PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Hathaway, Councilor Champaco, Councilor Cheney, Councilor Perkins; Manager W. Reed; Principal S. Nichols; Budget Committee Members S. Hart, S. Humphrey, J. Manter, and J. Perkins; School Committee Members D. Hayman, L. Janicki, S. Thebarge, and G. Batchelder; Officer Manager J. Reed; Assistant Clerk J. Raye; Police Chief M. Leonard; Fire Chief G. Martin, Assistant Fire Chief C. Tenney; Tax Assessor A. Thomas; Public Works Superintendent G. Free; Recreation Director R. Freese; Collabric Representative G. Reid; B. Hogan and F. Jones from the public.
ITEM 1. The June 27, 2005 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:01PM.
Chairman Friedman welcomed the Budget Committee, the School Committee, all of the Department Heads, and the members of the public and thanked them for being at the meeting.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to accept the June 27, 2005 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Hathaway. There was no more discussion. Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
There were no additions made to the agenda.
ITEM 4a. Collabric Zone Change Request
Chairman Friedman welcomed Collabric Facilities Coordinator Garey Reid.
Mr. Reid explained that the Planning Board recommended the approval of the zone change from Industrial-1 to Commercial-2. Manager Reed noted that the C-2 zone was originally adopted into ordinance a few years ago. Commercial-2 zoning was created to act as a transition zone between I-1 and residential zones. The Planning Board made this zone for businesses located on School Street and Eagle View Drive.
Mr. Reid then handed out a packet explaining what Collabric does and included pictures of what is built by the employees. He wanted to point out that the business generates very little waste and uses no chemicals or processes that are hazardous or potentially hazardous to the environment and surroundings.
Councilor Cheney asked Mr. Reid to explain the location of the business and detail the proposed expansion. Mr. Reid informed the audience that Collabric borders the railroad tracks on School Street. The proposed expansion will extend the building out into the field behind the current building. The expansion will be approximately 31,000 square feet. He also detailed that the nearest neighbor is nearly eighty five (85) feet away from the current structure, which leaves enough space to expand, and still have the necessary buffer zone.
Councilor Champaco expressed her concerns about the expansion plans in relation to the distance the company is from the Veazie Community School. Code Enforcement Officer Allan Thomas noted that changing from I-1 to C-2, which prohibits heavy industrial, is actually a great advantage to the neighbors and will provide a buffer between the Industrial and School/Residential zones. Principal Nichols noted that even after the expansion is complete, he feels traffic will not be a problem and noise and environmental pollution will not affect the school either, as it does not now.
Councilor Champaco then inquired about any plans that Collabric may have for community or educational sponsorship. Mr. Reid noted that they have a program with United Technology Center for students to come train with the employees at Collabric. He also noted that he would talk to the Public Relations Director about educational tours and other community support.
Councilor Hathaway pointed out that this expansion is a great opportunity to keep jobs close to home at a time when more and more jobs are being exported. He then made a motion to approve the zone change request from I-1 to C-2 for the lot located at 1017 School Street as recommended by the Veazie Planning Board. Seconded: Councilor Cheney. There was no further discussion. Voted 5-0.
ITEM 5a. Budget Workshop
Chairman Friedman took a minute to thank everyone again for being at the meeting.
Principal Nichols introduced the new School Committee Members Gavin Batchelder and Sharon Thebarge.
Councilor Cheney noted that the School did a wonderful job with their budget for 2005/2006 despite mandates and changes that came about because of LD 1 and EPS.
Councilor Perkins apologized to the School Committee and the Department Heads that some Councilors blind-sided them at the last budget meeting in May. He expressed that everyone did a great job.
Councilor Champaco noted a comment that she had made at the June 27 Council meeting about addressing each department individually instead of all departments on one evening. She went on to make other suggestions for change and possible improvements.
Councilor Hathaway noted that he would like to see the budget process changed in order to have goals set up front to discourage that last minute push to get just the right number without concern for what we might be losing.
Budget Committee Chair Suzanne Hart wanted to note how important the program-oriented budgeting was this year. She said it was very helpful to see where money is going to be used and why it is being used for that. She suggested that the Budget Committee meet more often than just at the Town Council meetings.
Budget Committee Member Joan Perkins mentioned that she thinks it is important to see numbers a little bit earlier in the process because those numbers are the reason the Budget Committee exists.
Committee Member Scott Humphrey noted that he would like to receive tax bills earlier in the year in order to have more time to save up the money. Councilor Cheney asked Tax Assessor Allan Thomas if there was some way to get the bills out sooner. Mr. Thomas replied that as soon as the commitment is done and the bills are printed, they are sent out.
Committee Member John Manter echoed the thoughts of Ms. Hart and Mr. Humphrey.
School Committee Chair Duska Hayman pointed out the frustration the School Department felt this year because of the limited amount of time given to make crucial adjustments to the budget that may or may not have effected the education Veazie is trying to provide its children with. Ms. Hayman then suggested putting more information on the Town website and television sooner in the process.
The Department Heads echoed the thoughts of the Councilors and Committee Members in regards to starting the process earlier and having individual department meetings with the Council in order to explain the reasoning behind the amount of money each will request.
Manager Reed noted that he wanted to meet with the Superintendent and Committee Chairs to try to formulate a tentative schedule to have back to the Council in a month; the Council all agreed that these plans were sufficient.
ITEM 6. Comments from the Public
Member of the Public Freeland Jones inquired about tree inspection and removal services in town. Manager Reed outlined that a tree service comes to Veazie every fall for a review. Code Enforcement Officer Allan Thomas also noted that when citizens call about tree problems, he makes sure the trees are checked out during the rest of the year.
Budget Committee Member Scott Humphrey asked if there could be a “meet the candidates” event or section in the newsletter. Councilors Cheney and Perkins echoed that suggestion.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report
a. Manager Reed discussed the service provider change on July 25 when the Town Office will change phone and Internet providers from Lightship Telecom to Verizon. He then suggested that just in case something goes wrong, the Council meeting scheduled for that night be cancelled. The suggestion was agreed to by the Council.
b. The Manager noted the magazine article enclosed.
c. Manager Reed noted the memo and informed the audience that the Town received nearly $6,000.00 from the Federal Government to repay the Public Works Department for all of the overtime work done during the winter storms.
d. The Manager noted the July BACTS newsletter.
e. The Manager also noted the enclosed Weekly Legislative Report.
f. Manager Reed then noted the MMA Draft Report of the Service Center.
g. Manager Reed briefly discussed the enclosed copy of the Fire Service District contract. He noted that under the contract, Veazie would still be spending close to $200,000.00 on fire service.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Perkins asked what is happening outside of Greystone Park because he noticed a lot of clay chunks and big rocks in the road. Code Enforcement Officer Allan Thomas informed the audience that the gravel pit beside the Stonehouse Cafe is being filled. Manager Reed also noted that he and Mr. Thomas have spent time with the park manager recently. Mr. Thomas outlined that they are patching the roads and remedying the current situation.
Councilor Hathaway asked Manager Reed if the transfer from Adelphia to Time Warner has been completed yet. He noted that after reading through the resolution only two articles could be negotiated. Manager Reed assured him that the bankruptcy courts are looking through the resolutions dealing with customer service and buildout.
Councilor Perkins asked about Chairman Friedman’s request from last meeting about the School Committee signing the warrants. Manager Reed noted that as long as the Superintendent has signed them, the Council can sign them.
Councilor Hathaway then asked if the School checks are sent out before the warrants are signed. Office Manager Julie Reed noted that she wasn’t sure but she could certainly find out and let them know at the next meeting.
ITEM 9. Town Warrants 26B, 1, and 1A, Town Payroll Warrant 1, School Warrant 1, School Lunch Warrant 1, and School Payroll Warrant 1 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Cheney—to adjourn the July 11, 2005 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Perkins–there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned at 8:37p.m.