PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Hathaway, Councilor King, Councilor Parker, Councilor Perkins, Manager W. Reed, Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey, CEO A. Thomas, Police Chief M. Leonard, Public Works Super Butch Free Office Administrator J. Reed, Members of the Public Jane Livingston and Carol Arnold
ITEM 1. The December 8, 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 November 24, 2008 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Hathaway, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
Manager Reed outlined that he had spoken with Chris Champagne of Greenwood and there was an interested party from Kentucky on the 1980 Mac truck. This was added as item 5b.
ITEM 4a. Community Garden Discussion
Manager Reed stated that Jane Livingston had called him over the past few weeks regarding interest in doing a community garden. The group had their first meeting before the Council meeting and would like to put something in the newsletter. The group talked about a spot by the tennis courts and Ms. Livingston had already spoken with Steven Mooers who thought it was a great idea.
Councilor Hathaway thought it would be a good idea to put a gazebo by the community garden.
Ms. Livingston stated that they plan on starting small and didn’t see any real obstacles.
ITEM 4b. RSU Election Order
Manager Reed stated that this was a requirement for holding the election to vote on the formation of a RSU. He outlined that it does not mean that the Town endorses the RSU concept it just allows the election to occur. A public hearing will have to be held on the question itself which will most likely be the next Council meeting.
Motion By: Councilor King—to authorize the order as written. Seconded: Councilor Hathaway, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 5a. Public Works Update
Superintendent of Public Works Butch Free was present to update the Council on the various projects they have been working on. One of those projects was rehabilitating the plow trucks. They took care of all of the rust, cables, airlines, brakes under the dump boxes as well as removing all the rust from the dump boxes and painting them. Mr. Free outlined that they don’t have a place to totally wash the trucks. They have to be washed inside and the public works bay is not large enough to allow the dump box to be raised enough to wash underneath to remove all of the calcium chloride. Mr. Free outlined that the Town saved a lot of money by doing the rehabilitation themselves. They had been quoted estimates of $18,000 for each truck where as they spent $3,500 on each truck. This
will extend the life of the trucks another three years.
Other projects included but were not limited to; work on cul-de-sacs, maintenance on paths around the school and senior housing building, installation of a plow on the department’s pickup truck, the construction of a butterfly garden around the flag pole at the school, the installation of a fence at the cemetery and the installation of storm drains and catch basins on Hobson Avenue to deal with a water issue.
Mr. Free stated that they had 71 loads of leaves this year during the leaf pickup. There was discussion on possible alternatives for leaf pickup. It seemed through discussion that the current method seemed to be the most effective for the time being.
Councilor Perkins emphasized the importance of the cemetery to citizens in town and the importance of keeping it maintained.
Councilor Hathaway proposed resurrecting a non-binding cemetery committee. He outlined that it wouldn’t be to look over the department’s work but to give ideas and input on what goes on there. Manager Reed stated that something could be put in the next newsletter about the committee and the need for members.
ITEM 5b Fire Truck Proposal
Manager Reed stated that he had received a proposal for $9,000 for the 1980 Mac pumper. He outlined that Chris Champagne had stated that $10,000 would be a fair price for the truck since it is in good shape for its age. Manager Reed stated he wanted to discuss with the Council an acceptable price range before they invited the gentlemen from Kentucky up here. He also wanted to know whether the Council wanted to try and sell it before it has to be housed for the winter. He outlined that it was still unknown whether the Town could store it in a quonset hut at Casco Bay.
It was the consensus of the Council to try and sell the truck before it needed to be stored.
Motion By: Councilor King—to authorize the Town Manager and Fire Chief to negotiate a sale with a minimum sale price as discussed by the Town Manager and Town Council. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 6. Comments From The Public
There were no comments from the public.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report
Manager Reed outlined that the Town Attorney had been brought up to speed on the issue regarding 1033 School Street. Staff is proceeding carefully and it appears that it is becoming a legal issue.
The Town Council reviewed a copy of information pertaining to the education program that is being conducted on the storm water program.
The Town Council was informed that a copy of the FERC filing on the Penobscot River Restoration Trust’s application for river restoration was available in the Town Office.
Manager Reed outlined that staff was inquiring on whether the day after Christmas the Town Office could be closed and use vacation time. Councilor Hathaway stated he would like to see the Town Office open with a skeleton crew. Councilor Parker stated he would like to have the Town Office open as well. Councilor Perkins stated that the University of Maine is closed and thought it was okay for the Town Office to close. Councilor King outlined that the Water District was going to be closed as well and didn’t have a problem with the Town Office being closed. Chairman Friedman stated he thought the Town Office should be open. It was decided that the Town Office would remain open.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Hathaway stated that he hoped the Town’s legal staff was fully engaged on the issue with 1033 School Street. Manager Reed outlined that the liens on the three properties were paid however the Town has not issued quit-claim deeds. Manager Reed outlined that the properties are in an industrial zone so there is going to be some level of uncleanliness.
Councilor Hathaway outlined that the contract with Waste Management comes due in another year and he wondered how to measure how good they are. Manager Reed outlined that Peter Dionne was working on details on what they measure for service quality.
Councilor Hathaway inquired whether the speed bumps at the senior housing was necessary. It was pointed out that the property is private property and it is up to the owners to have them there. Councilor Parker outlined that the speed bumps were required by the Planning Board.
There was discussion on the necessity of them and also on closing off the parking lot at the Town Hall so that people could not cut across it from Flagg Street on to Olive Street. Police Chief Leonard stated that there were a lot of complaints on speeding from residents that live on Flagg Street before the speed bumps were placed there.
Councilor Hathaway stated that he had made a motion a few weeks ago at a meeting about putting a freeze on all unnecessary spending. He outlined that he says that from a symbolic point of view. He would like to see the town take the position of not stopping but slowing spending and being very careful.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 12, Town Payroll Warrant 12, School Lunch Warrant 12, School Warrant 12 and School Payroll Warrant 12 were circulated and signed.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Hathaway—to adjourn the December 8, 2008 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor King—there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned 8:36 pm.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie