PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Hogan, Councilor Perkins, Councilor Cheney and Councilor Champaco; Town Manager B. Reed, Code Enforcement Officer A. Thomas, Fire Chief G. Martin, Assistant Fire Chief C. Tenney, Fire Fighter N. Sirois, Police Chief M. Leonard, Town Attorney R. Violette and two students from the University of Maine.
ITEM 1. The March 21, 2005 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00 PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of minutes: Motion By: Councilor Hogan—to accept the March 7, 2005 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, There was no more discussion. Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda: There was one addition to the agenda – discussion of an ‘Annual Crafts and Family Day’ for the Town. This was added as item 4c.
ITEM 5a. Legal Updates (Taken out of order)
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to go into executive session under 1 MRSA section 405 – 6 – D for discussion of labor contracts, proposals, and meetings between the Town and its negotiations staff. Seconded: Councilor Champaco, there was no further discussion. Voted 5–0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to move out of executive session. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, there was no further discussion. Voted 5–0 in favor.
ITEM 4a. Sick Time Fund Annual Adjustment
Manager Reed outlined that the Town should adjust its “sick time / vacation time” liability fund. With the implementation of the new accounting standards the Town has to have a funded reserve to cover the Town’s potential liability. The Town Council then reviewed the Town’s Fund Balance Policy for reference.
Manager Reed outlined that the goal of moving to a 33% reserve funding level, minimum recommended by staff, to a 50%, strongly recommended, reserve funding level was discussed in great detail by the Town Councilors. It was also noted that 100% funding, while ideal, is not the norm in municipal government and was not recommended at the present time. It was noted that the proposed transfer just assigns a funding reserve for a liability that already existed and really does not equal an expenditure. It was discussed that liabilities assessed are fluid and change year to year. Manager Reed outlined that in past experience, individuals usually use up their benefits prior to retiring, leaving on disability or resignation. In general, the liability from past experience is a real cost and must be addressed effectively
to conform to accounting standards and guidelines.
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to authorize the Town Manager to transfer $49,329.50 from the Undesignated Fund Balance account to the “Sick Time / Vacation Time Fund”. Seconded By: Councilor Champaco, there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 4b. Manager’s Review – Annual
Chairman Friedman detailed that it was that time of year once again. He outlined that a copy of the evaluation form was enclosed in the Councilor’s packets which has been used in the past. Councilor Cheney and Councilor Champaco volunteered to meet with the Manager and start the process.
ITEM 4c. Town Activities Crafts / Family Day
It was discussed that Manager Reed should work with the Parks and Recreation Committee on a craft day. Several of the Councilors outlined that it could be a simple and fun day. By working with the church and other community groups it could be a local hub of activity.
ITEM 6. Public Comments:
James McCloud thanked the Town Council for their quick response to his request and then he gave a brief presentation of the D-Card. The Town Council members were impressed with its interactivity and how it could relate to the Town’s website. They asked Manager Reed to follow-up with JMAC representatives.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report:
a. The Council reviewed a copy of a letter from Maine Development Foundation regarding an award from the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Local and Regional Services in the amount of $9,800. This award is to fund the Bangor Area Water Group’s project of which Veazie is a part. They also reviewed a copy of the Targeted Watersheds Grant that the Bangor Area Stormwater Group would like to apply for if the majority of the Towns involved choose to do so.
b. The Council reviewed a copy of the Penobscot Valley Council of Governments’ agenda and meeting minutes.
c. The Council reviewed a copy of a letter from a Greystone Trailer Park resident to B.L.H. Management regarding snow removal.
d. The Council reviewed a copy of a thank you letter regarding reminder notices the Town sends out for motor vehicles.
e. The Council reviewed a copy of a report on education, housing, and capital planning opportunities in the greater Bangor area. The report was prepared by the Margaret Chase Smith Center for Public Policy and the following entities contributed to the effort: Eastern Maine Development Corporation, BACTS, Penobscot Valley Council of Governments and the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.
f. The Council reviewed a copy of consolidated notes on the Penobscot River Restoration Visioning Session held at the Veazie Community School on March 5, 2005.
g. The Council reviewed a copy of the Bangor Public Library’s newsletter. There was an interesting article regarding a historian who had portraits of General Samuel Veazie and his wife restored.
h. The Council reviewed a copy of a flyer regarding a “Meet & Greet” session being held by Congressman Mike Michaud and District Office Staff on Tuesday, March 22, 2005.
i. The Council reviewed copies of the Weekly Legislative Report.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information/Council Comments:
The Town Council congratulated Allan Thomas on receiving the regional grant for the Bangor Area Stormwater group.
Several Councilors discussed the need for a trailer park ordinance and that maintenance to the park had seemed to decline over the past several months. Allan Thomas, CEO, outlined that the Planning Board is in the process of creating a new ordinance to address the concerns of the residents and the Town Council.
There was discussion that the Town should be recognized for all of the grants received over the past year and the regional efforts that the Town undertakes.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 19 & 19A, Town Payroll Warrant 19, School Warrant 19, School Lunch Warrant 19 and School Payroll Warrant 19 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to adjourn the March 21, 2005 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Champaco, there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0, Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.