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, Police Chief M. Leonard, Members of the Public.
ITEM 1. The January 3, 2011 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor Friedman—to accept the December 20, 2010 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Parker, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
Councilor Friedman outlined that CEO/Assessor Allan Thomas mentioned that he would be retiring this year and would like to discuss having someone work with Allan before he leaves to ensure a smooth transition. Chairman Hathaway stated that one of the tasks of the regional board is looking at assessing and having one assessor for all three communities. He outlined that the next meeting is scheduled for January 24th at 9:00am at the Orono Council Chambers.
ITEM 4. Comments from the Public
Water District Trustee James Parker outline that Water District was holding its public hearing on their proposed rate restructure on Tuesday, January 4th at 7:00pm in the Orono Council Chambers.
ITEM 5a. Public Hearing – Veazie Land Use Ordinance Concerning Telecommunications Towers
Motion By: Councilor Friedman—to open a public hearing to hear comments on the proposed revisions to the Veazie Land Use Ordinance Concerning Telecommunications Towers as recommended by the Veazie Planning Board and first read and introduced at the December 13th, 2010 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Craig Hitchings, Radio Project Office Manager for the State of Maine, inquired whether Cityscapes comments about the I1 zone and 1000 foot setback were taken into considering on the ordinance.
Member of the public Robert Rice thanked the Council and Planning Board for the ordinance. He outlined that it was a well written ordinance and a good ordinance for this community. He also thanked the Council for moving ahead with addressing dead spots and keeping it as a separate issue.
Craig Hitchings wanted to thank the Council and Planning Board for involving the State and keeping them informed. He outlined that this ordinance does restrict the State from building a tower in the Town of Veazie. He then read aloud the letter that State Chief Information Officer Greg McNeal wrote to Chairman Hathaway. He outlined that when they sited this location and worked with the Orono Veazie Water District that he felt they involved the people in the process. He added that the tower would be 1400 feet from the nearest home and it would not have a significant visual impact in the area.
Planning Board member John Manter stated that he recommended amending the ordinance so that it would allow the State of Maine to build their proposed tower on Buck Hill.
Member of the public Carol Arnold outlined that she had heard that Veazie was not the first site the State was interested in, Kelly Road in Orono was. Buck Hill is a residential area and she doesn’t know why the Town would want one in a residential area. She outlined that Buck Hill was designated as a scenic spot years ago.
Member of the public Pat Rice outlined that Veazie is roughly three square miles and if the Town gives the State a waiver to put a tower on Buck Hill it would open up towers to any residential zone. She added that the Kelly Road site is zoned for towers and that she and others had heard that it did work for the State’s telecommunications. She recommended that they consider other possibilities.
Fire Captain Pete Metcalf urged the Council to hold off on making any decision until the Town had its study completed for the Police, Fire and Public Works departments. He outlined the problems the departments have with communications. He added that the study may come back and the Town may need a tower of a certain height that the ordinance does not allow.
Councilor Friedman expressed his urge to pass the ordinance.
Member of the public James Parker stated that if the Council passes the ordinance they may end up with a tower on Buck Hill where they didn’t want it. He outlined that a court may rule that the Town’s ordinance is too stringent and does not allow a tower to work in the Town of Veazie.
Craig Hitchings outlined that the State’s proposal for Buck Hill was an 180 foot tower to provide adequate coverage. This was based on a 300 foot elevation on Buck Hill. The I1 zone would require a 280 foot tower because it is at a 200 foot elevation.
Motion By: Councilor Friedman—to close the public hearing. Seconded: Councilor Parker, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 6a. Comeau Property Matter
Motion By: Councilor Friedman—to order the Town Manager to authorize and execute on the Town Council’s behalf a purchase and sales agreement for the property of Herbert and Julia Comeau, Tax Map 10 Lot 27, +/- 0.26 acres for the sum of $10,000.00 in a timely manner and that said funds be taken from the General Fund Undesignated Account. Seconded: Councilor Parker. Councilor Perkins stated he felt the Town was paying too much for the property. Chairman Hathaway stated that he was not for spending money but if it helps prevent future recourse which may cost the Town more then he is in favor. There was no further discussion. Voted 3-2 in favor.
ITEM 6b. Veazie Land Use Ordinance Concerning Telecommunications Towers
Motion By: Councilor Friedman—for the Town of Veazie to hereby ordain that the following amendments to the Land Use Ordinance of the Town of Veazie hereinafter “Land Use Ordinance” be enacted. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 7. Additions by Council
Chairman Hathaway outlined that it is the goal to post the agenda by the Wednesday before the meeting and this item was an effort for last minute additions to be added.
ITEM 8. Manager’s Report
The Town Council reviewed the following items:
a. A copy of an email from Don MacKay regarding the draft community center design.
b. The draft Medical Marijuana Veazie Land use Ordinance revisions that the Planning Board is working on.
c. Copies of emails pertaining to snow removal.
d. A copy of the MMA Property and Casualty Pool Annual Audit.
ITEM 9. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor King outlined that he received a positive email regarding snow removal and will forward it to Manager Reed. It was outlined that the contractor is being very cooperative.
Chairman Hathaway inquired on an update on the dam removal and whether it would still occur in 2012. Manager Reed stated that it will probably be later. The Trust must have a certain amount of funds before it may remove the dam. Chairman Hathaway outlined that the Council should discuss the building as it may have some value to the community. David king – got an email that the roads were really good. Will forward to bill.
Chairman Hathaway also suggested having Joe McNeil from the BAT come to a future meeting to give an update.
Chairman Hathaway also suggested discussing paving for 2011, if the Council wants to consider bonding they should start discussing it now.
Manager Reed outlined that Barney Silver will be in attendance at the next Council meeting.
The Council moved the next Council meeting to Tuesday, January 18th since the 17th was a holiday.
Councilor Perkins inquired on the status of salt. Manager Reed outlined that the Town is 30 tons over where they were last year on this date. He was not sure on the numbers for per storm usage. Councilor Parker pointed out that the Town is also plowing Route 2 now and that uses a lot of salt. Manager Reed will come back to the next meeting with more information.
ITEM 10. Warrants: Town Warrant 14 and Town Payroll 14 were circulated for signature.
ITEM 11. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Friedman —to adjourn the January 3, 2011 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor King There was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned 7:51 pm.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie