PRESENT: Chairman Perkins, Councilor Hathaway, Councilor Friedman, Councilor King, Councilor Parker, Manager W. Reed, Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey, Parks & Recreation Director R. Young, Fire Chief G. Martin, Office Administrator J. Reed. Police Chief Leonard arrived late.
ITEM 1. The November 2, 2009 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor Friedman—to accept the October 5, 2009 meeting minutes
as written. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 4-0-1 in favor. Councilor Parker abstained due to his absence.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
There were no additions to the agenda.
ITEM 4a. Assessor’s Report
Assessor Allan Thomas was present to give the Council an update on the dam property. He outlined that even though Penobscot River Restoration Trust will be operating the dam until they remove it that they could indeed be tax exempt next year. At this point he is not sure whether they will or won’t. If they are the Town will lose 2% of its state valuation.
ITEM 4b. First Quarter Financials
Manager Reed outlined that excise tax is falling within projections. Tax collection is going well. Manager Reed outlined that the Town is investing in short callable paper for now due to the current market.
Manager Reed provided the Council with information on bonding if the Town decided to take that route to fund multiple road projects. He recommended doing a 10-12 year bond. This will be an item on the next meeting’s agenda. Due to the amount of work that needs to be done prior to the application being submitted a decision will have to be made whether the Town wants to proceed.
Councilor Hathaway stated that he had not seen anything about the transition of accounts to the new RSU. Manager Reed outlined that the Town has not released the full funds yet because the auditor is waiting for them to provide the Town with paperwork on the federal stimulus and several other loose ends.
Councilor Hathaway inquired about the housing market. Allan Thomas stated that values have remained constant in Veazie. The Town is around 88% of market value and that is why our homestead is lower.
ITEM 5a. Communications Update
Manager Reed outlined that the Town is working with Jim Chasse, the principal of Orono High School on doing an educational channel. He added that the Town now has a Facebook page. The Town’s website still has stable traffic and is being utilized. Manager Reed stated that the community sign will be going up soon. Unfortunately electricity could not be run to it due to the high cost of doing so.
ITEM 5b. Regionalism Outreach and Planning
Manager Reed outlined that surrounding communities are looking into regionalizing certain departments. One of those departments is assessing. Old Town has decided to take this on as a new project and they are putting together a RFP on the feasibility. The municipalities involved are Milford, Bradley, Orono, Old Town and Veazie. Manager Reed outlined that he didn’t know how serious Milford and Bradley were about the project. Milford currently uses an assessors agent and Bradley is questionable because they don’t know how much funds they can put toward the project. Stormwater management is another item the municipalities are looking at regionally.
ITEM 6. Comments from the Public
Fire Chief Martin outlined that the department applied for pagers through a program and being one out of three applicants in Penobscot County they received them. He also heard from the Fire Chief in Beddington and they have put the Mack pumper into service and it is running well.
Councilor Friedman asked Fire Chief Martin what he thought about working with Orono Fire. Chief Martin stated that he thought it could work well. They could possibly purchase things together and train together.
There was discussion on the police cruiser that was totaled in a police incident in Bangor. Councilor Hathaway inquired on the insurance where the incident occurred in Bangor. Manager Reed explained that the Town has insurance and would cover the loss of the car and that ultimately Maine Municipal Association would try to recoup the cost from the insurance company of the vehicle that struck Chief Leonard’s cruiser. Currently the Town is waiting for the adjuster from Maine Municipal Association to come examine the car. Insurance has provided a rental for Chief Leonard.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report
The Council reviewed the following items:
a. a proposal of redevelopment from Penquis CAP for the former community center
b. a letter of support from the Veazie Community School pertaining to the Police and Fire Departments
c. a story pertaining to the Veazie Police Department’s taser training that appeared in the Maine Edge
d. a letter received from a resident pertaining to the Town’s donation to the Hammond Street Seniors Center
e. the Water District’s meeting minutes
f. a copy of the Town Manager’s 20 year ICMA certificate
ITEM 8. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Hathaway outlined that he thought Penquis CAP had walked away from the idea of senior housing at the community center. He’s glad to see it’s still an option. Councilor Hathaway outlined that the Town would be foolish to pass up someone wanting to take the building off our hands especially with a $140,000 tax loss because of the dam.
Councilor Parker outlined that a lot of people have been asking about an ice rink. Parks & Rec. Director Rob Young stated that he has been talking with Public Works Superintendent about it. Manager Reed outlined that a liner is needed in the spot where the ice rink has gone in the past. Parks & Rec. Director Young outlined that he does have plans to have an ice rink and will look into options.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 8, 9 & 9A, Town Payroll Warrant 8 & 9 were circulated for signature.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor King—to adjourn the November 2, 2009 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Hathaway—there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned 8:00 pm.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie