollar a year lease.
Member of the public Robert Kelly stated that perhaps the Town attorney at that time might have a copy of the lease. Manager Reed stated he would look into it.
Councilor Cheney inquired whether the Salmon Club carried liability insurance. Manager Reed stated that they did.
ITEM 6. Public Comments: Dan Burgess, Community Representative for the Off-Campus Board introduced himself and stated that he will be attending future meetings. Matt Boucher, a journalism student, introduced himself to the Council. He will be covering the Town Council meetings, Sewer District meetings, School Committee meetings, etc.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report:
a. The Council reviewed a copy of the Fire Department’s response to the smoke alarm activation at the Veazie Community School.
b. The Council reviewed a copy of a letter from the Sewer District and the Code Enforcement Officer, Allan Thomas’ response.
c. Manager Reed stated that union negotiations with the Fire Department have been going well. Town Attorney Rick Violette will be present at a future meeting to update the Council. He outlined that Fire Chief Gerry Martin and Assistant Chief Carl Tenney have put in a lot of extra time in workshops over the last two months. They have very helpful getting information for management to make recommendations.
d. The Council reviewed a copy of the Fire Department’s monthly report.
e. The Council reviewed a copy of the School Committee’s agenda and meeting minutes.
f. The Council reviewed a copy of the Weekly Legislative Report.
g. The Council reviewed a copy of an email from Code Enforcement Officer Allan Thomas regarding the Penobscot River Restoration Project.
h. The Council reviewed a copy of a letter from Code Enforcement Officer Allan Thomas regarding the condemnation of the house at 1448 State Street. Furance has been fixed and the condemnation has been lifted. John bunker will be in at next meeting to execute some documents.
Manager Reed outlined that the next scheduled Council meeting falls on a holiday. He inquired whether the Council wanted to cancel the meeting or hold it the following day, Tuesday, February 22nd. It was the consensus of the Council to cancel the meeting.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information/Council Comments:
Councilor Cheney noted that there was a very good article in the Maine Townsman on municipal budgeting.
Councilor Champaco wanted to thank Manager Reed for explaining the procedures the Town follows when there is an incident as such that occurred on Saturday, January 29th at the school. Councilor Champaco was referring to the smoke alarm activation. She had contacted Manager Reed over the weekend in regards to comments and concerns that were made at the school went the incident occurred.
Councilor Cheney stated that she would like to send a letter of appreciation to the Fire Department for their response to the incident. Chairman Friedman suggested the Town having a ‘pizza day’ for all of its employees as part of a “Public Service Appreciation Day”.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 16 & 16A, Town Payroll Warrant 16, School Warrant 16 and School Payroll Warrant 16 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Champaco—to adjourn the February 7, 2005 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Perkins—there was no further discussion. Voted 4-0, Meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.