PRESENT: Councilor King, Councilor Parker, Councilor Hathaway, Councilor Perkins, Manager W. Reed, Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey, Police Chief M. Leonard, Fire Chief G. Martin, Chairman Friedman was absent and excused.
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to nominate Councilor Hathaway as protem chair. Seconded: Councilor King, voted 3-0-1. Councilor Hathaway abstained.
ITEM 1. The August 18, 2008 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor Parker—to accept the August 4, 2008 meeting minutes as revised. Seconded: Protem Chair Hathaway , Voted 2-0-2 in favor. Councilor King and Councilor Perkins abstained due to their absence.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
There were no additions made to the agenda.
ITEM 4a. Police Cruiser Discussion
Chief Leonard went over the current vehicles with the Council. He outlined that the 2004 Dodge Intrepid had been transferred to the Fire Chief. The 2006 Dodge Charger will replace his current unmarked vehicle and the 2007 Dodge Charger will remain the front line cruiser. This would change in the winter and it would become the second line cruiser if an SUV is purchased.
Chief Leonard went over the pricing with the Council. It was outlined that the pricing of the SUV would be the same if not less than purchasing another Dodge Charger.
Councilor Perkins inquired on what the department would purchase next year if they were to purchase the SUV this year. Chief Leonard stated that the department would purchase another Dodge Charger. He outlined that the SUV should last at least two years due to the fact that it will only be used mainly in the winter.
Councilor Perkins inquired why the Fire Chief had a car. Chief Martin stated that he works out of it and responds to calls in it. He also uses it when he attends chief meetings.
Protem Chair Hathaway asked Chief Leonard how we would respond to community members that say it is a luxury and not a necessity. Chief Leonard stated that it is a necessity. It would be unfortunate if those people need the police but the police can’t get there because there is two feet of snow. Protem Chair Hathaway noted that the Town has invested in plow trucks to make sure the Town has clear roads.
Councilor Parker outlined that the Public Works Department does do a good job plowing the roads, however during the night there are a few hours where you don’t see anyone out plowing during a storm and the roads are not that great. He added that last winter he saw the cruiser stuck five or six times.
It was outlined that there are a lot of people struggling to make their oil budget and in their opinion the Town should be contracting not expanding.
Councilor Perkins stated that he didn’t think the Town would spend anymore money on an SUV then they would with a Dodge Charger, however its perception. He added that some years the department may need to replace a cruiser but other years he may be able to go two years.
Chief Leonard stated that he could consider replacing cruisers every 18 months instead of every 12 months. He also added that if the SUV was ordered now it would have a mid November date, however if the Town waits a few more weeks it will be looking at a mid winter delivery date.
Protem Chair Hathaway outlined that he would rather buy another car and get on a different purchasing schedule. He asked whether the Police Department could work with the Fire Department and utilize their SUV. Fire Chief Martin outlined that their SUV was full of EMS equipment and that in the event Orono takes back their ambulance that SUV becomes their first responder vehicle.
It was the consensus of the Council to wait until there was a full board to make a decision. It will be discussed at the next Council meeting on Tuesday, September 2nd.
ITEM 5b. Tax Acquired Property Discussion (taken out of order)
Manager Reed outlined that he met with Mrs. Crowe and the following day her attorney, Tim Woodcock, contacted him to follow up. He thought it would be a worthy thing for the Council to hear her concerns.
Mr. Woodcock stated that Kathy had come to him last week and was surprised at how far it had gone. He outlined that Mr. Crowe’s health has been deteriorating over the last year, it’s not an excuse, however, it is a perilous time for the Crowes right now. Mrs. Crowe was not aware at how serious things had become and she hopes you will consider accepting payment. Mrs. Crowe had a check for the total amount due for all three properties which equaled the minimum bids in the bidder’s prospectus. Mr. Woodcock handed the floor over to Mrs. Crowe.
Mrs. Crowe introduced herself and told the Council a little about herself. She outlined her husbands condition and why this issue was not resolved sooner. She also added that these buildings are their main assets for their future and they may need them now more than ever. She thanked the Council for hearing her comments.
Protem Chair Hathaway stated that he appreciated Mr. Woodcocks comments regarding foreclosing a property and how it is one of the hardest things the Council has to do.
Protem Chair Hathaway asked how this process could be unraveled and how the Town would deal with the people who have become interested in the properties.
Manager Reed stated that in the bidders prospectus it says the Town Council has the right to refuse any and all proposals. He would much rather send people’s bids back to them unopened on bid day then confuse individuals with an opening.
Mr. Woodcock recommended accepting the check and holding it in escrow until the Town can check with its attorney to see what should be done.
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to accept the payment in escrow pending a positive approval from the Town’s attorney that the Town can accept payment from Mrs. Crowe for the properties. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 4b. Prior Fiscal Year Adjustments
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to make the following transfers:
Transfer $70,000 from the Undesignated Fund Balance to the Municipal Credit Reserve.
Transfer $80,000 from the Undesignated Fund Balance to the Highway Capital Projects Fund.
Transfer for prior fiscal year 2007-2008 $23,000 from the Undesignated Fund Balance to the Public Works Department
Transfer for prior fiscal year 2007-2008 $13,000 from the Undesignated Fund Balance to the Parks and Recreation Department
Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 4-0 in favor.
Protem Chair Hathaway noted that the Council was promised a discussion on the Parks & Recreation fee schedule. Manager Reed outlined that the Director raised the summer recreation fee after discussion with the Budget Committee and will be looking to increase the after-school recreation fee half way through the school year. He will be in to a future Council meeting to discuss the fees.
ITEM 4c. Fire Training –Burn Discussion
Manager Reed outlined that Mr. and Mrs. Jackson sent the Town a letter regarding the property at 1265 State Street. The couple would like to have the property burnt down and thought it would be a great training experience for the Veazie Fire Department.
Chief Martin stated that he has received copies of the legal paperwork other municipalities use in these instances and has forwarded it on to the Town’s attorney.
Chief Martin outlined that it is mandatory to have a live fire training. He added that a lot of the Town’s firefighters haven’t fought a fire, this would give the department a lot of training. Chief Martin stated that the building is too big for the department to do alone so they would invite Old Town and Orono to participate. The building would be done in multiple burns over a period of time.
Lt. David Hjorth outlined that a lot of people will be taking drastic measures this winter to keep warm with the price of everything being high. This would be a great opportunity for the firefighters to train.
Protem Chair Hathaway inquired over the remains left behind and who will be responsible for the clean up. Manager Reed stated that the owner will be responsible for cleaning up the debris.
Councilor King stated that he has talked to one of the neighbors of the building and as they have a date they are okay with it being burned down.
It was the consensus of the Council to proceed with the burn as long as the neighbors are okay with it and the legal documents are approved by the Town’s attorney.
ITEM 5a. Roadway Discussion
Manager Reed included a copy of a letter from the Maine Department of Transportation outlining that they are delaying construction projects until next spring. Staff is recommending the Town do the same in order to see the market stabilize and allow staff to design a long term development plan over the next several months.
Manager Reed stated that the Town will conduct regular maintenance and discuss the crack-sealing program with Jim Parker at CES.
ITEM 6. Comments From The Public
Fire Chief Martin stated that the department has been having pager problems since they switched to Orono’s frequency. The alternative is to go back to dispatch since there were no problems with that. He is going to meet with Chief Webb to see what can be done, either way it will be resolved.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report
a. The Town Council reviewed a copy of the proposed VCS/RSU deed description and map that has been developed by the school and town staff.
b. The Town Council reviewed a copy of the report that displays the TIF benefit for Veazie. The Town’s educational funding increased greatly due to the shelter value of the TIF.
c. The Town Council reviewed a copy of the latest Tax Foundation Annual report. Maine moved from the 2nd highest tax burden state to 15th
d. The Town Council reviewed a copy of the payment summary sheet from Time Warner.
e. The Town Council reviewed a copy of our investment report.
f. The Town Council reviewed a copy of a newsletter announcing that Chief Leonard will be elected the 43rd president of the Maine Chiefs Association.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
There were no requests for information or Town Council comments.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 4 & 4A, Town Payroll Warrant 4, School Warrant 4 and School Payroll Warrant 4 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor King —to adjourn the August 18, 2008 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Perkins—there was no further discussion. Voted 4-0. Meeting adjourned 8:52 pm.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie