PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Perkins, Councilor Parker, Councilor King and Councilor Olson, Acting Town Manager L. Varisco, Acting Town Clerk K. Morin, Office Administrator J. Reed, Fire Chief G. Martin, Police Chief M. Leonard, Public Works Director B. Stoyell, Superintendent Doug Smith, RSU Directors Julia Hathaway, Travis Noyes and Chris Dalton, Auditor Doug Hollingsworth
ITEM 1. The November 21, 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 October 31, 2011 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to accept the November 1, 2011 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor Parker—to accept the November 2, 2011 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Olson, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor Olson—to accept the November 3, 2011 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to accept the November 7, 2011 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Olson, Voted 2-0-3 in favor. Chairman Friedman, Councilor Parker and Councilor King abstained.
Motion By: Councilor Olson—to accept the November 11, 2011 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of Agenda
Chairman Friedman stated that the joint meeting with Bangor City Council was cancelled due to the City Manager being away on business and they will let us know when they can reschedule.
ITEM 4a. Review 2010-2011 Draft Audit Report
Town Auditor Doug Hollingsworth was present to go over the draft audit with the Town Council. He outlined that the Town’s finances are in good order and the Town is conservatively managed. The appropriate controls all seem to be in place and it was a very clean audit. Mr. Hollingsworth outlined that the numbers on the balance sheet are similar to where the Town was a year earlier. The Town was kept on a very even keel. Cash investments are almost exactly where they were a year before, the only thing really different is that there is less tax receivables.
Mr. Hollingsworth stated that there was a question raised concerning the $125,000 appropriated for the reduction of taxes. The Council outlined that the warrant article from the June 14th Town Meeting and the motion made at the June 20th Council meeting were correct and what the Council intended to do.
ITEM 4b. Meeting with RSU #26 Superintendent Doug Smith
Michael O’Connor, the Chairman of the Glenburn Council gave a presentation on the cost sharing formula derived for the “over EPS” costs. In looking at each Town, each had its own “Achilles heal”. Veazie had a higher per student cost, Orono had a higher valuation and Glenburn had more students. The formula is based on all three factors.
Susan O’Roak, a Glenburn director on the RSU #26 Board, outlined that the committee met in early October and agreed that it should leave the formula “as is” for the 2012-2013 budget. However, they will meet this spring to make sure towns are still being treated equitably. Ms. O’Roak outlined that the RSU has consumed most of its carryforward, there is no more stimulus money and there is decreased money from the State. Currently there is a shortfall of $1.9 million and it grows almost daily. She stated that it cannot be made up just through cuts, revenues need to be increased as well.
Superintendent Doug Smith outlined that the Department of Health and Human Services has a $120 million shortfall and doesn’t think that they will be able to make up that shortfall just by cutting in that department. He believes they will have to make cuts in other places as well, for instance general purpose aid (education subsidy).
ITEM 4c. Municipal Review Committee (MRC) Election Ballot
Motion By: Councilor Parker—to vote for Sophia Wilson, Town Manager of Orono for the Municipal Review Committee. Seconded: Chairman Friedman, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 5a. Town Manager Search Update
Acting Town Manager Varisco provided the Council with materials for their Town Manager search.
ITEM 6. Additions by Council
There were no additions by the Council.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report
The Town Council reviewed the following items:
a. A communication to Chief Leonard expressing appreciation for his efforts in getting a streetlight installed on Thompson Road.
b. A copy of an email to Assessor Ben Birch from Rick Barton, Senior Director of the Property Tax Department of Dynegy. The email details the understanding reached at the October 26th meeting on how to handle assessing of capital spare parts at Casco Bay Energy.
ITEM 8. Comments from the Public
Member of the public Raymond Michaels stated that he had his application form completed to submit to the Council for an abatement. Councilor Parker stated that he prefer it be turned into the Town Manager then included in a packet for them to review. It was the consensus of the Council to do so.
Fire Chief Martin outlined that the department purchased new vests required for working on and near roadways. They cost $1,675, however the department received a grant of $1,067 from MMA for them. He added that there will be a new mandate on SCBAs and new ones will need to be purchased at a cost of around $56,000. Lt. Sirois has applied for the Steven King grant of $50,000 for the purchase. In addition, the department has submitted a grant application to the Federal Government Fire Act for a training trailer. The cost of the trailer is $140,000 but with the grant it would only cost the town $6,000.
ITEM 9. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
There were no requests for information or Town Council comments.
ITEM 10. Warrants: Town Warrant 11, 11A and Town Payroll 11 were circulated for signature.
ITEM 11. Executive Session – Pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A 6A to Discuss Employment Applications for Town Manager
Motion By: Councilor Olson—to move into executive session pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A 6A to Discuss Employment Applications for Town Manager. Seconded: Councilor Parker, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor King—to close the executive session. Seconded: Councilor Parker, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 12. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor King—to adjourn the November 21, 2011 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Olson. There was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned 9:15 pm.
A true record, Attest:
Acting Town Clerk
Town of Veazie