PRESENT: Councilor Champaco, Councilor Hathaway, Councilor Perkins, Councilor Cheney; Manager W. Reed; Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey; Tax Assessor A. Thomas; Office Manager J. Reed, Fire Chief Gerry Martin, Assistant Fire Chief Carl Tenney.
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to nominate Councilor Champaco as Chairman Protem. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 1. The October 17, 2005 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to accept the October 3, 2005 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 3-0-1 in favor. Councilor Hathaway abstained due to his absence.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
Manager Reed stated that the next Council meeting falls on Halloween. He outlined that he had obligations that night and others had obligations to help with the Halloween Carnival that the Parks and Recreation Department holds at the school. Councilor Perkins noted that he had obligations to attend the carnival as well. It was the consensus of the Council to cancel the October 31st meeting.
ITEM 4a. Equipment Use Policy Discussion
Manager Reed outlined that there was a personnel issue involving the use of Town equipment and disciplinary action had been taken. In talking with the Town Attorney it was noted that the Town did not have an actual written policy on equipment use and he recommended that the Town draft one up. Manager Reed outlined that if it was the consensus of the Council he, the Town Attorney and management would draft up a policy.
Chairman Protem Champaco inquired on what kind of equipment was used. Manager Reed stated that it was a large piece of equipment that was used for personal use. Manager Reed added that the Town does have a billing policy for the use of equipment and the individual was dealt with administratively and billed for the use of the equipment.
Manager Reed stated that he would like to prohibit the use of large equipment. He outlined that there are towns and businesses that have a signout sheet for small items such as hand tools. He recommended setting a limit on what can be signed out.
Manager Reed outlined that a good deal of hand tools are owned by employees and that there has been a recent effort for the Town to own all hand tools.
Councilor Hathaway recommended resolving the issue with employees’ tools being mixed in with Town tools. A problem arises when an employee leaves and wants their tools. He outlined that the Town needs to determine what belongs to whom. It was noted that they Town has started an inventory process over the past year in order to meet GASB standards.
It was consensus of the Council for Manager Reed to draft up a policy for the use of Town equipment similar to the Town’s policy on technology use.
ITEM 5a. Municipal Facilities Discussion
Manager Reed outlined that now that Veazie Variety is closed the Town’s departments have to travel to Bangor or Orono to get gas for their vehicles. Public Works has outlined that perhaps it is more critical for the Town to get an onsite gas tank. Manager Reed outlined that the Town has all of the permit paperwork and the State office just needs to know where the tank would go before a permit can be issued.
Fire Chief Gerry Martin outlined that his department tries to coincide getting gas with their other errands out of Town, however it is hard when it is late at night and they have been at a call. Police Chief Mark Leonard outlined that the officers try to coincide getting gas with going to court.
Councilor Cheney inquired on whether the Town had a contract with RH Foster. Manager Reed stated that the Town does not have a contract, however it has a business card account and the Town receives a discount and tax exemptions.
Chairman Protem Champaco outlined that she thought it was a bit excessive for the Town to have a fuel tank in the Public Works department at this time. Manager Reed outlined that he just wanted to ensure that the Town Council was aware that Town vehicles may be out of town more.
Councilor Hathaway outlined that Veazie Variety just closed and the Town should wait to see if a new place comes into Town. If a new RH Foster doesn’t come in to Town, it is something the Town can budget for during the next budget process. The consensus of the Council was for management to stay on its current path.
ITEM 6. Comments from the Public
There were no comments from the public.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report
a. The Council reviewed a copy of the Town’s quarterly investment reports.
b. The Council reviewed a copy of the Fire Department’s monthly report.
c. The Council reviewed a copy of the Penobscot Valley Council of Governments’ meeting minutes and agenda.
d. The Council reviewed a copy of the Veazie School Committee’s meeting minutes and agenda.
Manager Reed outlined that a Budget Committee meeting has been scheduled for October 26th. The Council is invited to attend if they wish.
Fire Chief Martin outlined that the Fire Department received a $2,000 grant from Sam’s Club. In return, the Town purchased roughly $1,000 of candy for Halloween, smoke detectors and batteries.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Cheney inquired on whether the issue of the School Committee signing warrants has been resolved. Manager Reed outlined that the Superintendent was trying a plan where they would sign the warrants which met with Deputy Treasurer Reed’s approval. It was added that the Town Auditor and State law outlines that the School Committee is not required to sign the warrants. Councilor Cheney outlined that the State did a great job on State Street but wondered if they were going to come back and finish where driveways meet the road. Manager Reed stated that they will be back to finish, they had run into problems in Orono.
Councilor Cheney outlined that she has been reading the newspaper about concerns with energy conservation with upcoming fuel prices. She hopes that the Town will have a plan to conserve energy.
Councilor Cheney noted that at the School Committee meeting it was pointed out they are trying to conserve by printing on both sides of the paper.
Chairman Protem Champaco inquired on when fall cleanup begins. Manager Reed outlined that Public Works will begin Monday, October 24th, they are only picking up leaves. Chairman Protem Champaco outlined that there is no speed limit sign on her street and wondered what the speed limit was. CEO Allan Thomas stated that it was 25mph.
Councilor Hathaway mentioned that on the school committee minutes there was a note on enrollment. He outlined that since it is such a contributing factor in budgeting he wondered if it was something that the Council could get a copy of it to study.
Councilor Hathaway inquired whether the Town had an electronic database where it could email the newsletter to save on costs. Office Manager Julie Reed explained that the newsletter is sent out as bulk mail and not individually to residents. The Town would still have to send out the full amount of newsletters to ensure that everyone received one.
ITEM 9. Town Warrant 8 & 8A, Town Payroll 8, School Warrant 8 & 8A, School Lunch Warrant 8 and School Payroll 8 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Hathaway —to adjourn the October 17, 2005 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Perkins–there was no further discussion. Voted 4-0. Meeting adjourned at 8:16 p.m.