Town Council Minutes 01/08/2013
South Berwick Town Council
January 8, 2013
Chairman Gerald W. MacPherson, Sr. called the meeting to order at 6:30pm. Councilors present included Jean Demetracopoulos, David H. Webster, and John C. Kareckas. Town Manager Perry Ellsworth was also in attendance.
On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to enter executive session at 6:31pm pursuant to 1MRSA §405.6C to discuss a lease assignment.
On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to end the executive session at 6:54pm.
Mr. MacPherson commented that there would be no action taken tonight on the lease assignment discussed in the executive session.
Approval of Minutes
1. Council 12-11-12: On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.
Treasurer’s Warrant – Jan 8, 2013 & Dec 18, 2012
On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant of January 8, 2013 in the amount of $765,059.03 and ratify the warrant of December 18, 2012 in the amount of $82,755.78.
No one in the audience wished to address the Council.
Town Manager’s Report
-The Manager provided the Council with copies of the budget timelines for both the town and school district. The Town Meeting is scheduled for May 21st and the open vote for the school budget is scheduled for May 29th.
-Made note that he has signed the updated solid waste agreement. The new agreement will be a significant cost savings to the town over the next several years. It starts at a rate of $70.50/ton and increases by $1 each year until 2025. The old agreement rate was $88.30/ton.
-Will be meeting with the downtown business owners on Thursday to discuss the upcoming state mill & fill project for Main and Portland Streets.
-Made note that Avesta Housing did not receive the anticipated funding through the federal and state tax credit funding program for the proposed elderly housing on Young Street. Other funding sources are being sought; but the project may be delayed. We do have a 2 year contract, so there is still time to get the project going.
-Commented that collaboration meetings are continuing. He will be meeting with Sanford officials on Wednesday.
-Made note that both Union units are in arbitration. He also noted that there has been a change in the Union business representative.
1. Business Directional Signs:
Mrs. Demetracopoulos stated that she would like to consider exempting Business Directional Signs on state roads from the Zoning Ordinance.
Mr. Kareckas stated that he was reluctant to send anything conclusionary to the Planning Board; it would be an unfair charge. He added that he did not see any overwhelming need to change the ordinance; only one request has been received.
Mr. MacPherson commented that the Council has discussed sending the issue to the Planning Board. He added that he doesn’t believe there is a pressing need for the signs in light of the current use of GPS and smart phones.
Tom Vollert-Morrison (Salmon Falls Animal Hospital) was present and expressed his displeasure at the lack of action on the issue.
Mr. Ellsworth commented that there are three ways to get the ordinance changed, initiated by the Council, initiated by the Planning Board, or by petition.
On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was voted 3-1 (Mr. Kareckas opposed) to direct the Planning Board to visit the Business Directional Sign aspect of the (Zoning) Ordinance, open it up to public comment, and make recommendations for change or no change.
1. On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to renew Jayco’s Solid Waste Hauler License through January 31, 2014.
2. On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to renew Oceanside’s Solid Waste Hauler License through January 31, 2014.
3. On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to sign the shared Code Enforcement Officer Agreement with Berwick under the terms presented.
4. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to approve the Mutual Aid Agreement with the Berwick Police Department and authorize the Police Chief to execute same.
5. On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to sign the Manager’s performance evaluation; kudos for a job well done.
6. Mr. Ellsworth explained that the General Assistance budget has already been spent. Assistance paid out for rent has been averaging $8000/month. By law, this account is allowed to run over budget, but must get balanced out by (fiscal) year end. The state does reimburse the town 50% of the expense.
On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to transfer $9500.00 from the undesignated fund to Social Services-Assistance Grants acct #4510-2710.
Council Member Comments
1. Mr. Webster:
-Commented on how nice the new cruiser looks.
2. Mrs. Demetracopoulos:
-Commented that she would like to have a hard copy of the completed Open Space Plan at the library.
3. Mr. Kareckas:
-Commented that the work done by the 13 member tri-county group for solid waste was another great example of how well collaborative efforts can work.
-Need to address signage for the library.
-Not withstanding earlier comments, he made note that he has been a client of the South Berwick Veterinary Hospital for 30 years.
-Powderhouse Ski Hill has been going great.
4. Mr. MacPherson:
-A recent Sentinel article stated that South Berwick was the best place in Maine to raise a child.
On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 7:44pm.
Barbara Bennett, CCM