PRESENT: Chairman Hathaway, Councilor Parker, Councilor Perkins, Manager W. Reed, Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey, Office Administrator J. Reed, Police Chief M. Leonard, Parks & Recreation Director R. Young, Members of the Public. Councilor Friedman and Councilor King were absent and excused.
ITEM 1. The May 23, 2011 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor Perkins —to accept the May 9, 2011 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Parker, Voted 3-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of the Agenda
There were no additions to the agenda.
ITEM 4. Comments from the Public
Member of the public Todd Lynch stated that he used the drop off over the weekend and thought it was great and efficient. He hopes the Town will continue to offer it every year.
ITEM 5a. Bangor Gas Update
Jon Kunz and Mary Paul were present from Bangor Gas to discuss the opportunity of shared community build out. Manager Reed outlined that there is a State law that pertains to the recovery or reimbursement for line extensions done by the Town with economic development funds.
Jon Kunz explained that in order for the company to install more main lines in Veazie it needs to have a commitment from a certain number of residents to be able to afford to install the line. A line from State Street up to Jackson Drive would cost $84,000 and that is just for the mainline. He outlined to come to the municipal building from School Street he would need roughly 54 homes to sign up for natural gas. He also explained that there is a high cost for crossing railroad tracks. Currently they are doing a project on the Odlin Road and the cost for going under the railroad tracks is $80,000.
Chairman Hathaway suggested hiring an intern for the summer and have them go around door to door and see what level of commitment there is. Member of the public Bradley Teel inquired what constituted commitment. Mr. Kunz stated a signed agreement.
There was discussion on possible ways to get residents interested and informed about natural gas. In addition to hiring an intern there was discussion on having someone at the municipal election with information.
ITEM 5b. RSU Warrant
Chairman Hathaway stated that the Council had its meeting two weeks ago where it signed their warrant, they were under the impression that they were holding the line on the mill rate only later to be hold that the Town’s RSU assessment was higher.
Manager Reed stated that the Town Attorney wrote an opinion on numerous concerns that staff and Councilors had. He also discussed the budget figures, how they were calculated and how the formula is flawed.
Chairman Hathaway outlined that this was a huge deal. The Town was told there would be no increase and then at the “11th hour” it is handed a bill that is grossly increased after the Town Warrant has been signed. A $162,000 increase is ¾ of a mill.
Councilor Perkins outlined that from the communications he has seen it seems that the RSU knows there is an issue but they don’t want to address it. Manager Reed stated that they feel its too late to address it.
Manager Reed stated that the RSU Chair wrote a letter and stated they would like to meet when the new year begins. Manager Reed stated that the Council could sign the warrant and take it up at the annual budget meeting. Member of the public Chris Dalton suggested not paying the RSU to make them address the issue now.
There was discussion on holding the mill rate and what would have to be done. Manager Reed explained that they could use the 2012-2013 trust money to offset it, however, in 2012-2013 you would have no money.
Chairman Hathaway inquired whether the Town could modify an article at Town Meeting. Manager Reed stated that he thought the Town had the discretion to write a letter to the RSU stating it wants to use that money.
It was the consensus of the Council to seek legal opinion from the Town’s attorney.
ITEM 6a. Recreation Department Fee Discussion
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to order the Parks and Recreation Department to adjust the service fees being charged by the department as recommended by the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee in the memo dated May 20, 2011. Seconded: Chairman Hathaway. Chairman Hathaway inquired whether it had anything to do with pre-k. Director Rob Young stated it did not. He had been approached about providing coverage for it, however, there is no space available during the school day to do so.
Chairman Hathaway stated that in a past meeting collections had been discussed, he wondered if it had been addressed or was getting better. Director Rob Young stated that it has gotten better but he will also be implementing a new program to keep track of collections and attendance, currently Hermon uses the program. Voted 3-0 in favor.
ITEM 7. Additions by Council
There were no additions by the Council.
ITEM 8. Manager’s Report
The Town Council reviewed the following items:
a. a public hearing notice from the Sewer District pertaining to a proposed rate increase.
b. a copy of a letter received from DECD pertaining to the $300,000 housing improvement grant.
c. minutes from the Water District.
d. a copy of an email pertaining to the Town’s recycling fliers.
e. a copy of the Bangor Water District’s annual report.
ITEM 9. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Perkins stated that every month the Council receives the Water District’s minutes and he would like to receive the Sewer District’s minutes.
ITEM 10. Warrants: Town Warrant 24, 24A and Town Payroll 24 were circulated for signature.
ITEM 11. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor Perkins—to adjourn the May 23, 2011 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Parker. There was no further discussion. Voted 3-0. Meeting adjourned 8:40 pm.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie