PRESENT: Chairman Hathaway, Councilor Friedman, Councilor Parker, Councilor Perkins, Councilor King, Manager W. Reed, Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey, Office Administrator J. Reed, Fire Chief G. Martin, Public Works Superintendent B. Stoyell, Police Chief M. Leonard, Parks & Recreation Director R. Young, Mike Bush of Penquis CAP, David Wight of Old Town, Craig Sanborn of Penobscot Nation Housing, George Harris of Micronetixxs, Travis Noyes of CES, Inc., Community Center Redevelopment Advisory Committee,
Andrew George of EMDC, Members of the Public.
ITEM 1. The March 28, 2011 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor King —to accept the March 14, 2011 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Friedman, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
Manager Reed stated that he received the assessment from the Sewer District. This was added as item 7a.
ITEM 4. Comments from the Public
There were no comments from the public.
ITEM 5a. Public Hearing – CBDG
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to open the public hearing to receive comments and written submissions on the Healthy Home Community Development Block Grant application. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Mike Bush from Penquis CAP was present and explained that the public hearing was required for the submittal of the housing grant. He outlined that this kind of grant program can only go through communities and it is intended to benefit the low to moderate income families. This grant will help to make homes healthier. Some times people can have health issues due to problems with their home. For example a leaky roof can lead to mold which can then lead to health issues for residents.
Chairman Hathaway inquired about the cost to the Town. Mike Bush outlined that it would just require a little of Manager Reeds time and overseeing the accounting and payments. He added that Penquis CAP will act as the administrator and handle everything else.
Chairman Hathaway inquired on how citizens will access the grant money. Mike Bush outlined that they have social service agencies and they hope to get the Town’s code enforcement officer and health officer involved as well. These are all people whose job includes going into people’s home. These people would attend a small training on what to look for in homes. Penquis CAP would reach out to someone via these agencies and send them an application.
Councilor Perkins inquired why the larger towns involved didn’t take the lead on this grant.
David Wight of Old Town stated that when the city was brought on board it had already been established that Veazie was the lead. He outlined that given the opportunity they would have been the lead because they think it is a great thing.
Councilor Friedman stated that he was not against the grant but just didn’t know if Manager Reed would have time for it.
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to close the public hearing. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Chairman Hathaway—to order the Town Manager to execute the CBDG application for Healthy Homes and accept and implement the grant if awarded the grant on the Town of Veazie’s behalf. Seconded: Councilor Parker, Voted 4-1 in favor.
ITEM 5b. Communications Systems Analysis
George Harris of Microtinexx to go over his findings with the Town Council. Mr. Harris was hired to look at communication problems of the Town. Ultimately he corroborated Whitten’s findings that the communication system was indeed inadequate.
Mr. Harris outlined that the police department is sharing a repeater in Old town with Old Town and Orono. The location is suboptimal for Veazie. Whitten’s had proposed a second repeater be put on Kelly Road and filed for a license. Because of the close proximity to Canada, Canada officials have to sign off on the license. Mr. Harris outlined that he didn’t think there would be any problems and once this is complete it should be a very satisfactory solution for the police department.
One of the major concerns was the fire department. It uses a repeater on top of Hilltop complex at the University of Maine. Mr. Harris outlined that firefighter’s pagers do not go off in Veazie. Placing a repeater on the water tower on top of Buck Hill would fix all of their problems with radios and pagers. The one downside to Buck Hill is that there is no power up there. One option would be to put a solar powered repeater on the water tower. The other option would involve running power to the site.
Mr. Harris outlined that the public works department does not use a repeater at all. He recommended adding a repeater on Buck Hill for them as well.
Councilor Perkins asked how much one repeater would cost. $18,500 for a solar powered one or $12,500 for one that required power run to the location. Councilor Friedman stated that the Town has a small public works department and that they don’t need their own repeater, they can use cell phones. Councilor Friedman also inquired on how tall the antenna would be. Mr. Harris outlined that it could either be eleven or twenty-two feet tall.
Councilor King suggested talking with the Water District to see if they might be interested in putting permanent power up there because they use solar power.
Councilor Parker stated that the Town would have to work with Barney Silver because he believed the Water District only has underground utility rights across his property.
Manager Reed will contact Barney Silver and the Water District.
ITEM 5c. Solid Waste Discussion
Chairman Hathaway stated that he would like to start preliminary discussions on a pay as your throw program for the community. He outlined that the solid waste contract expires in December and PERC only has about a useful life of less than 10 years left. He added that transportation of solid waste is a large portion of the Town’s budget and it needs to reduce volume and do its part to recycle more.
Councilor Friedman stated that he agreed that the Town needs to educate itself better to not throw so much and recycle more, however, in discussions with residents over the weekend he found that people felt that their taxes are high enough now and its just one more thing they have to pay for.
Councilor Parker stated that the Town needs to find something more creative than following other towns. He outlined that he mentioned it to a few people and got an earful.
Councilor Perkins stated he’d like to see the Town start with some creative writing in the Town’s newsletter.
Manager Reed stated that Waste Management has contracted with EcoMaine for single stream recycling processing and will be taking more items. They will be sending information for the newsletter.
Member of the public Susan MacKay outlined that there is a lot of people in Town that don’t know Veazie has single stream recycling. She thinks there needs to be more education and larger bins.
Member of the public Terry Lynch stated that the Town use to do a spring cleanup. He has heard of towns getting dumpsters and people bringing their items to it. Councilor Friedman stated that Bradley has done that and maybe the Town should try it.
Chairman Hathaway asked to keep this item on the agenda and keep discussing it as well as work on an educational piece.
ITEM 6a. Community Center Update
The Community Center Redevelopment Advisory Committee was present to give an update on the project.
Janine Raquet outlined they have received two grants, one from Efficiency Maine and another from the Public Utility Commission. The PUC grant was for $18,000 and will be for windows, doors and lighting. They had to be specific on the amount of savings. The other grant from Efficiency Maine they didn’t have to be as specific and mentioned doing roof or siding. An energy audit will need to be done for the Efficiency Maine grant.
There was discussion on bonding and the process. Chairman Hathaway stated that this might be the time to start planning and moving the process along. Bonding rates are good, people need work and timing is everything. He would hate to see the Committee start losing grants and lose momentum.
Committee member Don MacKay stated that he doesn’t think the group will lose interest. They would really like to engage the community.
ITEM 6b. Roads Review List
There was discussion on the condition of the roads in town. Manager Reed outlined that a lot of the roads were done in the late 70s and 80s and he thinks the life cycle of the roads may be coming to fruition.
Chairman Hathaway stated that he thought it was time to seriously think about a bond package. The Town will never get caught up if it continues to pick away each year at a street or two. A bond package would allow the Town to negotiate deals on larger volumes.
Manager Reed will get some numbers for the next meeting and see how much work the Town could do if it bonded and had a payment of $75,000 for ten years.
ITEM 6c. Lawn Services Proposals
It was decided to put the service out to bid again and remove the community pickup. The deadline for submittals will be before the April 25th Council meeting so that they may review the bids and hopefully award the bid. The Council would also like to reconfirm the expenses it would be getting rid of by bidding out this services.
ITEM 7a. Veazie Sewer District Assessment
Manager Reed provided the Council with a copy of the Veazie Sewer District assessment. The assessment is now $160,000, $20,000 up from last year’s $140,000.
ITEM 8. Manager’s Report
The Council reviewed the following items:
a. copies of the Old Town Operation and Organizational Study and final report
b. a thank you letter from Jim Ring pertaining to his retirement party
c. a notice pertaining to the new license that will be coming out very soon
d. a copy of an email pertaining to regional assessing.
e. a copy of an email pertaining to how past union wages were established
f. a grant list of State and Federal Mandates
ITEM 9. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Perkins outlined that in the past they have talked about re-evaluating each department and he would like to look at the Town Office.
Councilor Parker inquired whether rent and a certificate of insurance had been received from Mr. Kennedy for the community center. Deputy Treasurer Julie Reed stated that rent had not been received yet nor had he provided a certificate of insurance. Councilor Perkins stated that since the building is not fit shouldn’t the Town make sure that he has insurance. Chairman Hathaway suggested calling his insurance company.
ITEM 10. Warrants: Town Warrant 20, 20A and Town Payroll 20 were circulated for signature.
ITEM 11. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Friedman—to adjourn the March 28, 2011 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor King. There was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned 9:34 pm.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie