PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Champaco, Councilor Cheney and Councilor Perkins; Manager W. Reed; Office Administrator J. Reed, Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey; Tax Assessor A. Thomas; Police Chief M. Leonard, Fire Chief Gerry Martin, Parks & Recreation Director Lisa Janicki, Town Auditor Charemon Willey-Staples. Councilor Hathaway was absent and excused.
ITEM 1. The March 6, 2006 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to accept the February 6, 2006 minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
The liquidation of the out-of-service cruiser was added as item 4b. Councilor Cheney noted that she wished to discuss the growing concern with coyotes in Town. This was added as item 4c.
ITEM 5a. Audit Report(taken out of order)
Town Auditor Charemon Willey-Staples outlined that a portion of the Town’s fund equity was classified as working capital. This could be seen on Statement C of the Town’s audit report.
Councilor Champaco outlined that ‘general fund undesignated’ was left out on page 28 of the audit, she wondered if this was intentional. Town Auditor Charemon Willey-Staples stated it was.
Councilor Perkins inquired on when the Town would be receiving its sewer assessment. Assessor/CEO Allan Thomas stated he thought the Town would be receiving it next month.
Town Auditor Charemon Willey-Staples stated that even though the local appropriation was increased in 2005, there was still a $5,000 loss for the School Lunch Program.
Councilor Champaco inquired on when the Council did the clearing of debt for the lunch program. Town Auditor Charemon Willey-Staples stated that it was done in 2004. Chairman Friedman noted that the biggest cost of the School Lunch Program is labor.
There was discussion of distributing a survey to the children who do not participate to find out why they are not participating.
Town Auditor Charemon Willey-Staples outlined that there are grants available for the School Lunch Program.
Chairman Friedman expressed his opinion that the School Lunch Program should be placed wholly in the School Department’s budget.
Councilor Champaco stated that she thought the program did well this year overall. She also felt that it should be brought under their budget, however, she thought the Council should inform the School Department of this before doing it. She noted that they may not understand the Council’s rationalization.
Councilor Perkins stated that he thought it should be placed under the School Department’s budget as well and the Council should close out the enterprise fund.
Councilor Cheney outlined that she thought it should be discussed with them as well before taking action.
Chairman Friedman outlined that this has been an ongoing issue for sometime. It was noted that a proprietary should be self-supporting and the School Lunch Program has not been and more than likely never will. Town Auditor Charemon Willey-Staples stated that a decision should be made soon so that the School Department will have time to plan for the upcoming budget.
Manager Reed outlined that by placing this under the School Department’s budget it is just assigning full budgetary accountability. Town Auditor Charemon Willey-Staples outlined that it will not change the School Department’s bottom line when it comes to their budget due to the fact that they will receive revenues to offset the costs.
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to ask the School Committee to take assignment and budget the School Lunch Program and dissolve the enterprise fund. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 3-1 in favor.
ITEM 4a. Municipal Corporate Authorization Resolution-TD Banknorth
Manager Reed outlined that the resolution will modify the Town’s existing agreement to allow the Town to conduct online account management of its accounts at TD Banknorth.
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to accept the resolution submitted by TD Banknorth and to authorize the Town Manager to sign as Treasurer and the Deputy Clerk to sign as Clerk. Seconded: Councilor Champaco, Voted 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 4b. Liquidation of Cruiser
Police Chief Mark Leonard outlined that the highest bid the department received for the out-of-service cruiser was $1,200. That amount is for the cruiser “as is”. The cruiser is a 2002 Dodge Intrepid and is the oldest in the department’s fleet. It was noted that Dodge does not manufacture Intrepids any longer.
Councilor Cheney inquired on where the $1,200 would go. Manager Reed stated that it would go back into the police cruiser fund.
Councilor Cheney wanted to clarify that by liquidating the 2002 Intrepid would leave the department with the new one, the 2003 Intrepid being used now the unmarked 2002 Intrepid. Chief Leonard noted that the current cruiser is in the garage right now and that is a 2003 Intrepid. He added that he is recommending that the department go back to replacing a cruiser every year. The new cruiser should be arriving the end of March or the first of April.
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to authorize the Police Chief to liquidate the 2002 Dodge Intrepid. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 4c. Coyotes
Councilor Cheney outlined that there are coyotes roaming through resident’s yards in broad daylight. She added that she had heard that there were five or so in between the hay bails on Chase Road during the day. She wondered whether the owner of the fields could be told to spread the hay bails out. Code Enforcement Officer said he would check however he felt that he didn’t think anything could be done because of the “Right to Farm” clause.
