PRESENT: Chairman Friedman, Councilor Perkins, Councilor Olson, Councilor Parker, Town Manager J. Hayes, Deputy Clerk K. Morin, Police Chief M. Leonard, Public Works Director B. Stoyell, Fire Chief G. Martin, Members of the Public. Councilor King was absent and excused.
ITEM 1. The February 13, 2012 Veazie Town Council meeting was called to order at 7:00PM.
ITEM 2. Roll Call
Councilor Olson, Chairman Friedman, Councilor Perkins and Councilor Parker were all present. Councilor King was absent and excused.
ITEM 3. Pledge of Allegiance
ITEM 4. Consideration of Agenda
Councilor Parker wished to add a discussion on a timeline for the first RSU withdrawal election. This was added as item 8a.
ITEM 5. Consideration of the Minutes
Motion By: Councilor Perkins—to accept the January 30, 2012 meeting minutes as written. Seconded: Councilor Parker. Voted 4-0 in favor.
ITEM 6. Discussion of the Audit
Manager Hayes outlined that the most current draft of the audit is finally now correct. He has asked the auditor to go ahead with a final print with all of the revisions. Manager Hayes stated that Mindy Cyr, who had done the audit has bought the municipal portion of the audit services of Hollingsworth & Associates. Councilor Parker stated that he would like to get prices from other auditors.
It was outlined that there was concern over the auditor being in and out in two and half hours on their first time auditing the Town. Manager Hayes stated that when auditors audit a town for the first time they usually tend to turn the town upside down pulling records and doing tests. The ‘in and out’ of the $125,000 transfer was also an ongoing problem that was finally corrected. The money needed to be reflected coming out of the fund balance and going into the reserve.
Councilor Olson outlined that they probably should have picked up on the audit being done so quickly, but they were told things were great and that’s why it went so well.
Manager Hayes will contact some auditing firms to get prices.
ITEM 7. Introduction of Veazie Property Assessed Clean Energy Ordinance
Manager Hayes stated that this item was at the request of Councilor Parker who had been approached by a resident. In order for residents to participate in the Efficiency Maine Loan Program the Town has to have a PACE Ordinance in place. The program has been around for a little over a year. One hundred or so communities have adopted the ordinance. Manager Hayes provided the Council with a copy of the ordinance that he had in Stockton Springs.
Councilor Perkins inquired on how long it has been a requirement. Manager Hayes stated that he recalled being at a manager’s meeting in 2010 and Dana Fisher of Efficiency Maine introducing it at that meeting.
Motion By: Councilor Parker—to adopt the PACE Ordinance as written. Seconded: Councilor Olson. Manager Hayes stated that the Council cannot vote to adopt the ordinance yet because a public hearing needs to be held on it first.
ITEM 8a. Timeline RSU Withdrawal Election
It was outlined that petitions had been submitted on Friday, February 10th and had an adequate number of signatures for the Council to now act on it. It was outlined that the earliest an election could occur is Tuesday, March 27th. This election would determine if the Town wished to move forward with the process for an RSU withdrawal and would create a committee consisting of an RSU Director, a member of the RSU withdrawal petition committee, a member of the Council and a member of the public at large.
There was discussion on who those members might be. Member of the public Joan Perkins outlined that she hoped RSU Director Julia Hathaway would be asked whether she’d like to be on the committee. She thought it would be good if all sides were represented on the committee. She was also interested to hear RSU Director Chris Dalton’s opinion on the RSU Withdrawal. RSU Director Chris Dalton outlined that he was in favor of withdrawing.
The Council decided to call a meeting for Wednesday, February 15th at 4:30pm to sign a Town Warrant for an election.
Member of the public Joan Perkins outlined that she hadn’t heard an amount for the cost of an election and didn’t understand why the Town needed to have it so soon on March 27th. She was concerned it seemed a little rushed.
Member of the RSU Withdrawal Petition Committee Rob Tomilson outlined that the first election is to vote whether to proceed, create a committee and a plan to withdraw. The second election is a 2/3 majority vote to actually withdraw from RSU.
Manager Hayes stated that it costs roughly $600 to hold an election.
Councilor Olson inquired whether there was a timeline between the first and second election. RSU Director Chris Dalton stated that there was not, however overall there are a lot of deadlines.
Police Chief Mark Leonard inquired on what happens if Veazie doesn’t get the support to withdraw from the community. Councilor Parker stated that an RSU cannot be dissolved, therefore if Glenburn and Orono withdraw from the RSU first Veazie would be left as the RSU.
Councilor Olson wished to address member of the public Joan Perkin’s question. She outlined that the rush to hold the election is due to the long process after the election.
Councilor Parker inquired whether Manager Hayes had sent the requested letter to the RSU on the transfer. Manager Hayes stated he had, a copy of it was in the Council’s packet. He also outlined that he had requested to be on the agenda at their February 15th meeting and he would also be meeting with Superintendent Smith on the 14th.
ITEM 8. Discussion of Road Paving for FY 2012-2013
Chairman Friedman stated he wanted this put on the agenda because he wanted the Council to start thinking about it where they will be putting money in the budget for it.
Manager Hayes outlined that he is looking into the cost of fixing Main Street.
ITEM 9. To Act on the Tax Assessor’s Recommendation to do a Town-Wide Revaluation and to Solicit Bids.
This item was tabled until the Council gets some numbers back from Assessor Ben Birch on bids.
ITEM 10. Additions by Council
Councilor Parker stated that they had a goals meeting a couple weeks ago and was wondering what was going on with the results. He wondered if they were going to address any of the goals.
Councilor Olson outlined that she believed there was going to be another workshop to come up with an action plan. Councilor Parker wondered whether they could pick one goal to talk about each meeting. Councilor Perkins stated that he believed that the goals needed to be prioritized first. It was decided to add this topic to the next agenda when there was a full Council there to discuss it and decide what will be done.
ITEM 11. Manager’s Report
Manager Hayes outlined that the Budget Committee met on February 9th and has set their schedule. The chairman is John Manter and the vice chairman is Travis Noyes.
Manager Hayes outlined that he and Chief Leonard met with the three foreclosure owners and they have all paid their 2009 taxes.
The Town received a 120 day notice from the firefighters union to bargain. A February 28th meeting is set with the Town Attorney and Fire Chief to hear proposals. Manager Hayes stated he will bring those back to the Council in an executive session.
There will be a neighborhood meeting on Wednesday, February 22nd at 6:00pm for the assessing staff to meet with the residents of Longmeadow Drive and Veazie Villas.
Manager Hayes outlined that NIMS classes are being offered. Every councilor should be taking this class in order for the Town to receive federal grants. He stated that they will be holding one in East Millinocket in the near future.
Manager Hayes stated that he received a letter from CES, Inc. and they will be discontinuing their backup service. He outlined that the Town has purchased a hard backup and one will go offsite each night.
ITEM 12. Comments from the Public
There were no comments from the public.
ITEM 13. Requests for Information and Town Council Comments
Councilor Parker inquired whether the new Code Enforcement Officer had started because the Council needs to appoint him.
Councilor Olson thanked Manager Hayes for the contracts. She noted that some were approved by the Council and some weren’t. She felt the Town should have a policy on it. Manager Hayes stated that his opinion is that every contract should go through the Council.
ITEM 14. Warrants: Town Warrants 17, 17A and Town Payroll 17 were circulated for signature.
ITEM 15. Executive Session
There was no executive session.
ITEM 16. Adjournment: Motion: Perkins—to adjourn the February 13, 2012 Town Council Meeting. Seconded: Councilor Olson There was no further discussion. Voted 4-0. Meeting adjourned 8:01pm.
A true record, Attest:
Town of Veazie