PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Champaco and Councilor Hathaway; Manager W. Reed; Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey; Tax Assessor A. Thomas; Police Chief M. Leonard, Public Works Superintendent B. Free, Fire Chief G. Martin. Councilor Cheney and Councilor Perkins were absent and excused.
ITEM 1. The December 12, 2005 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor Hathaway—to accept the November 28, 2005 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Champaco, Voted 3-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
Chairman Friedman noted that the next scheduled Council meeting fell on Monday, December 26th which is a holiday for municipal government. It was the consensus that there would not be a meeting and the next one would be scheduled for January 9th, 2006.
ITEM 4. Public Hearing – Pine Tree Zone
Motion By: Councilor Hathaway—to adjourn regular session and enter into a public hearing on the proposed Pine Tree Zone. Seconded: Councilor Champaco, Voted 3-0 in favor.
Manager Reed outlined that if the Town passed a resolution accepting Collabric as a Pine Tree Zone, the Penobscot Valley Pine Tree Zone Steering Committee would include the parcel in State listed Pine Tree Zone. A copy of the resolution was included in the Councilors’ packets.
There were no comments from the public.
Motion By: Councilor Hathaway—to adjourn the public hearing and reconvene into regular session. Seconded: Councilor Champaco, Voted 3-0 in favor.
ITEM 5a. Hazardous Mitigation Plan
Manager Reed outlined that included in the councilors’ packets was a memo from Chief Leonard and a copy of the Penobscot Count Hazard Mitigation Plan. Chief Leonard was present to answer any questions.
Chief Leonard stated that it took several months of meetings to put the document together. He is happy with the outcome. He outlined that he did pick up on a problem on the Veazie map, the John R. Graham School was listed on it instead of the new school. Chief Leonard added that if the Town had not participated in creation of this plan and adopted it the Town would not be eligible for federal funding pre-disaster or post-disaster.
Motion By: Councilor Hathaway—to approve the resolution for the Penobscot County Hazard Mitigation Plan. Seconded: Councilor Champaco, Voted 3-0 in favor.
ITEM 5b. Generator Sale Authorization
Manager Reed outlined that the Town had proposed to the Sewer District and Senior Housing group the opportunity to purchase the Town’s former gas powered generator prior to the Town’s conversion to the new diesel powered unit. The Sewer District outlined that generator was not large enough and the Senior Housing group didn’t have a way to utilize it. The Town now wishes to liquidate the unit by using our electrician as the broker for the sale.
Manager Reed added that when the new generator was installed some of the former switching equipment was used. The equipment that came with the new generator will be included in the sale of the old. He outlined that the monies received from the sale would go into the Town’s VEMA account which is owed money. Manager Reed outlined that Town staff estimated the value to be between $3,000 and $4,000.
Councilor Hathaway stated that he had looked up the blue book value and the Town would be lucky to receive $2,000. He added that the brand name is not a well respected name. Manager Reed outlined that staff was aiming high in its estimate, however the number can be adjusted.
Councilor Hathaway suggested putting the generator in Uncle Henrys. There was discussion on the asking price.
Motion by: Councilor Hathaway—to authorize the VEMA Director to liquidate the former VEMA-Municipal Building Olympian gas fired generator by the terms and conditions deemed necessary. Seconded: Councilor Champaco, Voted 3-0 in favor.
ITEM 6a. Pine Tree Zone Resolution
Motion By: Councilor Champaco—to approve the Veazie Pine Tree Zone Resolution as submitted. Seconded: Councilor Hathaway, there was no further discussion on the motion, Voted 3-0 in favor.
ITEM 6b. Public Works Update
Superintendent Free distributed a picture of items that were found in the bags of leaves collected. He outlined that they converted the dump truck so that they would be able to vacuum up the leaves. This allowed residents to rake all their leaves out to the curb. He outlined that residents got upset when the leaves blew back into their yards.
Superintendent Free stated that they collected 32 loads and each load is equivalent to 400 bags of leaves. Last year the department only collected 25 loads. By allowing residents to rake their leaves to the curb not only does the department get a more considerable amount of leaves it also gets everything residents rake out with their leaves.
Superintendent Free outlined that even with perfect conditions they cannot keep up with the demand. This year they were unable to clean the cemetery due to the leaf pickup. Time is also lost in transporting the leaves to the university in Orono. He outlined that something needs to be done. One recommendation was to go back to bagged leaves and that all bags would have to be clear. If anything was found in the bags, all bags would be left. He has also spoken with CEO Allan Thomas regarding some areas that might be available for a compost site.
Chairman Friedman inquired why the Town did not rent the machine from Orono or Bangor to collect leaves. Manager Reed outlined that Orono was always using the machine when the Town wanted to use it. He added that in the past it was outlined that their men would have to run it and they wanted roughly $25 per man hour. Chairman Friedman stated that the Town just needs to coordinate with Orono or Bangor a time to use it.
Councilor Champaco stated that Superintendent Free’s suggestions about using clear bags are reasonable and well thought out. If there is equipment the Town can rent she thinks that is a great idea as well. She outlined that she wasn’t here when the Town had abuse of their former compost site, however she believes that composting is something the Town should try to promote. Councilor Champaco felt that the Town should look into a facility to compost and perhaps sell the compost to residents.
Councilor Hathaway stated that the Town could try to rent the equipment, however look what happened when the Town tried to share the chipper with Orono. He outlined that he would like to see the Town go back to their original compost site however having it fenced in and manned. The Town could charge $5-$10 to dump their.
Chairman Friedman suggested that the Town should contact Bangor Hydro to see about the Town utilizing the area again. Councilor Hathaway recommended doing an agreement that indemnifies them from liability. CEO Allan Thomas outlined that purchasing the lot would be better and from past discussions they did not want the site. Manager Reed stated that he would have CEO Thomas contact Bangor Hydro to see what their acquisition status is.
Superintendent Free gave the Councilors an update on the conversion from salt and sand to just salt this year. Last year it took 3 loads of salt and sand mix to do the entire town. This year they are using half a load to do the entire town. He outlined that now that they have changed over to salt they will no longer have to do street sweeping in the spring.
ITEM 7. Comments from the Public
There were no comments from the public.
ITEM 8. Manager’s Report
a. The Council reviewed a copy of a letter from MDOT pertaining to the delay of the Route 2 repaving project. As noted earlier this month, MDOT is delaying $120 million worth of projects due to federal funding changes and revenue short falls in the gas tax highway fund.
b. The Council reviewed a copy of a memo from Penobscot County Administrator Bill Collins regarding the 2006 County Budget.
c. The Council reviewed a copy of the Town’s response to the County regarding the invoice it sent for the Penobscot Emergency Response Team responding to the Chase Road incident on September 8, 2005.
d. The Council reviewed a copy of an email from Jim Parker of CES, Inc. following up on the landfill issues.
e. The Council reviewed a copy of a letter from Chris Cronan thanking the Town for the mercury spill kit that was lent to him.
f. The Council reviewed a copy of the School Committee’s meeting minutes and agenda.
g. The Council reviewed a copy of a citizen comment card regarding the Fire Department.
h. The Council reviewed a copy of the Fire Department’s monthly report for November.
Manager Reed wanted to give the Council an update on the Buck Hill Drive issue. He and CEO Thomas met with the developer, Barney Silver regarding the concerns. The CEO outlined that Barney Silver will be working to resolve the issue with the water coming out of the ground. He will be installing a drain tile system. Manager Reed noted that the water only started coming out of the ground when people started developing their properties.
Chairman Friedman asked if there will be a deep reservoir around the cul de sac. Manager Reed stated that he thinks Barney Silver wants to put house lots around the cul de sac and a condition would be that he would have to address water issues. It was noted that the cul de sac was only temporary and was not a final product.
Councilor Hathaway expressed his displeasure with the situation. He outlined that this is an issue that the Town will be dealing with for a long time. He added that rain falls nine out of the twelve months of the year and comes down off Buck Hill and there is nothing to catch it. Right now the water runs down across the road. Councilor Hathaway then outlined that there is a similar problem on Black Bear Drive. Manager Reed stated that Barney Silver is planning for the water to come down to the designed catch basin system. It was noted that a subsurface drainage system was installed due to the fact that the Town wanted to eliminate ditches back in the 1990’s. Manager Reed outlined that the Town still had a retainer on the project and that improvements have been made.
Councilor Hathaway outlined that the project was poorly designed and that no tax dollars should go to making improvements. It was discussed that the ground water that was coming to surface was not planned for and the developer was trying to address the situation. Manager Reed outlined that he would continue to keep the Council and Planning Board updated on this matter as time progresses.
ITEM 9. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Hathaway stated that he had seen in the School Committee’s minutes something about a long range plan. He was wondering if that was an academic or facility plan.
ITEM 10. Town Warrant 12, Town Payroll 12, School Warrant 12, School Lunch Warrant and School Payroll 12 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 11. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Champaco—to adjourn the December 12, 2005 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Hathaway—there was no further discussion. Voted 3-0. Meeting adjourned at 8:06 p.m.