PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Perkins, Councilor King, Councilor Parker, Councilor Olson, Manager W. Reed, Deputy Clerk K. Humphrey, Office Administrator J. Reed, Police Chief M. Leonard, Public Works Director B. Stoyell, Mike Bush of Penquis, Members of the Public.
ITEM 1. The July 18, 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 July 6, 2011 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Parker, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of Agenda
Chairman Friedman stated that the Council has looked at legal vendors and audit vendors, now it should look at engineering vendors. This was added as item 5d.
Councilor Perkins wish to have a quick discussion about board appointments. This was included under item 5a.
ITEM 4. Comments from the Public
Member of the public Rob Tomilson inquired whether the Council will follow the legal advice of the Town attorney on the sewer assessment or if it will just continue as is and getting assessed. Mr. Tomilson stated he thought the Town Council should take a position on the legal review done by town attorney on the assessment. Chairman Friedman stated it could be put on the agenda for a later time.
Recreation Director Rob Young stated that Channel 7 news will be doing a live broadcast from Summer Rec. at the Veazie Community School on Thursday from 6:00-6:30pm.
Member of the public Travis Noyes stated he had asked if the Council could communicate their goals for the year at a prior meeting. Manager Reed outlined that the Council and department heads will be working with Don Jutton of Municipal Resources Inc. to come up with their goals and objectives. Councilor Perkins inquired what the cost would be. Manager Reed stated it would be between $4200-$4500.
Member of the public Rob Tomilson stated he had recently learned that a Town Councilor had had some work done on his property by the Public Works Department and wanted to know if he had been bill and if it had been paid. Manager Reed stated that the Town was doing shoulder work and had gone over the town right of way. In speaking with the Town Attorney, he gave Manager Reed an easement form to use for future work. Councilor Perkins wanted to remind the public that Councilor King was kind enough to allow the Town to plow snow on his property.
ITEM 5a. Planning Board Appointments
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to appoint Kevin Carr and Kent Tableman as full members of the Veazie Planning Board for a three year term expiring June 30, 2014. He outlined that they has had the opportunity to watch them in action and they do an outstanding job. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Chairman Friedman stated he would like it put in the newsletter and on web that there are openings on boards.
Councilor Perkins outlined that it seemed the Town was a little behind on appointments. He would like to see it anticipated better so that people can be appointed on time.
ITEM 5b. CBDG Advisory Committee Appointments
Chairman Friedman was concerned that this was going to take a lot of Manager Reed’s time. Manager Reed stated that they do phone conferencing mostly. He has to go to Augusta for a training, however the training can be used for other community development grants as well.
Councilor Perkins stated he thought private citizens were going to be used on the committee. Mike Bush of Penquis stated they could. Councilor Perkins stated he thought it was a requirement. Mike Bush stated that it was not, it was typical to use municipal representatives. He added that if they thought someone was interested in serving on it he would be more than willing to add them.
Motion By: Councilor Parker—to establish the “Healthy Homes Advisory Committee with the following members: Craig Sanborn, Bill Thompson, Noelle Merrill, Patty Hamilton, John Butts, Bill Reed and David Wight with the general roles of the committee being as outlined in the June 16, 2011 memo describing the typical roles of said committee. Seconded: Councilor Olson, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 5c. Paving Repairs
Manager Reed stated that at the last meeting quotes were handed out for repair paving jobs.
Chairman Friedman stated that the company had done some work at the Veazie Villas and did an excellent job.
Councilor Perkins inquired how long crack sealing lasts and how well does it last and does it matter how you do it. Dick Leture outlined that the ideal weather for applying it is in hot weather. In his opinion it is good preventative maintenance.
Councilor Olson inquired on what part of the Town’s budget these repairs come out of Manager Reed stated the highway maintenance line.
Motion By: Councilor Parker—to approve the paving on the estimate given by Dick Leture on June 20, 2011 plus the crack sealing for $4800 and the area on rock street for the total project not to exceed $23,365. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 5d. Engineering Services
Chairman Friedman stated that the Town put the legal and the auditing services out to bid and now he would like to look at the engineering.
Rob Tomilson asked what the criteria was for bidding something out. Manager Reed stated that usually it’s on any item that is over $5,000.
Councilor Perkins wanted to get a total for what the Town spends on engineering services at CES because it seems like the Town spends a lot of money on computer repairs which really isn’t engineering. Manager Reed explained that computer repairs are separate from engineering services. He outlined that Bob Bickmore of CES provides the Town’s IT support.
Member of the public Rob Tomilson inquired on what the amount of money was that the Town spends on engineering services. He outlined that he has no idea what volume of money is being talked about, whether it is $5,000 or $100,000. The option of bidding it out could possibly save the town possibly 10% of what it spends on engineering. On the other hand the Town has an opinion by the Town Attorney that could save the Town $150,000 and he can’t even get a commitment on a date that the Council will review it. He added that it was almost as though there was a personal vendetta against CES Inc.
Travis Noyes of CES Inc. outlined that that what will go unnoticed are the free services that are provided and have gone on for quite some time. He outlined that Manager Reed may call him to come over to do something and he doesn’t always send a bill. He added that the company provides the Town with a good service across the board.
Member of the Public Rob Tomilson outlined that he feels everything over $5,000 should be put out to bid and should go to the lowest bidder. Member of the public Pat Rice outlined that most governments go for best value not lowest price.
Member of the public Joan Perkins stated that as a voter and tax payer in this town she appreciates the intention of the council to the cost of services that we procure in this town and it is rumored that often engineering services actually have not been bid out and this is a great concern to a number of citizens. So again she appreciates the Council’s efforts to keep an eye on things and try to save the Town money.
Member of the public Travis Noyes stated he thought it was a great thing to bid out services. He outlined if people in the room are actually interested in saving the tax payers dollars and actually looking at what is in the best interest of the Town, the Council would take up at some soon meeting this issue related to the sewer district and the assessment. He stated that he welcomed the engineering RFQ but we are talking about $150,000 assessment that at the end of the day is an assessment that continues over and over again. He outlined that he has a hard time sitting there listening to the reasons and rational for not addressing it and not discussing it. He stated that when he asked the Council for a specific date he really would like a specific date when the item will be brought up and discussed. Chairman Friedman stated that once the Council was done with Don Jutton they will have a date. Member of the public Travis Noyes outlined that that was a separate issue.
Councilor Parker on a side note requested Manager Reed look into some information he had been told regarding the Buck Hill area of town. He had heard that it was outside of the original area outlined for the Sewer District and that they are exempt from paying the assessment portion on their tax bill.
ITEM 6a. RSU Funding Action
There was discussion on addressing the increase in the RSU assessment. Councilor Perkins stated that he felt things were only going to get worse and didn’t want to take money out of savings this year when it will be needed in the future. Councilor Parker stated that he would rather use it now and hopefully next year pull out of the RSU.
Chairman Friedman inquired on how much they would have to take from the reserve fund to offset the increase in assessment. Manager Reed stated it was somewhere around $164,000.
Councilor Olson stated that she could see the benefit of dipping into the savings now and giving people more time to prepare for a tax increase but she would like to see the numbers.
Chairman Friedman said he went around town and talked with people and they do not want to see a tax increase.
Motion By: Councilor Parker—to take $174,000 from the reserve account and apply towards this year’s assessment. Seconded: Councilor King. Councilor Olson asked if this money was earmarked for the RSU. Manager Reed stated that it is RSU money, they hold it for the Town’s use per their agreement. Councilor Olson inquired what they will say when the Town tells them it wants to use $10,000 more than it needs. Manager Reed stated it doesn’t matter, the Town could use the whole amount if it wished. Voted 4-1 in favor.
The extra $10,000 is to offset the increase in the sewer assessment.
ITEM 6b. Executive Session 1 M.R.S.A 405(6)E Consultation with Attorney on Pending or Contemplated Litigation
Motion By: Councilor King—to move into executive session under 1 M.R.S.A. 405(6)E Consultation with Attorney on Pending or Contemplated Litigation on the Thomas matter. Seconded: Councilor Olson, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor Parker—to close the executive session and reconvene regular open session. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 7. Additions by Council
Councilor Parker commented on the proposed amendment to the land use ordinance and felt the 70% requirement was “theft”. He’d like to look at other municipalities and see what they do.
Councilor Perkins inquired about the police department not getting their gas at theVeazie convenience stores. Manager Reed explained that the owner of the stores changed fuel vendors so the police department was unable to use their RH Foster cards there. They have since switched to Wright Express cards which will now be accepted at the Veazie stores.
ITEM 8. Manager’s Report
The Council reviewed the following items:
a. A memo from Deputy Treasurer Julie Reed regarding the pre-audit work that was done.
b. A copy of the Town’s financial reports
c. A copy of the assessor RFQ that went into the Bangor Daily News.
d. A copy of the Fire Department’s monthly reports
e. A copy of the Who’s Who List.
f. A copy of the Water District’s minutes
g. A copy of the Sewer District’s minutes
h. A copy of the Uniform Building and Energy Code statute and the Enforcement of a Statewide Building Code. Attorney Russell is reviewing the laws to see if it replaced the “Existing Structures Code”. If it has the Town will have to look at developing new standards to enforce.
i. A copy of the Employee Assistance Programs annual report.
j. A copy of a proposal the RSU is considering for an enrollment study.
k. A copy of the Penquis CAP energy audit report on the community center.
l. A copy of a notice that the Town will receive a portion of the Bonus Transit funds that it applied for.
m. A copy of a thank you note to the Fire Department from the Maine Special Olympics.
ITEM 9. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
There were no requests for information or Town Council comments.
ITEM 10. Review of Town Warrants 2, 2A, 2B Prior Year and Town Payroll 2
ITEM 11. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor King—to adjourn the July 18, 2011 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Parker. There was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned 8:58 pm.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie