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Council Minutes June 20, 2011

PRESENT:        Councilor Parker, Councilor Perkins, Councilor King, Councilor Friedman, Councilor Olson, Manager W. Reed, Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey, Office Administrator J. Reed, Assessor A. Thomas, Fire Chief G. Martin,  Police Chief M. Leonard, Parks & Recreation Director R. Young,  Public Works Director B. Stoyell.  Members of the Public.
        
ITEM 1. The June 6, 2011 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 7:00PM.
        
ITEM 2a.        Election of a Chair
Motion By:  Councilor King—to nominate Councilor Friedman as Chairman.  Seconded:  Councilor Perkins, Voted 3-1.  Councilor Friedman abstained.  

ITEM 2b.        Setting of Meeting Schedule
It was the consensus to continue the same schedule of every other Monday meetings.

ITEM 3. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By:  Councilor King —to accept the June 6, 2011 meeting minutes as written.  Seconded:  Councilor Perkins, Voted 4-0 in favor.  Councilor Olson abstained

Motion By:  Councilor King—to accept the June 14, 2011 meeting minutes as written.  Seconded:  Councilor Parker, Voted 3-0 in favor.  Chairman Friedman and Councilor Olson abstained.  
                                
ITEM 4. Consideration of the Agenda
Chairman Friedman stated he would like a list of the committees and expiration dates for the Council to review.  
                
ITEM 5. Comments from the Public
Member of the public Travis Noyes suggested the Council coming up with some sort of agenda that they want to accomplish this year with the Budget Committee and also in general.  Councilor Perkins stated that it was definitely something to think about, setting goals and objectives.   

ITEM 6a.        Community Center - Doors
Motion By:  Councilor King—to order the Town Manager to award the door replacement award to Viking Glass for the sum $6,870 with said funding to come   from the Energy Efficiency Grant and the matching funds for the grant coming from the Economic Development Reserve Fund.  Seconded:  Councilor Perkins.  Councilor Parker asked if that was the lowest bid.  Manager Reed stated it was.        Voted 5-0 in favor.             

Andrew George of EMDC outlined that they have hired someone from Penquis to do an energy audit on the community center.  Once done they can submit and release the funds from the grant.  They are currently applying for a $20,000 grant as well.  

ITEM 6b.        Annual Appointments
Manager Reed stated that Allan Thomas’s assessing and code enforcement appointment expires at the end of June and it was recommended that he be appointed for another year.  

Chairman Friedman stated that he would like to have the Town Attorney meet with the Council and discuss this before appointing anyone.  Manager Reed suggested at least appointing a code enforcement officer otherwise the Town won’t have anyone to enforce code after June 30th.  Councilor Olson stated that there was a state statute that stated that if the code enforcement officer was not reappointed that they can continue serving until one is appointed.  Councilor Olson provided a copy of the statute to the Council.    

Councilor Parker suggested appointing Mr. Thomas for a shorter term.  It was the consensus of the Council to have Manager Reed contact the Town attorney and see when the earliest date would be that he could meet with the Council to discuss this issue and to take no action on the appointment.  

ITEM 6c.        Fund Transfer
Motion:  Councilor King—to authorize staff to transfer $125,000 from the        undesignated fund to the municipal credit reserve account as approved at the annual town meeting to reduce the property tax rate.  Seconded:  Councilor Parker, Voted 5-0 in favor.    

Member of the public Todd Lynch inquired on how money got into the undesignated fund.  Manager Reed explained that any unused money from year to year or any overlay that isn’t used to offset abatements goes into the undesignated funds.    

ITEM 7a.        RSU Funding
There was discussion on handling the roughly $160,000 increase in the RSU assessment.  Manager Reed outlined that the RSU may be receiving some extra funding from the State which would help offset the assessment.  The extra funding may be around $19,000.   

Staff’s recommendation was to address the present year’s proposed RSU assessment by using the 2013/2014 reserve funds ($33,000) and possibly some of the 2012/2013 reserve funds which has a balance of $180,000.  Staff also recommends establishing a new reserve account called the Veazie Assessment Stabilization Fund.  This would help offset any large sudden increases in the future.

Councilor Perkins outlined that he did not wish to raid reserve funds because he was afraid the Town would need them next year.  

Member of the public Todd Lynch inquired on when the Council had to decide by.  Manager Reed explained that it needs to be done before the RSU sends their assessment.  
                
Chairman Friedman stated that he would like to see what happens at the meeting on June 21st before he makes a decision.  He would like to have it on the agenda for the next meeting.    
  
ITEM 7b.        Junk Complaints Update
CEO Allan Thomas gave an update on the junk complaints.  The homeowner on Thompson Road had trimmed their grass, they also only had one unregistered vehicle in the yard.  The residence on Hobson Avenue had trimmed their grass and there is nothing that can be done about the snowmobiles in the yard.  The Main Street residence tends to be an ongoing problem.  

Member of the public Michael Boynton outlined that this is an ongoing problem and the codes need to be changed.  

Councilor King mentioned a few lawns that are above the ten inch limit.

Manager Reed will consult the Town Attorney to see if the Town’s code is as good as it can be or if it can be improved upon.  

ITEM 7c.        Jake Brake Update
Chief Leonard stated that a jake brake ordinance was not something that could be enforced.  The black and yellow signs that are in other municipalities are just advisory.  It was the consensus of the Council to have a sign put up along Route 2. The wording will address all vehicle noise.  

ITEM 7d.        Delinquent Tax Accounts 
Motion By:  Councilor Parker—to order the start of a property tax sale of real estate 346 – 5 Veazie Street (07-46) and real estate account 945 – 1490 State Street Trailer 21 (10-06-21).  Seconded:  Councilor Perkins.  Chairman Friedman asked if the water and sewer district had been notified.  Manager Reed stated they had.  Voted 5-0 in favor.    

Councilor Perkins asked where the Town was with the Crowe properties.  Deputy Tax Collector Julie Reed stated that she will file the 3rd lien this August and January will be the foreclosure.  

ITEM 8. Additions by Council
Councilor Parker stated that he would like to start getting the Sewer District minutes in the Council packets.  
                
Councilor King inquired about the letters from the Town Attorney regarding eligibility of Council member and legality of assessment.  Manager Reed outlined that a resident and others had asked about the legality of a sewer district employee serving on the Council due to the assessment matter and the other issue concerning “repealed by implication” was brought up to the assessor from questions asked of him.    

Councilor Perkins outlined that he felt it was frivolous to contact the Town Attorney on those issues and felt that things should be brought to the Council’s attention before taking it to the Town Attorney.  Manager Reed stated that it was an internal request from staff to know if the assessment was acceptable and legal and an election matter.  

Gary Brooks, Sewer District Superintendent stated that he agreed it was frivolous and the Sewer District could have been contacted and asked.  Travis Noyes, Budget Committee member, outlined that he went to the Sewer District for answers but did not get any.  
                        
ITEM 9. Manager’s Report
The Town Council reviewed the following items:

a.      a copy of the sewer assessment opinion pertaining to “repealed by implication” written by the Town Attorney
b.      a copy of a conflict of interest opinion written by the Town Attorney
c.      a copy of photos displaying the Shore Road repair project
d.      a copy of a letter from the Maine Community Foundation outlining that we did not win a second grant.
e.      the BACTs long range transportation plan public document
f.      the water district’s minutes
g.      a copy of the Legislative Bulletin

ITEM 10.        Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Perkins inquired on Manager Reed’s submission for reimbursement in the warrant and why it wasn’t submitted sooner or done monthly.  Manager Reed explained that he had just saved up his submissions.  

The next regular Council meeting falls on July 4th so it was the consensus to cancel the meeting.  The will try to meet on July 11th instead.   
 
ITEM 11.        Warrants: Town Warrant 26, 26A and Town Payroll 26 were circulated for signature.  
        
ITEM 12.        Adjournment: Motion: Councilor King —to adjourn the June 20, 2011 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor  Perkins.  There was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned 8:41 pm.


A true record, Attest:

Karen Humphrey
Deputy Clerk
Town of Veazie


 

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