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Town Council Minutes 01/22/2013

South Berwick Town Council
January 22, 2013

Chairman Gerald W. MacPherson, Sr. called the meeting to order at 6:30pm.  Councilors present included Jean Demetracopoulos, David H. Webster, John C. Kareckas, and Russell H. Abell.  Town Manager Perry Ellsworth was also in attendance.

Executive Session

On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Webster, 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 6:56pm.

The Town Clerk administered the oath of office to Councilor Elect Abell.

Approval of Minutes

1. Council 1-08-13:  On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.

Treasurer’s Warrant – Jan 22, 2013

On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant printed on January 17, 2013 in the amount of $275,232.04.  Mr. Kareckas questioned the difference in dates on the warrant and the agenda.  Mr. Ellsworth explained the date shown on the warrant is simply the date it was printed.

Public Comment

1. No one in the audience wished to address Council.

Reports & Correspondence

1. Mr. Ellsworth made note of Representative Chellie Pingree’s congratulatory note regarding the complimentary article about South Berwick in the Bloomberg Report.

2. Seacoast Energy Initiative Report:  Chairman John Rudolph gave a brief update on the SEI revolving loan program.  Mr. Rudolph stated that the program for low cost loans to improve home energy efficiency has been fully utilized by 38 homeowners in southern York County.  There have been no late payments or defaults.  The program has also increased regional cooperation.  Mr. Rudolph and Stephen Kosacz (Vice-Chair) thanked South Berwick for its support and taking the lead after Kittery dropped out.  Talks have just begun regarding the next phase of the program and how it will be administered.

Mr. Ellsworth thanked the SEI Committee, and especially Ann Goggin the program administrator for their efforts and commitment.

Town Manager’s Report

-Made note of the Governor’s proposed budget and the significant losses to South Berwick and SAD 35 it would cause.  Initial numbers show that we could lose $400,000 in revenue sharing, $72,000 in lost homestead exemption reimbursements, and minimally about $1000 in tractor trailer excise tax.  The school district could lose about $140,000.  Mr. Ellsworth read a draft letter to state level representatives and asked the Council for consensus to allow the Chair to sign the letter (after minor changes).  The Council agreed to send the letter.  The Council also agreed to authorize the Manager to set up a workshop with our state representatives/senator and area towns to discuss a course of action.  
-The Maine Municipal Legislative Policy Committee will be meeting next week and the Governor’s proposed budget will be the main topic for discussion.
-Informed the Council that his meeting with the downtown business owners regarding the upcoming state mill & fill project for Main and Portland Streets was quite successful.  A preconstruction meeting will be held with the DOT next week.

TC 01-22-13

-Will be meeting with Avesta in Portland on February 8th to discuss plans for the senior housing project on Young Street.
-Made note that he has hired a mediator to work with on the union contracts.  They will be meeting next Tuesday.

Unfinished Business

1. No action taken.

New Business

1. On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to approve the renewal of a liquor license for Relish Restaurant.

2. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to approve the renewal of a liquor license and special amusement permit for Spring Hill.

3. The Town Manager recommended that the Council declare the old Animal Control cruiser as junk.  Repairs are cost prohibitive; however, some items such as lights and tires are salvageable.

On a motion by Mr. Kareckas it was unanimously voted to declare the vehicle without value and authorize the Town Manager to dispose of it properly in accordance with the Purchasing Policy (A150-7.C.5).

Council Member Comments

1. Mr. Kareckas:
-Commented that maintaining a minimum of 1 lane traffic during the upcoming mill & fill project on Main Street will be very important.  
-Welcomed new Councilor Russ Abell to the Board.  He offered to attend training with him as a refresher for himself.
-Made note that he had emailed the other Councilors and the Manager his comments on a summary of what items will be sent to the Planning Board.

2. Mrs. Demetracopoulos:
-Welcomed Mr. Abell to the Board.
-Requested that Department Heads report on the value of any grants received, identify volunteers & the services they performed and their value.
-Asked if the audit was ready for review.  Mr. Ellsworth responded that it was not.
-Asked about the effect of the shorter polling hours at the recent election.  The Clerk stated that the turnout was higher than expected at 7%, 367 voters.  [Polls were open 2pm to 7pm]
-Thanked the Town Manager for his outreach to the business community.
-Commented that a Vaughan Fund workshop should be scheduled.  An investment advisor and strategies need to be chosen.

3. Mr. Webster:
-Congratulated Mr. Abell on his election to the Council.
-Commented that the lack of snow has been good for the budget’s bottom line.
-Commented that he hoped everyone would attend the Eastern Trail workshop next Tuesday.

4. Mr. Abell:
-Stated that it was a pleasure to be here; and he looked forward to being a part of conducting the Town’s business.

5. Mr. MacPherson:
-Informed everyone that the new ice rink is up and running.  [Next to the Red Youth Barn on Agamenticus Rd]


On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 8:12pm.


Barbara Bennett, CCM