PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Hogan, Councilor Perkins, Councilor Cheney and Councilor Champaco; Town Manager B. Reed, Assistant Clerk K. Humphrey, Code Enforcement Officer Allan Thomas, Office Administrator Julie Reed, Fire Chief Gerry Martin, Sewer District Trustees Steven Thebarge and Gary Brown, Sewer District Superintendent Gary Brooks.
ITEM 1. The March 7, 2005 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00 PM.
Chairman Friedman welcomed the Sewer District.
ITEM 2. Consideration of minutes: Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to accept the February 7, 2005 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, There was no more discussion. Voted 4-0-1 in favor. Councilor Hogan abstained due to his absence.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda: There were no additions made to agenda.
ITEM 4a. Sewer District Workshop Session
Manager Reed outlined that Code Enforcement Officer Allan Thomas and the Planning Board have been working to revise the permit application and notification process. Code Enforcement Officer Allan Thomas stated that on the building permit application there is a line that says they must contact the Sewer District and Water District for any utility work and they must sign. There is also a letter that is distributed with the permit from the Sewer District.
Superintendent Gary Brooks noted an instance a few months ago where a contractor did all of the sewer work without contacting the Sewer District. There was also another instance where a contractor was building two houses on Buck Hill Drive and the Sewer District was able to catch up with him before he went ahead with the sewer work. He was informed that there are fees and inspections required.
Councilor Cheney inquired whether there is a penalty for contractors who do acquire the proper paperwork and pay the required fees. Superintendent Brooks stated that one time the district required the contractor to dig up the work so it could be inspected. He also asked Code Enforcement Officer Allan Thomas not to issue a certificate of occupancy until things were corrected on another property.
Superintendent Brooks stated that he would like to be involved before the Planning Board signs off on subdivisions.
Chairman Friedman inquired whether the Town had a letter from the Water District to include with the building permits. Manager Reed stated that the Town did not. Chairman Friedman recommended contacting the Water District to see if they would like to provide one.
Manager Reed discussed sending subdivision plans to the Sewer District earlier in the process. He noted that a contractor will sometimes contact the district days before closing with the plans and it does not give the district enough time to look them over. He would like the developer to give the district plans the same time they give them to the Town.
Councilor Hogan stated that there should be a cover page for the building permit application that lists all items in the packet. There should also be a place for them to sign that says they acknowledge they have received the following items and have them check off each item.
Chairman Friedman outlined that the Town and the district both have trucks, bulldozers, etc. and he would like to see the Town and district share equipment and work together. Superintendent Brooks stated that he has a good line of communication with Public Works and they do work together on projects. Chairman Friedman asked how communication was with other departments. Superintendent Brooks stated that the district doesn’t need to communicate much with the Fire and Police Departments, however he has let the Fire Department know that the district has rescue equipment and it is available for them to use.
Superintendent Brooks outlined that when the former Deputy Clerk was still working in the office he was receiving updates from her on property transfers. He outlined that he would like to have those provided to him again. Code Enforcement Officer Allan Thomas stated that he will send the information to the district as he receives it.
Councilor Perkins inquired as to what the Sewer District had on its agenda for large projects. Superintendent Brooks stated that the district is currently paying off its last big project which was redoing Route 2 last spring. The EPA has new requirements for the district that includes a video library and taking an inventory of all of their equipment and assets so they are working on that. Superintendent Brooks also outlined that there is an old pump station that needs some upgrading.
Councilor Champaco asked how the Penobscot River Restoration project will affect the Sewer District. Superintendent Brooks stated that he wasn’t sure what will happen, there are obviously going to be some big changes. He outlined that the Sewer District does not receive information on the project. Manager Reed stated that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) notifies all affected parties and since the Sewer District should not be affected they are not required to be notified unless they file a request with FERC.
ITEM 5b. Maxell Matter (Taken out of order)
Attorney John Bunker was present to discuss with the Town Councilors a proposed agreement between Kerrie Maxell and the Town on the property located at 1448 State Street. It would be a land purchase installment contract, which an example contract was provided from Maine Municipal Association. The agreement addresses a total purchase price of $13,751.54. This total includes all back taxes including the current year’s taxes, interest, miscellaneous costs and an administrative fee. The installment plan consists of 30 payments of $505.70 with an interest rate of 7.75% on the purchase price. The interest rate is the State maximum for current year on unpaid taxes. Attorney John Bunker stated that Town Attorney Rick Violette had recommended a clause which has not been added to the
present draft of the agreement. This included an insurance policy to be maintained by Ms. Maxell on the property. Kerrie Maxell stated that she has spoken with an insurance agency and she cannot acquire a policy until she has an equitable share in the property. She outlined that once the agreement has been signed, she must provide a copy to the insurance company and they will then instate her policy.
Attorney John Bunker stated that Ms. Maxell would also be responsible for paying the regular property taxes that come due during this contract. She will have the right to prepay the principal balance, however she cannot obtain the deed until the contract is paid in full. He also added that Ms. Maxell would be responsible for any costs associated with evicting her if she defaults on payments. She also gives up any right to any payments that have already been made.
Councilor Perkins inquired whether the property was currently insured by anyone. Manager Reed stated that the Town’s blanket bond covers the property. After the contract is initiated it will no longer be covered.
Councilor Hogan mentioned putting the Town has lienholder on the insurance policy. Attorney John Bunker stated that the Town will be listed as lienholder on the policy.
Motion By: Councilor Hogan—to authorize the Town Manager to execute an installment contract on the Town Council’s behalf under the terms and conditions deemed necessary and appropriate by the Town’s attorney. If an agreement can not be reached within 45 days the Town Council will require the Town Manager to create a bid document for said property. Seconded: Councilor Champaco, There was no further discussion, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 5a. Legal Updates
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to adjourn into executive session under 1 M.R.S.A. section 405-6-D for discussion of labor contracts, proposals and meetings between the Town and its negotiations staff. Seconded By: Councilor Hogan, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor Hogan—to reconvene regular session. Seconded: Councilor Cheney, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 6. Public Comments:
Fire Chief Gerry Martin outlined that the Fire Department received a safety grant from Maine Municipal Association for HAZMAT training materials. The department also received a matching grant for tools from the forestry division. There are two other grants that he is waiting to hear on.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report:
a. The Council reviewed information pertaining to the March 5th economic development forum and workgroup session on the Penobscot River Restoration project. Manager Reed stated that there were 30-40 people in attendance. Once minutes are provided he will forward them on to the Council. He outlined that a lot of the people have similar ideas; ecotourism, lifestyle activities and family oriented activities. Currently the project is looking for a theme to promote the heritage and history of the river.
b. The Council reviewed a copy of information pertaining to LD 1. A summary and methodology report, a detailed colored map of community impact and an Excel spreadsheet displaying projected effects was included.
c. The Council reviewed a copy of an editorial written by former Town Councilor Rod Hathaway. The article pertained to regionalism.
d. The Council reviewed a copy of the Town’s county assessment history for the past several years including the Town’s assessment.
e. The Council reviewed a copy of the Legislative Report #8.
f. The Council reviewed a copy of the School Committee’s minutes and agenda.
g. The Council reviewed a copy of the Town’s financial reports provided by Deputy Treasurer Julie Reed.
h. The Council reviewed a copy of the Town’s call volume reports.
i. Sample compost bin. Manager Reed stated that at the present time the plan is to purchase 20 units and sell it to the public for the cost the Town paid. If the bins are popular and all of them sell the Town will buy more.
Manager Reed stated that nomination papers are available. He outlined that the first nomination papers listed the Town Meeting date as June 7th instead of June 14th. Two individuals took out nomination papers and will be sent a letter informing them that they have an extra week to return their papers. All present nomination papers have the correct date. The Town will also run a notice in the Bangor Daily News with the corrected date.
Chairman Friedman stated that on March 23rd the Council has been invited to a meeting at the Bangor City Hall regarding the Bangor Historic Track Racino. The meeting is at 5:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.
Manager Reed distributed ‘d-cards’ to the Councilors from JMAC Multimedia. The card was an example of what JMAC Multimedia wanted to do the for the Town.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information/Council Comments:
Councilor Perkins stated that the Eastern Maine School of Self Defense was offering a free self-defense class for women on March 20th at 10:00 a.m. He inquired whether something could be put on the website and Town cable channel letting residents know.
Councilor Hogan outlined that in reading the Legislative Message that was included in the Council packets it was apparent that the State legislature is not listening to the people. He stated that the people need to band together and voice their opinion and that includes the Council. This also pertains to LD 1.
Councilor Cheney suggested composing a letter to the editor from the Town or Town Council and putting it in the paper. Manager Reed stated that Town staff will be putting information on LD 1 in the Town’s newsletter next month.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 18 & 18A, Town Payroll Warrant 18, School Warrant 18 and School Payroll Warrant 18 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Hogan—to adjourn the March 7, 2005 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Champaco—there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0, Meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.