PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Hathaway, Councilor King, Councilor Parker, Councilor Perkins, Manager W. Reed, Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey, Assessor A. Thomas, Police Chief M. Leonard, Parks & Recreation Director R. Young, Carmen Ballard, Intern for the Parks & Recreation Department.
ITEM 1. The April 28, 2008 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor King—to accept the April 14, 2008 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Hathaway, Voted 4-0-1 in favor. Chairman Friedman abstained due to his absence.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
Parks & Recreation Director Robert Young was present and wanted to give a presentation on his idea of having a teen center at the community center. This was added item 5c.
ITEM 4a. Budget Committee’s Recommended Budget
Manager Reed outlined that the Budget Committee reviewed the school and municipal budgets and are recommending the budgets as presented. The school department’s budget increased $212,962 (5.5%) however increased revenues offset the local appropriation. The municipal budget had an increase of $51,746.23 (2.8%) but less new revenues is a very modest net increase of 2.1%. Manager Reed outlined that the school budget will again exceed EPS funding guidelines and will require a special ballot vote.
Manager Reed outlined that in calculating the mill rate for the coming tax year staff used last year’s community value. The mill rate should stay the same. Assessor Allan Thomas stated that there were only three new homes built last year. The depreciation on current homes will offset the new value. Assessor Allan Thomas added that due to the valuations being low the homestead exemption will have to be cut a little bit. The State believes that we should push up values but he felt it would be better to keep them where they are.
Councilor Perkins stated that he was concerned about the Town’s capital reserves for roads especially but for vehicles as well. Manager Reed stated that the Town has $70,000 set aside for paving projects. He also stated that the plow trucks should be good for 10 years of use. The Town lease purchases them for 5 years and then has a benefit for 5 additional years. He added that the Town did charge the Casco Bay TIF for a portion of the trucks for the mileage and use of the trucks on the road to the plant/TIF District area.
Councilor Perkins outlined that the Town should be saving more money for capital projects.
Councilor Hathaway stated that he would like to discuss the idea of bonding once the budget is passed to see what the numbers look like. If the price of pavement is going to be significantly higher in 3 years it may be beneficial to the Town.
Councilor Hathaway inquired whether the Town was planning on paving Main Street from Olive Street up to the bridge. Manager Reed stated that Public Works has been discussing that part of Main Street and that it is one of the areas they are looking into doing.
Councilor Hathaway also inquired whether there were any monies available to put warning lights up in front of the school for the 15mph requirement during school hours. Manager Reed outlined that the Town would have to pay for a utility pole to be put up and the Town would have to pay monthly for it like it was a street light. He spoke with a gentleman from DOT to see if there were any safety monies but was told it was more for traffic signal lights. He stated he would speak with Rob Kennerson at BACTS to see if he has any ideas.
Councilor Hathaway inquired about revenue income for the Parks & Recreation Department and how the Town compared to other programs in the area. Director Rob Young stated that the department charges $35 a week for the after-school program, this is significantly lower than surrounding communities. He believed that Orono charged $55 a week and on top of that they charge for snacks provided at the program. Director Rob Young outlined that snacks are included in the $35 weekly rate. He added that he has raised the youth league rates from $10 to $20 which is still less than surrounding communities.
ITEM 5a. Manager’s Review
Last year’s evaluation was provided to the Town Council along with a salary history. The Town Council decided to use the same method as last year for his review and requested a list of accomplishments and the Manager’s goals for the next three, five and then years. They will hold the review at the Council meeting following the public hearing Council meeting.
ITEM 5b. Tax Acquired Property
Manager Reed outlined that he put together a draft bidders prospectus. This would sell the foreclosed properties in a traditional tax sale. Staff is recommending that the property is sold as is where is. The minimum bid due would be the amount of tax lien and costs due. Manager Reed outlined that the Town has not taken assertive control over the property because if it asserts control there is a window of liability that opens up. Councilor Hathaway stated that he would like to know what each bidders plan is for the property and would like to see that a narrative is requested in the bidders prospectus. Manager Reed is going to send the draft bidders prospectus with the Council’s recommendations to the Town Attorney for review and approval.
Motion By: Councilor Hathaway—to use the bidders prospectus method
Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 5c. Update on Teen Center
Parks & Recreation Director Rob Young outlined that they would like to fix up the community center to allow for a teen center. He would like to have the kids help with the cleaning and painting. He would also like to reach out the citizens of Veazie for donations of old furniture and televisions. This center would be a place for them to hang out and be supervised. Currently there are no programs for the middle school children and he would like to change that. Chairman Friedman asked if he had talked with the Police Chief about the possibility of county inmates helping with the painting. Director Young stated he had not.
Councilor Hathaway inquired on the status of the building. Manager Reed stated that the upstairs is being occupied by the Eastern Maine School of Self Defense and the downstairs is utilized as a meeting place on Monday nights by a group. Councilor Hathaway outlined that if the space is not being used then this would be a good way to fix it up a little.
It was the consensus of the Council for Director Young to move forward with this project.
ITEM 6. Comments From The Public
There were no comments from the public.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report
a. The Town Council reviewed a copy of the Town’s School bonding ordinance. They also reviewed a copy of the balance outstanding on the bond as detailed in the Town’s last audit.
b. The Town Council reviewed a copy of the Regionalization Planning Committee’s meeting minutes.
c. The Town Council reviewed a copy of the Fire Department’s monthly report.
Manager Reed outlined that he would be attending a conference in Arizona and would be out of the office for a few days. Maine Municipal Association was the affording the cost of the conference.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Perkins inquired when the next newsletter was going out. Manager Reed outlined that one just went out.
Councilor Hathaway inquired on a business in town and whether their taxes had been paid. Deputy Tax Collector Julie Reed outlined that when the business finally mailed in a check for their taxes the amount was for the principal and did not included the interest that had accrued. A letter has been sent to them informing them of this however the Town has not received a response.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 22, Town Payroll Warrant 22, School Warrant 22, School Lunch Warrant 22 and School Payroll Warrant 22 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor King—to adjourn the April 28, 2008 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Hathaway —there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned 8:15 pm.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie