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, Members of the Public.
ITEM 1. The December 5, 2011 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor Olson—to accept the November 21, 2011 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Parker, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of Agenda
There were no additions to the agenda.
ITEM 4a. Water District Trustee Appointment
Water District Trustee Jim Parker was present to request re-appointment to the Orono-Veazie Water District Board of Trustees. He gave the Council an update on current events at the district including current litigation that is going on with the contractor who completed the water treatment plant upgrade. The contractor was late completing the plant upgrade and they are in litigation for some $60,000- $70,000. He also outlined the violation on drinking water standards regarding Trihalomethanes. The district tests on a quarterly basis and their July-September quarter showed that their system exceeded the standard or maximum containment level. Councilor Perkins was curious why the level wasn’t reported and why it was reported as an average of four quarters. He’d like to know what the actual number was on the individual testing that came out high.
It was outlined that the Council has not been receiving the meeting minutes from the water district. Mr. Parker stated he would make sure they get them in the future. It was also outlined that the minutes were not detailed enough and did not contain pertinent information. Councilor Perkins stated that he had no idea about the problems with the upgrade until now.
Chairman Friedman stated that he had two residents ask him when the Town knew about the State wanting to put a tower on the water district’s land. Mr. Parker outlined that the State had approached the district wanting to lease the land to put a tower. The district said that as long as it met the Town’s requirements and they went through the approval process they did not have an issue with it. The district didn’t feel it was their position to come down and second guess what the Town may or may not want. That is the Planning Board’s position and ultimately the Council’s position.
Chairman Friedman stated that he would like to invite Superintendent Dennis Cross to a January meeting.
Councilor Olson wondered whether Mr. Parker had the time to be on the board. She outlined that according to the six months of minutes that the Council had received this year, he has only been at two meetings. Mr. Parker stated that he has been at more meetings than that.
Councilor Perkins stated that he had a problem with the lack of receiving minutes, lack of detail in the minutes and the lack of communication on the tower. He outlined that it feels like the Council hasn’t been kept in the loop.
Motion By: Chairman Friedman—to appoint James Parker to Water District Trustee for a term of five years beginning January 1, 2012. No second, motion fails.
Councilor Perkins stated that he would like to see the opening advertised in the next newsletter. He outlined that the Town advertises all their other openings on boards. Chairman Friedman stated he would like a newsletter to go out with information on the RSU in it. Councilor Olson stated she would also like to send out information on the new assessments that are going on.
It was the consensus to advertise the opening and come back to the December 19th meeting to make a decision.
ITEM 4b. Solid Waste and Recycling Collection Contract Extension
Chairman Friedman outlined that the company has done an excellent job with very few complaints. He would like to see the Town go with a one year extension. Councilor Parker agreed and added that next year they could look around to see what other vendors there are.
Councilor Perkins inquired on how much is involved in negotiating prices and contracts. Interim Town Manager Varisco stated that it can be somewhat timely, anywhere from six to eight weeks, maybe more. Councilor Perkins stated that since the Council has a lot on its plate already, he agreed with the one year extension and looking at their options next year.
Motion By: Councilor King—to approve a one year contract extension with Waste Management beginning January 1, 2012 and ending December 31, 2012. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 5 Unfinished business
Councilor Perkins inquired about a Boston Post Cane that is suppose to be delivered. Recreation Director Rob Young stated that he has the cane and plaque and will be delivering it this week.
ITEM 6. Additions by Council
There were no additions by the Council.
ITEM 7. Manager’s Report
a. Suggested 2012-2013 Budget Preparation Schedule
ITEM 8. Comments from the Public
Member of the public Frank St. Louis stated that damage to the roads and curbing has been extremely high this year from the plowing. He outlined that the curbing on his yard is damaged as well as his lawn. Chairman Friedman stated that it was decided to keep a log of the damage and have it fixed in the spring. It doesn’t make sense to fix it now. Frank St. Louis added that the plow driver also tore up a layer of tar on his driveway. Chairman Friedman stated that it will be taken care of.
Jim Parker outlined that the Town is paying more than it should to the RSU. He stated that he had taken former Manager Reed up to meet Jim Rier, Head of Finance and Operations at the Department of Education, and he went over the formula with him. Mr. Parker stated that Jim Rier had outlined that the formula was not prepared properly.
Chairman Friedman stated that he has been hearing more and more people wanting the Town to get out of the RSU. Mr. Parker outlined that legislature has been passed to allow Towns to do so without penalty.
Mr. Parker outlined that if he were manager he would sit down with Jim Rier and see what needs to be done to remedy it. He guessed it was anywhere from $90,000 to $120,000 that Veazie was paying in excess of what it should.
ITEM 9. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Parker stated that the contract with Lou Silver Inc. for plowing needs to be looked at to see if they are responsible for private property or just right of ways. The Council needs to know what it is promising to residents because they may have the public works crew out there fixing everything.
Chairman Friedman inquired whether the Town had Christmas lights to put on the bridge. Public Works Director Stoyell stated that they were old and broken and thrown away many years ago. Chairman Friedman also inquired on who picked up the flags in the cemetery. Director Stoyell stated it was his department.
Councilor Olson stated that the Council agenda was not being emailed out but it was being posted on the website. Acting Town Clerk Morin stated that she would contact the Town’s website vendor, Virtual Town Hall, to see what the problem was.
ITEM 10. Warrants: Town Warrant 12 and Town Payroll 12 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. Consideration of a Town Manager’s Contract
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to approve the employment agreement dated December 5, 2011 providing for the hiring of Joseph E. Hayes as Town Manager and authorize the Town Council Chairman to sign the agreement on behalf of the Town of Veazie. Seconded: Councilor Olson, Voted 4-0-1. Councilor Parker abstained.
ITEM 13. Adjournment: Motion: King—to adjourn the December 5, 2011 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Olson. There was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned 8:20pm.
A true record, Attest:
Acting Town Clerk
Town of Veazie