Manager Reed stated that staff would speak with a Game Warden and he would report back at the next meeting.
ITEM 5b. Recreation Resignations
Motion By: Councilor Cheney—to accept the resignations of the Parks & Recreation Committee members and to put out an advertisement for new members. Seconded: Councilor Champaco, Voted 4-0 in favor.
Councilor Cheney noted that she would like the Council to recognize them officially somehow. She added that hopefully a lesson has been learned and the same mistakes will not be made with the new committee.
Manager Reed added that the Town will be implementing the online Parks & Recreation registration at the end of the month.
ITEM 6. Comments from the Public
Fire Chief Gerry Martin wanted to let the Council know that the department has set a date for Public Safety Day. It will be held on Saturday, May 13th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.. He added that Captain Metcalf and Officer Leal are heading the project up. It should be a fun filled day.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report
a. Manager Reed noted that the Councilors should have received a memo and a copy of Maine Municipal Association and the Maine Chamber’s evaluation of LD 1’s first year. As noted in the memo, LD 1 seems to have a slight benefit in the slowing of growth of government in Maine. The second year will display if the law will have a longer lasting impact.
b. The Council reviewed a copy of the 2006 schedule for Town Meeting and the municipal election.
c. The Council reviewed a copy of a memo and a reprint of an MMA article on community revaluation.
d. The Council reviewed an informational packet and memo pertaining to LD 1660. Manager Reed outlined that copies had been sent to Budget Committee members and department heads due to the potential impacts that its enactment might inflict upon communities.
e. Manager Reed stated that the Town had a Maine State Labor Safety Review and Audit. The evaluation went quite well and a few matters were brought to staff’s attention and will be addressed. A formal report will be coming in about a month’s time.
f. The Council reviewed a copy of the Town’s Workplace Noise Survey Study done by the Maine Department of Labor. Manager Reed outlined that it was found that the Public Works employees are exposed to a work environment that was above OSHA’s action level. The Fire Department’s employees were found to be exposed to a lower level of workplace noise. He added that the Town is now in the process of implementing a Hearing Conservation Program with Occupational Health and Rehabilitation.
g. The Council reviewed a copy of the Town’s new safety policy which is to address the need for all employees to take part in the Town’s safety program as recommended by Safety Works.
h. The Council reviewed a copy of the new Municipal Building Evacuation Plan which staff revised prior to the Labor Department’s review. Councilor Cheney inquired whether there was a panic button in the front office. Manager Reed stated that there is not one yet, however it will be budgeted for in the coming year.
i. The Council reviewed a copy of an update from the Penobscot River Restoration Steering Committee.
j. The Council reviewed a copy of an update on LS Power’s proposal to buy Duke Energy’s power generation assets.
k. The Council reviewed a copy of the letter sent to MDOT Commissioner Cole following up on the meeting Manager Reed had with him.
l. The Council reviewed a copy of a weight limit waiver given to Bangor Hydro. Manager Reed stated that the Town has posted the Chase Road. Trucks have recently been traveling on it. He outlined that the Town could look toward year round posting if there are concerns on subsurface breakage. Councilor Perkins inquired on whether the Town, starting with this year’s budget, will start to put more money into capital projects like roads. Manager Reed stated that the Town will be budgeting anywhere from $50,000 to $60,000 for new projects with a carryforward of $30,000.
m. The Council reviewed a copy of the Fire Department’s monthly report.
n. The Council reviewed a copy of PVCOG’s agenda and minutes.
o. The Council reviewed a copy of Allan Thomas’s report pertaining to grant administration on the Bangor Area Storm Water Group.
p. The Council reviewed a copy of the School Committee’s agenda and minutes.
q. The Council reviewed a copy of the Tax Freedom Chart. The Tax Freedom date has moved from May 8th in the 1990s to April 23rd of last year.
Manager Reed also provided the Councilors with a copy of the county tax assessment. This year’s amount increased 4%. A revised copy of the budget meeting schedule was also distributed noting the change of the April 4th meeting to April 5th.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Perkins inquired on the Jones property. It had been noted at past meetings that it was up for sale. Manager Reed outlined that so far it is still up for sale and it doesn’t appear that anyone has made an offer on it.
ITEM 9. Town Warrant 18, Town Payroll 18, School Warrant 18 and School Payroll 18 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Champaco—to adjourn the March 6, 2006 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Perkins—there was no further discussion. Voted 4-0. Meeting adjourned at 8:43 p.m.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie