PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Hathaway, Councilor King, Councilor Champaco and Councilor Perkins; Manager W. Reed; Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey; Office Administrator J. Reed, Police Chief M. Leonard, Fire Chief G. Martin, Penquis C.A.P. Representatives Stephen Mooers and Tom Lewis, Jim Parker of CES, Inc. and Members of the Public.
ITEM 1. The June 26, 2006 Veazie Town Council was called to order at 7:06PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor Champaco—to accept the June 13, 2006 Pre-Town Meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 4-0-1 in favor. Councilor King abstained.
Motion By: Councilor Champaco—to accept the June 13, 2006 Post-Town Meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Hathaway, Voted 4-0-1 in favor. Councilor King abstained.
Chairman Friedman welcome Councilor King to the Town Council.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
There was discussion on closing the Town Office on Monday, July 3rd. Due to staffing shortages and the lack of business expected on Monday it was the consensus of the Council to close the Town Office. Town Office employees will utilize vacation time to cover the day.
ITEM 4a. Election of Chair
Councilor Champaco stated that she would not mind being nominated as chair person and would gladly accept a nomination.
Motion By: Councilor Hathaway—to nominate Councilor Champaco as Chair Person. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Nominations then ceased, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 5a. Senior Housing Update and Discussion
Stephen Mooers and Tom Lewis were present to discuss the proposed Senior Housing project, phase two.
Member of the Public Ann Smith inquired whether openspace designated for the project would be kept as openspace in the event that parking needs to be expanded. Jim Parker stated that the openspace set aside would not change because it is required to be saved for open space.
Member of the Public Donald MacKay inquired on how high the building would be. Jim Parker stated that it would be about twelve or so feet higher than the current building.
Member of the Public Susan MacKay asked why the parking lot needed to be expanded when the current lot is never full. Jim Parker outlined that 1.5 lots are required for each unit. Additional lots were also required for the tennis courts, basketball courts and the community room.
Jim Parker stated that it would be beneficial to sit down, especially with the Land Trust Trustee for the Veazie Chapter, and try to accommodate the needs of everyone and then develop the site plan for the building.
Member of the public Bob Topliff inquired what the mission of the Council was. Councilor Hathaway stated that it was to bring senior housing to the community.
Jim Parker added that there are a lot of Veazie residents that would want to continue to live in Town or come back to Town but cannot afford housing here but could afford living at the senior center.
Member of the Public Donald MacKay inquired whether there was another piece of Town property that the facility could go on. Manager Reed explained that the land the current facility sits on was set aside for governmental use. He also added that all other Town properties are on the Conservation Commission’s priority list and have forestry management plans.
Manager Reed outlined that to move the facility somewhere else would create sprawl. The proposed location is the best place, traffic count is low and it is also on the bus route. The other Town parcels are also far from services and utilities.
There was discussion on the trail that runs from the proposed location to the school. Members of the public were concerned that access to the trail would be cut off and it would not be able to be utilized.
Councilor Hathaway outlined that he thought the Town had an ideal situation where it could accommodate two sides; a chance to take care of the path and to accommodate the elderly with affordable housing.
Member of the Public Ann Smith asked what the timeline was for the project. Jim Parker outlined that they want to start the planning process and the construction would not come until next year sometime.
Councilor Perkins outlined that he had concerns with the number of Veazie residents that live there. Steve Mooers stated that half of the current residents are from Veazie and over half of the waiting list is Veazie residents. Manager Reed outlined that many have ties to Veazie either having lived here in the past or that they have family members who reside here.
Councilor Champaco stated that she fully supports having this additional senior housing facility and she also is fully committed to the conservation of green space.
Chairman Friedman outlined that everyone should be kept notified so they can have input.
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 a resignation letter from the Town’s Forestor, Carol Redelsheimer who is going to work for the State.
b. The Council reviewed a copy of the Town Meeting minutes.
c. The Council reviewed a copy of an article from the Weekly on the Veazie Midsummer Music Challenge.
Fire Chief Gerry Martin stated that he, Manager Reed and a few firefighters went down to placeCitySpringfield, StateMassachusetts for a fire truck exposition. He outlined that the department is looking at lease purchasing another E-One fire truck. The new truck will replace the current 1980 pumper truck.
Councilor Hathaway expressed his concern over the Town buying expensive fire equipment and not having the manpower to use it. He inquired on how the Town’s Call Department was doing because he had heard that volunteerism is going out the window so to speak. Chief Martin stated that the department has always been able to handle things and that attendance to calls has been great.
Councilor Hathaway outlined that he wondered whether the Town would be better off with less equipment and late model equipment and more full-time employees or more equipment and less full-time employees.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
There was discussion on the traffic light on State Street. Manager Reed stated that he thought the sensor might need to be replaced or repaired. Chief Leonard stated that he thought water might be getting into the box because it is tipped slightly. A call has been put in for it to be looked at.
ITEM 9. Town Warrant 26 & 26A, Town Payroll 26, School Warrant 26, School Lunch Warrant 26 and School Payroll 26 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Hathaway—to adjourn the June 26, 2006 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor King —there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned at 8:33 p.m.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie