PRESENT: Chairman Hathaway, Councilor Friedman, Councilor Perkins, Councilor King, Councilor Parker, Manager W. Reed, Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey, Office Administrator J. Reed, Assessor/CEO A. Thomas, Public Works Superintendent B. Stoyell, Parks & Recreation Director R. Young, Fire Chief G. Martin, Police Chief M. Leonard, Town Auditor Charemon Davis, Members of the Public.
ITEM 1. The October 25, 2010 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor Friedman—to accept the September 27, 2010 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Parker, Voted 3-0 in favor. Councilor King and Councilor Perkins abstained.
It was noted that the minutes should say the minutes started at 6:30pm
Motion By: Councilor King—to accept the October 18, 2010 meeting minutes as amended. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
Councilor Perkins wished to add an update on the tower ordinance to the agenda. This was added as item 6c. Manager Reed added Bangor Fleet Maintenance Agreement Resolution as item 5g. A citizen letter was added as item 5h.
ITEM 4. Comments from the Public
There were no comments from the public.
ITEM 5a. Preliminary Audit Report Presentation
Charemon Davis, the Town Auditor was present to go over the preliminary audit report. Mrs. Davis outlined that the Town’s cash position decreased about $970,000 from the previous year, however that was from the School Department becoming part of the RSU and transferring all of its funds. Taxes and liens increased a little over $24,000. Investment income and revenue sharing were under received. Mrs. Davis added that the undesignated fund increased which was a good thing.
Mrs. Davis outlined that because of the new GASB the reserve accounts will show differently in the audit. Overall the reserve accounts decreased by at $126,000 due to some major items being paid out of reserves. Mrs. Davis discussed funding the sick and paid time reserve. She outlined that importance of keeping it funded incase the Town had someone retire and it has to pay out a large amount.
Mrs. Davis outlined that something should be done with the cemetery fund. There was discussion on where the money came from and what it was for. A determination should be made on what the money can be used for.
Mrs. Davis recommended putting a 120 day void option on the Town’s checks. She also recommended having Manager Reed sign off on the reconciliations to have a check and balance. There was discussion on the Town’s policy book and having it updated so it is current.
Mrs. Davis also recommended reconciling the motor vehicle inventory periodically. It was noted that the TRIO software still has some quirks in it and sometimes does not remove stickers or plates from inventory when they have been issued to a customer.
ITEM 5b. Public Hearing – G.A. Ordinance Revisions
Motion By: Councilor Friedman—to go into public hearing to receive public comments on the General Assistance Ordinance Revisions. Seconded: Councilor King. Voted 5-0 in favor.
There were no comments from the public.
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to close the public hearing on the General Assistance Ordinance Revisions. Seconded: Councilor King
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—for the Town of Veazie to formally adopt the MMA Model Ordinance General Assistance Appendixes (A-C) for the period of October 1, 2010 through October 1, 2011. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 5c. Police Grant
Chief Leonard outlined that he had approached the Council and requested permission to apply for this grant. The department’s initial application was denied, however, when it was reopened they reapplied and were successful. The next stepis for he and the Town Manager to sign off and accept the grant.
Councilor Friedman stated that it was his understanding that the Town would have to pick up the salary at the end of the grant. Chief Leonard explained that the department gets three years of funding for the position and then has to pick up the cost for the fourth year. Councilor Friedman outlined that he did not see the economy turning around and he could not vote for the acceptance of this grant.
Chief Leonard outlined that the department has 48 hours of coverage which he relies on from his part time officers. This full time position would cover all but 8 hours therefore eliminating the cost of paying the part-timers 40 hours a week. The budget impact on the fourth year would be minimal.
Chairman Hathaway inquired whether Chief Leonard had a value for the cost savings in year one. Chief Leonard stated about $20,000. Chairman Hathaway outlined that the savings over the three years would be around $60,000 and then the fourth year the Town would have to fund the position at around $50,000, so essentially it’s a “wash”. Manager Reed added that in the fourth year the additional cost to fund the position would only be around $8,000 plus benefits because you would still have to pay part-timers $20,000-$25,000 to cover the same hours.
Motion By: Councilor Parker—to authorize the Police Chief and Town Manager to execute on the Town of Veazie’s behalf any and all documents required for the COPS Program Grant. Seconded: Chairman Hathaway, Voted 2-3. Motion Fails.
Councilor Parker inquired whether there was a deadline to accept the grant. Chief Leonard stated they had ninety days to act.
Chief Leonard stated that he put a lot of man hours into this grant and came before the Council before he applied and was authorized to apply for it. He would hope in the future that if this is going to be the ultimate outcome that he could spend his man hours better served than wasting time doing this.
ITEM 5d. RFP Grounds Maintenance
Manager Reed outlined that at the present time it doesn’t look like outsourcing the grounds maintenance will work. The bids received also varied greatly.
Councilor Friedman stated he agreed and would like to keep mowing and grounds maintenance in house. He added that he couldn’t see a cost savings. If it was as dramatic as when the Council looked at outsourcing snowplowing then he could see doing it.
Manager Reed stated that they are still working on a work plan for the department and will keep the Council updated. Chairman Hathaway inquired whether there was a limit on the bid amounts, Manager Reed said no.
ITEM 5e. CBDG – Greystone Update
Manager Reed stated that he met with an engineer at the Greystone Trailer Park to see if there was a way to make the area better. The Genesis Corporation is looking to apply for a Community Block Development Grant in partnership with the Town of Veazie and will reimburse the Town for any application costs. Manager Reed outlined that they are looking at any improvement to infrastructure that might be of benefit. Manager Reed outlined that the prior owner had promised to put in fire hydrants but it never happened. Manager Reed will keep the Council informed of any developments.
ITEM 5f. Radio Agreement
The Town Council reviewed a regional agreement pertaining to the radio tower located in Orono.
There was discussion about getting an independent person in to review the communications problem.
Chief Leonard stated that he thinks they’ll find that the Planning Board is going to write this ordinance and its going to prevent the Police and Fire Departments from being able to provide the equipment they need to solve the communications problem. He outlined that the Planning Board has not asked the departments about their communication issues.
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to authorize the Fire Chief to execute the revised September 2010 Radio Agreement on behalf of the Town of Veazie on this date, October 25, 2010. Seconded: Councilor King. Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 5g. Bangor Fleet Maintenance Agreement
Manager Reed outlined that the Fleet Maintenance Agreement with the City of Bangor had been approved by the City, however they wished for the Town of Veazie to pass a resolution regarding the agreement.
Motion By: Councilor Friedman—resolve of the Fleet Maintenance Agreement between the City of Bangor and Town of Veazie dated October 25, 2010. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 5h. Citizen Letter
A letter was submitted to the Council regarding a budget committee member and a possible conflict of interest. Chairman Hathaway outlined that it was his opinion that the committee is an advisory committee and carries no power. He added that to be fair perhaps the letter should be sent to the Town’s legal counsel for review and opinion. It was the consensus of the Council to send it for review and discuss it at the next meeting.
ITEM 6a. Auditor Discussion
Chairman Hathaway gave a brief overview of the process that had been carried out to date and reviewed the proposal prices.
Councilor Parker – RHR Smith or Branter, Thibodeau & Associates, however he outlined that he has a conflict of interest with Branter, Thibodeau & Associates.
Councilor Perkins – Hollingsworth & Associates
Councilor King – Hollingsworth & Associates
Councilor Friedman – Hollingsworth & Associates
Chairman Hathaway – RHR Smith
Motion By: Councilor Friedman—to authorize the Town Manager to enter into an agreement with Hollingsworth & Associates effective for fiscal year beginning July 1, 2011. Seconded: Councilor King. It was noted that the agreement is for a firm fixed price of $5,800 a year. Voted 3-2 in favor.
ITEM 6b. Revised County Hazard Mitigation Plan
Motion By: Councilor Friedman—to adopt the revised County Hazard Mitigation Plan. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 6c. Update on Tower Ordinance
Councilor Perkins inquired on where the Planning Board was on the tower ordinance. CEO Allan Thomas stated that they have recognized that the Town’s public safety does need some service. It is still written to limit it to American Concrete with a very limited height tower and that is of no use to anyone. Councilor Perkins stated he was not looking for an opinion he wanted to know where in the process they were. Allan stated that the board believed a final draft is being written. The board would like to schedule up a public hearing. It was noted the moratorium runs out in February.
Councilor King inquired whether this would be an appropriate time to hire a “problem solver” to look at this issue. He stated that shouldn’t the Town look at what is going to fix this problem before it passes an ordinance. Manager Reed explained that it would be best to pass what the Planning Board has approved to get something in the book before the moratorium expires then it can be amended down the road to address public safety issues. Councilor King inquired how much hiring a consultant would cost. Manager Reed estimated around $8,000 to $10,000 to start with.
Chief Leonard outlined that he’s not sure how the ordinance is going to address public safety’s concerns because the Planning Board doesn’t know what they are. The Fire and Police Departments have not been asked what the concerns are or what the problems are. He added that they have not been asked to attend a single meeting. If the Planning Board is looking to write an ordinance they should have the people it is going to affect play a part in it.
Chief Leonard stated that they do need an expert, they hired what they considered an expert but their hands are tied, they don’t have the funding. He outlined that $8,000 to $10,000 isn’t going to touch what needs to be done. Whitten’s charged the Town $1,500 just to do a splash graph. To have someone come in and do a true consultation will cost well over $10,000. Chief Leonard explained that a true study has to be done through all seasons. Right now the leaves are off the trees and their communications have improved. The study has to be done when there is snow on the tower or leaves on the trees.
Manager Reed will contact a consultation firm and report back at the next meeting.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report
The Town Council reviewed the following items:
a. A copy of the Town’s financials and updates.
b. A copy of a Maine Today article pertaining to the evaluation of regionalism after 10-15 years in Canada.
c. A copy of the dividend the Town received for its Workers Compensation Fund.
d. A copy of an article from the Bangor Daily News on the Newburgh incident.
ITEM 8. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor King inquired when the catch basins were going to be cleaned. Public Works Superintendent Brian Stoyell outlined that they have until July 1st of next year to get them done but will be cleaning some this fall.
ITEM 9. Warrants: Town Warrant 9, 9a, 9b and Town Payroll 9 were circulated for signature.
ITEM 10. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Friedman—to adjourn the October 25, 2010 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor King—there was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned 8:50pm.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie