Town Council Minutes 02/26/2013
South Berwick Town Council
February 26, 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.
Approval of Minutes
1. Council 2-12-13: On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.
2. Special Council 2-19-13: On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.
Treasurer’s Warrant – Feb 26, 2013
On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant in the amount of $134,601.30.
1. Pat Robinson, Conservation Commission, thanked the Public Works Dept for plowing the Town Forest access road.
Reports & Correspondence
1. Mr. Ellsworth read a thank you note from Emma Goodwin. She was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation & a Gift Certificate for Spring Hill from the Town in recognition of her dedication. At the age of 90 she still cooks one day a week at the Senior Center.
2. Commented that he had received an email from Emergency Management reminding everyone of the safety issues created by wet heavy snow on rooftops.
Town Manager’s Report
-Stated that he had met with Peter Sherr of Ransom Engineering and Chuck from Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission to discuss the “Day” property. Brownfields funding for asbestos removal is an option; however, doing it ourselves may be cheaper and leave us with more options for the future use of the property. This would be a great place for the skating rink.
-Made note that it appears boundary lines have been determined for the properties near the old Ramsdell pit. Initial discussions were to consider logging the property; we could look at selling the property and using the funds for the Eastern Trail, the Mt. A Coordinator or projects at the “Day” property.
-Have had an inquiry into the possibility of the Town selling property located off of the York Woods Road. This could provide another opportunity to help fund specific projects without raising tax dollars.
-Commented that he is trying to organize a meeting with the MDOT and the dam owner regarding the Vine Street Bridge. Waiting for return calls.
-Road postings will be going up on Monday, March 4th.
-Budget workshops start next week. The proposed budget is under the LD1 cap. There will be reductions in force; at least 2 in the Public Works Dept.
-Utility work will begin in mid March for the upcoming mill & fill project on Main & Portland Streets.
-Will be out of the office Thursday, Friday, and Monday.
1. The Council discussed the proposed amendments to the Planned Growth Ordinance. It was agreed to include the Manager’s suggestion for section 102-3 to include senior housing as an exempt use. It was also agreed to amend the section by changing the language from “This chapter does not apply to any principal nonresidential uses” to “This chapter does not apply to any of the following uses”.
On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to amend the Planned Growth Ordinance through March 31, 2016, including the amendments to section 102-3 exempting senior housing from the ordinance and the change in language to the 3rd sentence.
1. The Council discussed the request from the Great Works Regional Land Trust for a Right-Of-Way through the Town Forest. Pat Robinson of the Land Trust stated that the request is being made to facilitate a land donation from the Gallo’s. The Gallo’s have certain criteria for the donation, one being the Town granting the ROW.
-Mr. Webster asked if the Land Trust wanted the land so it could timber harvest. Ms. Robinson replied yes.
-Mrs. Demetracopoulos commented that any agreement would have to be very specific that the Town is not obligated to maintain or plow the ROW for the Land Trust.
-Mr. Ellsworth commented that the agreement would also have to address maintenance and damage issues (such as those created by logging).
-Mr. Kareckas stated that the language and location of the ROW need clear definition.
-Ms. Robinson stated that the Gallo’s would like to have the transaction complete prior to April 1st. Council consensus was to address the issue again at the next meeting.
2. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to consent to and sign the application for the Berwick Academy Tuition Raffle for 2013. Note was made that this has been approved in the past.
3. The Council discussed the proposed amendment to the 1996 Lease Agreement with Tomco. The lease has been reassigned several times within the Thompson family and is now being sold to a new owner. The terms of the lease require the Town’s consent to the sale.
Mr. Ellsworth stated that the new owner has agreed to changes for the parking lot, such as signage. More parking will be available and will now be enforceable.
On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to sign the amendment to the lease with Tomco (new lessee Dana Hall) dated February 12, 2013.
4. Mrs. Demetracopoulos read the proposed amendment to the Manager’s contract. She also commented that the Council’s goal was to raise his salary so it would be comparable with area towns.
On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to amend the Manager’s contract by adding the following language: “As of July 1, 2013 the Town Manager shall receive a salary of ninety thousand dollars ($90,000) annually”.
5. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to transfer $9,500 from the Undesignated Fund to Social Services – Assistance Grants account #4510-2710.
The transfer of funds is to cover the overages in the account primarily caused by increased rental assistance. Mr. Ellsworth commented that an additional transfer before year end is very likely.
Council Member Comments
1. Mr. Abell:
-Just returned from vacation.
2. Mr. Kareckas:
-Questioned the process necessary for the adoption of the Open Space Plan. Mrs. Demetracopoulos stated that the Council should review it, discuss it, accept or not accept it, and if accepted pass it on to Planning and Conservation for use. Mr. Kareckas recommended revisiting it in April.
-Made note that he had not yet received the TIF document from the Manager for editing.
-Commented that he was glad to hear that movement is happening with the “Day” property. The property and surrounding area should be looked at as a whole.
-Suggested establishing a DOT page on the website to keep the public informed for the mill & fill project. Mr. Ellsworth made note that regular updates could be podcast also.
3. Mr. Webster:
-Commented that he is looking forward to budgets.
-Commented that he learned a lot at the Vaughan Fund financials workshop.
4. Mrs. Demetracopoulos:
-Thanked the Open Space Committee for their work on the Plan.
-Commented that she may miss at least one of the budget workshops next week.
5. Mr. MacPherson:
-Asked the Manager if the budget workshops would be podcast. Yes.
On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 7:55pm.
Barbara Bennett, CCM