PRESENT: Chairman Champaco, Councilor Hathaway and Councilor Perkins; Manager W. Reed; Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey; Office Administrator J. Reed, CEO A. Thomas, Parks & Recreation Director R. Young, Police Chief M. Leonard and Jim McKenna of RedZone Wireless. Councilor Friedman and Councilor King were absent and excused.
ITEM 1. The March 5, 2007 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 7:02PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to accept the February 5, 2007 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Hathaway, Voted 2-0-1 in favor. Chairman Champaco abstained due to her absence.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
Manager Reed stated that Fire Chief Gerry Martin would like to give an update on the department’s happenings. This was added as item 4b.
ITEM 4b. Fire Department Update (taken out of order)
Fire Chief Martin outlined that a firefighter recently passed his exam to become an EMT.
Fire Chief Martin noted that the department brought their aerial up to Orono to participate with the Orono Fire Department in making an arch over the Kelley Road with the American flag on the day of Sgt. Eric Ross’ funeral. The department received a letter from Brookings-Smith funeral home thanking them. He added that they also received calls from veterans who greatly appreciated it.
Fire Chief Martin stated that they received a federal grant for $29,000 to purchase gear for the firefighters. It will purchase between 18 and 20 suits.
ITEM 5a. Recreation Department Update (taken out of order)
Manager Reed introduced the new Parks and Recreation Director, Rob Young, to the Council.
Director Rob Young stated that he was happy to be here and thought the Town had a great program. He outlined that Rebecca Smart was the after-school coordinator and he couldn’t ask for a better person.
The after-school program is having between 20-30 kids attend, however he would like to see that number higher. Currently he is planning the summer program which will start the week following the end of the school. The program will be extended for a couple more weeks than it has been run in the past. He added that he is thinking of extending hours as well.
Director Rob Young stated that he is planning on having a different theme each week. For example one week will be space week and they will visit the Discovery Space Museum. He is adding some different field trips this year. He would like to boost the attendance numbers for summer recreation as well.
Director Rob Young outlined that he would like to start a leaders club for sixth, seventh and eighth graders. The club would be like a “counselors in training” program where they help with the younger kids.
Spring Extravaganza is coming up on March 31st. They will be having a pancake breakfast and an egghunt.
He outlined that he has met with Sandra Patterson and he has lined up some trips for the seniors this summer as well as a chair exercise class.
Director Rob Young stated that he would like to form a Recreation Committee.
He would also like to get adults involved as well and offer some classes rather than just offer sports.
Two new things they will be offering this spring is a cheering clinic and floor hockey.
Chairman Champaco inquired on what the current age group was for the after-school program. Director Rob Young stated it is for grades K-6. He outlined that they do not get too many 6th graders, its more of the younger kids that utilize it.
Chairman Champaco questioned how Director Rob Young was going to try to boost attendance at the program. She was curious if he was going to try to get children from other communities. Director Rob Young stated that he would like to start right here in Town before looking at other communities.
Councilor Hathaway stated that he liked all of Director Rob Young’s ideas. He liked the idea of coming up with things besides sports for the adults.
ITEM 6. Comments from the Public (taken out of order)
There were no comments from the public.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report (taken out of order)
a. The Town Council reviewed a copy of the Maine Coastline newsletter.
b. The Town Council reviewed a copy of an article from the Bangor Daily News pertaining to a police chase that Chief Leonard took part in.
c. The Town Council reviewed a copy of a memo from Sgt. Emery to Officer Dain Bryant on a job well done.
d. The Town Council reviewed a copy of a memo from Sgt. Emery to Officer Todd Nadeau thanking him for his service in the department’s hiring process.
e. The Town Council reviewed a copy of a thank you letter from Brookings-Smith Funeral Home thanking the Fire Department’s members who participated in honoring SSgt. Eric Ross. Also, attached is a copy of an article from the Bangor Daily News website.
Chairman Champaco outlined that there was a Maine Municipal Association Grassroots meeting at the Hampden Town Office on Thursday, March 8th. They want to find out how to get more people to attend meetings and conferences.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments (taken out of order)
There were no requests.
ITEM 4a. Red Zone – Presentation of Community Wireless Broadband
Jim McKenna of RedZone Wireless gave a presentation to the Council on wireless broadband.
Manager Reed outlined that a Councilor has asked why the Town would do a Wi-Fi network instead of Wi-Max network.
Jim McKenna outlined that Wi-Fi doesn’t require licensing and it can also be set up on smaller scale. It is also low cost and readily available.
Manager Reed outlined the five different ways to set up the service: Private/Consortium, Cooperative Wholesale, Public Utility, Non-Profit and Grassroots Public Community. He recommended that the Town set up the service as a Private/Consortium.
Jim McKenna discussed the municipal benefits with the Council. This included officers being able to access the County’s database from their cruiser and wireless cameras being set up around Town in high police activity areas.
He outlined that the first thing they would do is an analysis of the Town to see how many radios would need to be placed. This takes into account terrain, trees and houses. They would then propose a plan and what the capital costs would be. The Town would be asked to provide access to municipal structures as well as other structures. The company would offer revenue sharing, a sophisticated firewalling and electronic billing.
Jim McKenna showed the council what the radio looked like that would have to placed all over town. He also showed them a ‘bridge’ that amplifies the signal.
Councilor Perkins inquired whether everyone would have to use the bridge to use the system. Jim McKenna stated not necessarily but it will depend on how many radios are deployed in Veazie.
Jim McKenna stated that service would be under $20 a month and there are no contracts.
Councilor Perkins inquired whether a person with an older PC would need to buy a Wi-Fi card for their computer. Jim McKenna stated that all they would need is an Ethernet card.
The Council thanked Jim McKenna for coming.
Councilor Hathaway inquired whether the Town could survey the local businesses to see what their needs are. Manager Reed stated that he could talk to Jim McKenna about drafting up a letter to send to businesses.
Chairman Champaco stated that she would like to see the interest that other people have besides seeing a cost proposal. She outlined that it seemed like a costly project with a lot of money needed to put forth.
Chairman Champaco stated that she would like to see a scenario of what it would cost and how many people would need to come on board with the service.
It was the consensus of the Council to have the free analysis done.
ITEM 9. Town Warrant 18 & 18A, Town Payroll 18, School Warrant 18, School Lunch Warrant 18 and School Payroll were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Hathaway—to adjourn the March 5, 2007 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Perkins—there was no further discussion. Voted 3-0. Meeting adjourned at 8:59 p.m.
A true record, Attest:
Town of placeCityVeazie