PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Hathaway, Councilor Parker, Councilor King Councilor Perkins, Manager W. Reed, Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey, Police Chief M. Leonard, Asst. Fire Chief C. Tenney, Firefighter N. Sirois, Water District Trustees Jim Parker and Kenneth Borneman.
ITEM 1. The December 10, 2007 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor King—to accept the November 26, 2007 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Hathaway, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
The Council added discussion on a grant for open space planning as item 4c.
ITEM 4a. Fire Truck Committee Update
Manager Reed outlined that what started discussion on this matter was that the current pumper is 28 years old. The typical life span for a pumper is 20 to 25 years. Manager Reed recalled to the Council that when the TIF was developed, $1 million was set aside specifically for public safety. The current quint was purchased with these funds.
Manager Reed outlined that under the TIF agreement the Town has to meet certain requirements, including pumping requirements. If the Mack went out of service, the Town would not meet those requirements.
Manager Reed stated that it would be better to broker the Mack rather than to trade it in toward the new pumper.
Chairman Friedman inquired on how much money was left in the TIF and how much was in the reserve. Manager Reed stated there was around $400,000 and “change” in the TIF and around $40,000 in the reserve.
Assistant Fire Chief Carl Tenney stated that they tried to keep the cost relatively low. The department formed a committee and Firefighter Nick Sirois was appointed chair. He and the Chief stood back and allowed the firefighters to do the development of it. It is cost effective and meets the needs of the community. He outlined that the package in front of them was what the department developed with one of the contractors.
Assistant Fire Chief Carl Tenney stated that the Mack is getting old and has had a lot of problems with it. One of the issues is that the truck will not go into pump gear and they have had to go into mechanical override to get it to work. He added that in a crisis situation they want to be able to provide water.
Firefighter Nick Sirois outlined that half of staff of the Fire Department was on the committee and they met once, sometimes twice a month. Each individual had their own areas of expertise that they would do research on.
Councilor Parker inquired whether the Fire Department was required by Casco Bay Energy to have certain pumping requirements. Manager Reed stated that the Town is required to have a good ISO rating. Manager Reed outlined that the Town is required to meet a certain demand level as well as provide certain public safety assurances.
Councilor Hathaway inquired whether there was any chance of leasing the truck without owning it. Manager Reed stated that was unheard of for fire trucks due to the nature of the vehicle. He added that a lease purchase would be the Town best option at this time.
There was discussion on the sale of the old pumper. Manager Reed outlined that there is a market for older fire trucks overseas and in South America and could probably very easily sell it. He will talk to E-One about brokering it, in which case they would take it off our hands and hold it for us until it is sold.
It was decided that Manager Reed would find out about the brokered market and they would invite Chris Champagne to the January meeting to go over the truck.
ITEM 4b. Water District Update
Water District Trustee Jim Parker gave an update on the Water District. He outlined that they will be having a rate increase. The last increase was in 1993. Commercial users will have a 11% increase, residential users will have a 10% increase and there will be a 25% increase on fire hydrants. He outlined for residential users that the average increase will be two to three dollars per quarter.
They will be having a public hearing on January 15th. The Public Utility Commission had to approve it and then there is a statutory waiting period. If 15% of the District’s customers sign a petition the District will have to go before the Public Utilities Commission. If everything goes fine, April 1st will probably be the effective day for the increase.
Water District Trustee Jim Parker also noted that Kenneth Borneman’s term is up and he would like to reappointed for another term. Manager Reed stated that Mr. Borneman should submit a formal request for reappointment and it can then be placed on the next agenda.
ITEM 4c. Openspace Planning Grant
Manager Reed outlined that the Town has been awarded a $15,000 grant. In order to receive the grant the Town has to contribute a portion, which the Town has already set aside. The Town now just needs to send a letter of support, which the Council consented to.
ITEM 5a. Halber Matter
Manager Reed stated that he and Allan Thomas talked with the Halbers and told them about Jim Parker’s preliminary design. Manager Reed stated he would like to conclude this issue and seek the Council’s permission to present the Halbers with the Town’s proposal and state it as the final proposal. He outlined that the Halbers are not 100% happy with what has been discussed, they are still concerned about all the years of taxes they paid on the land.
ITEM 6. Comments from the Public
Jim Parker mentioned the group of environmentalists protecting the wetlands around Stillwater Avenue. He added that openspace is a great idea but to be cautious when land trusts step up as stewards for land, they tend to set restrictions.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report
Manager Reed distributed a copy of a policy on energy conservation and climate protection that the City of Bangor is discussing. He thought the Council might be interested in doing something similar.
Manager Reed stated that everything is fine now with the plow trucks. During the last storm the Public Works Department lost use of both trucks. Barney Silver luckily helped the Town out with snow clearing until the trucks were repaired.
Councilor Hathaway recalled discussion on the removal of the dam at a prior meeting. He inquired on how it would affect our mill rate. Manager Reed stated it would increase our mill rate by about a quarter to half a mill. He added that there will still be value on the river structures even when the dam is removed unless they go nonprofit.
Councilor Hathaway gave an overview on what was going on with the School Consolidation. He outlined that the committee thought Orono wanted to be with Veazie and Glenburn, however, they voted to go with Old Town. He also stated that joining with Bangor is not an option either, so the committee has no direction at this moment. Councilor Hathaway noted that the committee did not meet the obligation to file paperwork by December 1st.
Councilor Hathaway stated that he received an email this morning stating that now Veazie is talking about going it alone. Manager Reed pointed out that doing so would add around $120,000 in added personnel costs not to mention an administrator. Both Chairman Friedman and Councilor Hathaway expressed their frustration with the situation.
Councilor King inquired whether the Police Department had gotten the cruiser back from repair yet. He also inquired whether the department has done anything with the old Intrepid yet. Chief Leonard stated that he has gotten the cruiser back and that they have not done anything with the Intrepid yet.
a. The Town Council reviewed a newspaper article pertaining to Barney Silver helping the Town’s Public Works when they suffered several major breakdowns.
b. The Town Council reviewed a newspaper article written by Parks & Recreation employee Rebecca Smart on the department’s food drive.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
There were no requests for information or comments.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 12, Town Payroll Warrant 12, School Warrant 12, School Lunch Warrant 12 and School Payroll Warrant 12 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Hathaway—to adjourn the December 10, 2007 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor King—there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned 8:14 pm.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie