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Council Minutes April 24, 2006
PRESENT:        Councilor Hathaway, Councilor Cheney and Councilor Perkins; Manager W. Reed; Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey; Assessor A. Thomas, Office Administrator J. Reed, Police Chief M. Leonard, Parks & Recreation Director L. Janicki, CEO A. Thomas; Budget Committee Members S. Hart, J. Manter and B. Hogan; Superintendent K. Clenchy, Principal S. Nichols, School Committee Members J. Hathaway and D. Hayman, Senator Schneider, Jim Rier of the Dept. of Education.  Councilor Champaco arrived late and was excused.

Motion By:  Councilor Cheney—to nominate Councilor Hathaway as Protem Chair.  Seconded:  Councilor Perkins, Voted 2-0 in favor.

ITEM 1. The April 24, 2006 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 6:00PM.
ITEM 4a.        Essential Programs & Services Presentation (taken out of order)
Senator Schneider outlined that the Essential Programs & Services funding model was developed over a ten year span by legislature and was implemented last year.

Jim Rier from the Department of Education was present to give a presentation on the funding model.  He outlined that EPS is designed to insure that all schools have the programs and resources that are essential for all students to have an equitable opportunity to achieve Maine’s Learning Results.  

Jim Rier explained that the Essential Programs & Services funding model is cost driven instead of expenditure driven.  The model is designed to respond to students needs and is based on years of research and information gleaned from high performing cost effective school units.

Jim Rier applied the EPS model to Veazie for the fiscal year 2007.  Operating costs would total $1,859,170, about 75% of the total cost.  $368,052 would be designated for special education, transportation and vocational education.  Debt Service would total $463,971 and covers major capital construction.  The approximate total cost of education is $2,691,193.  

Jim Rier outlined that there are five major categories in figuring operating costs:  student demographics, EPS per pupil rate for each SAU(School Administrative Unit), weighted amounts, targeted amounts and other adjustments.

The EPS rate for 9-12 students is determined by a weighted rate.  There is an established EPS rate for each receiving unit (school) which is multiplied by the number of students attending.  The totals for each school are then added together and divided by the total number of 9-12 students, therefore giving a weighted average.  Jim Rier pointed out that the EPS rate is not the school’s billing rate for tuition.  

Protem Chair Hathaway suggested that the State take over special education and track a student throughout the State rather than the school getting reimbursed.

Jim Rier pointed out that the model shows a decrease in funding from 2006 to 2007 partly due to a decrease in student population.
Jim Rier explained that the new funding formula limits the local share of all EPS defined education costs to 8.0 mills or less by FY 2008-09.  

Protem Chair Hathaway thanked Jim Rier for his presentation and called for a brief recess.

ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By:  Councilor Cheney —to accept the April 3, 2006 minutes as written. Councilor Champaco inquired about the motion on the Bangor Humane Society service contract.  She thought that it should not just be for offenders but for everyone.  It was decided that the fee schedule would be addressed at the next Council meeting.  Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 4-0 in favor.  

ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
No additions were made to the agenda.

ITEM 4b.        Property Tax Release
Manager Reed explained that a lien had been filed back in June of 1972 and it was not released in 1973 when it should have been.  The current owner is looking for a release deed.  

Councilor Cheney inquired on where the property was located.  CEO Allan Thomas stated that it was located by RM Flaggs on State Street.  She also inquired if the lien was for back taxes owed and whether they have been paid.  Tax Collector Julie Reed stated that it was for back taxes and they have been paid.  It could have been an error where the lien release was filed under the wrong name or something.
Motion By:  Councilor Cheney – to authorize the Town’s Treasurer to execute on the Town’s behalf a release deed pertaining to the tax lien recorded in the Penobscot Registry of Deeds Volume 2275 page 179 and 180 in 1972.  Seconded:  Protem Chair Hathaway, Voted 4-0 in favor.

ITEM 5a.        River Cleanup Update
Allan Thomas stated that there will be a river cleanup on May 20th.  He outlined that most towns are asking local businesses for donations.  He wanted to know how the Council felt about him sending a letter out asking business for donations instead of paying for it out of taxes.  He added that he had spoke with Brian Ahern at the power plant and they are going to make a donation.  

Councilor Champaco stated that she didn’t think that it should be limited to just business, she as a resident would donate to the cause.

Protem Chair Hathaway questioned the notion of a municipal officer soliciting money from businesses in Town.  He thought it might be better if it came from the Conservation Commission.  He also wondered if the donation was tax deductible.  Tax Collector Julie Reed stated that because the Town was a nonprofit organization it would be tax deductible.  
Councilor Champaco inquired on where they would be cleaning up.  Allan Thomas stated from the Salmon Club towards the dam and from the PPL fence as far north as they can go.  
Allan Thomas stated that he would talk to the Conservation Commission on the letter but if not he will take the cost out of budget.
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 PVCOG’s agenda and minutes.
b.      The Council reviewed a copy of the Social Security 4.1% benefit increase for 2006.
c.      The Council reviewed a copy of the School Committee’s agenda and minutes.
d.      The Council reviewed a copy of the Fire Department’s monthly report.
e.      The Council reviewed a copy of the Town quarterly investment reports.
f.      The Council reviewed some information sent by candidate John Simpson.
g.      The Council reviewed an article on the ruling on the TABOR ballot matter.

ITEM 8. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Perkins stated that he would like to have John Simpson here at a Council meeting.

ITEM 9. Town Warrant 21 & 21A, Town Payroll 21, School Warrant 21 & 21A, School Lunch Warrant 21 and School Payroll 21 were circulated and signed.

ITEM 10.        Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Champaco—to adjourn the April 24, 2006 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Perkins —there was no further discussion. Voted 4-0.  Meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

A true record, Attest:

Karen Humphrey
Deputy Clerk
Town of Veazie


Town Office: 1084 Main Street, Veazie, ME 04401
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