PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Perkins, Councilor Parker, Councilor King, Town Manager J. Hayes, Deputy Clerk K. Morin, Office Administrator J. Reed, Police Chief M. Leonard, Recreation Director R. Young, Public Works Director B. Stoyell, Assessor B. Birch, Members of the Public. Councilor Olson was late and excused.
ITEM 1. The January 18, 2012 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 6:00PM.
ITEM 2. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to accept the December 19, 2011 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Parker, Voted 4 -0 in favor.
ITEM 3. Consideration of Agenda
Chairman Friedman stated he would like to have a workshop on Monday, January 23rd at 6:30pm to discuss goals. It was the consensus to do so.
ITEM 4. Meeting & Presentation by Assessor Ben Birch
Assessor Ben Birch was present to give a presentation to the Council on revaluations.
Assessor Birch outlined that the Town’s personal property accounts have override features and incomplete inventories. People with personal property in Veazie should be filing a declaration every year and they should be mailed out every year. Assessor Birch stated he would like to mail them out by the end of February, first of March.
Assessor Birch outlined that there is a lot of information on assessment cards that is needed to calculate an assessed value. For example, building style, dwelling units, stories, year built, kitchen/bathroom style, heat type, etc. Grade factor is especially important. A lot of the cards are missing this information. There are currently around 400 accounts out of 890 that have overrides on them and are missing the data to “back up” the override valuation.
Councilor Perkins asked Assessor Birch to explain the overrides. Assessor Birch outlined that an override can be done in the software for the assessor to put in a valuation of a property that he feels is fair, equitable and reasonable, but should have the data behind it to validate it. They should also be reviewed on an annual basis.
Assessor Ben Birch passed out estimates on revaluation prices and a list of revaluation firms. He has contacted nine firms and four of them could complete the revaluation in the time frame Veazie needs. He would like the Council to give consideration to having a revaluation. He outlined that they could get an RFP out and have it back in time for the upcoming budget process. The Town would only have to budget 80% because the remaining 20% would not have to be paid until after the final hearing and completions which would be after July 1, 2013 which would be in a new budget year.
Assessor Birch gave a Powerpoint presentation on revaluations to the Council. He outlined that Veazie’s last revaluation was done in 1981. Assessor Birch outlined that he would like to hold neighborhood meetings to give a presentation to the residents on revaluations and to explain the process to them.
It was the consensus of the Council to move forward with the neighborhood meetings and to have the revaluation topic on the next agenda to discuss it.
ITEM 5a. Act on the Resignation of Charles Osgood as an Alternate Member of the Planning Board
Manager Hayes stated that he had spoke with Mr. Osgood to find out what had taken place. Mr. Osgood did not feel that he had a good enough role in the Planning Board. There was brief discussion on when the last time the Planning Board had received training.
Motion By: Chairman Friedman—to accept Charles Osgood’s resignation. Seconded: Councilor Parker, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 6 Sign Agreement for Certified CDBG Grant Administration Services with Penquis
Manager Hayes outlined that there was a date change in the agreement. It was back dated to October 2011 because that is really when the contract starts.
Councilor Perkins inquired if Manager Hayes had any idea how much time he will have to spend on the project. Manager Hayes stated he was not sure but that the Town can bill for staff’s time spent working on it. Manager Hayes also added that there are still a few quirks that need to be worked out with the grant.
ITEM 7. Additions by Council
There were no additions by the Council.
ITEM 8. Manager’s Report
Manager Hayes outlined that Clyde Crowe had come in to pay his property taxes. Manager Hayes spoke with the Sewer District and they will be putting the properties out to bid. Manager Hayes stated he contacted Mr. Crowe and informed him that the Town will accept payment from him with no conditions on the payment, however that paying the Town will not stop any legal action the Sewer District takes.
Manager Hayes outlined that the Town received a letter from the town attorney that the RSU is requesting the Town sign over the school to them. The RSU board members couldn’t be at this meeting but will be at the next meeting.
Ten properties were mailed thirty day foreclosure notices on December 27th. A list was included in the Councilor’s packet.
Manager Hayes stated that he has started the budget process. He is asking for a month by month breakdown. He is also requesting a weekly report from the Public Works Department and a monthly report from code enforcement.
Manager Hayes outlined that he is looking for direction on the sale of fireworks in Veazie from the Council. Chief Leonard stated that an ordinance has been drafted and it was recommended it go to the Planning Board.
There was discussion on the RSU wanting the school signed over. It was outlined that if they want the building they should take the debt that goes with it. The Council would like the Town Attorney present at the next meeting. Manager Hayes outlined that the process has been started on a petition to withdraw from the RSU.
ITEM 9. Comments from the Public
Member of the public Bill Reed inquired on the audit follow-up on errors found. Manager Hayes stated that it is suppose to be fixed and the Town will get a revised audit. Member of the public Bill Reed recommended the vote on the transfer taking place earlier so as to avoid confusion.
Member of the public Joan Perkins inquired on the copies of the RSU presentation that was done at a previous meeting. The gentleman doing the presentation had stated that he would get copies of the presentation to the Council and anyone that wanted it. The Council stated that they had not received anything from the RSU yet.
Member of the public Robert Rice inquired on the number of signatures required on the petition. Deputy Clerk Morin outlined that they needed 10% of the number of voters who voted in last gubernatorial election, which works out to 88 signatures.
ITEM 10. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Olson requested fund balances; ie. municipal credit reserve, undesignated fund, etc. She also inquired about Margaret Van Aken getting her Boston Post Cane. Recreation Director Young stated that he has been to her home four times and she hasn’t been home. It was the consensus to invite her to a Council meeting to present it to her.
Member of the public/Budget Committee member Patrick Joyce inquired whether the Council or Manager had any ideas on revenue. Manager Hayes outlined that he expected municipal revenue sharing to fall and local roads assistance funds to decrease as well. The talk of cuts in the Department of Health & Human Services could also affect the general assistance program. The Town currently gets reimbursed 50% from the State for assistance granted. Chairman Friedman stated that the Town is going to have to make some tough changes. They are going to need a lot of input from the taxpayers on what they want for services. The financial outlook from the State isn’t getting any better.
ITEM 11. Warrants: Town Warrants 15, 15A and Town Payroll 15 were circulated for signature.
ITEM 12a. Executive Session – Pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A. 405 (6) Personnel Matter
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to move into executive session pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A. 405 (6) to discuss a personnel matter. Seconded: Councilor Olson, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Chairman Friedman—to close the executive session. Seconded: Councilor Perkins, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Councilor Olson—to authorize the Town Manager to gather additional information and present to the Council regarding the Town’s code enforcement needs. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 12b. Executive Session – Pursuant to 36 M.R.S.A 41(2) to Deliberate Over an Abatement Request
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to move into executive session pursuant to 36 M.R.S.A 41(2) to deliberate over an abatement request. Seconded: Councilor Olson, Voted 5-0 in favor.
Motion By: Chairman Friedman—to close the executive session. Seconded: Councilor King, Voted 5-0 in favor.
ITEM 13. Consideration of the Abatement
It was the consensus of the Council to table the abatement request until next meeting.
ITEM 14. Adjournment: Motion: Councilor King—to adjourn the January 18, 2012 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Olson. There was no further discussion. Voted 5-0. Meeting adjourned 8:47pm.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie