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Town Council Minutes 03/11/2014

South Berwick Town Council
March 11, 2014

Chairman Gerald W. MacPherson, Sr. called the meeting to order at 6:41pm.  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. Town Council 2-25-14:  On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.

Treasurer’s Warrant – Mar 11, 2014

1. On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant in the amount of $829,005.65.  Note was made that this warrant includes the purchase of the Police Interceptor for $25,001, payments to the rescue squad of $12,754, and the monthly school payment of $587,064.

Public Comment


Town Manager’s Report

-Still working on selling the lots to Great Works Regional Land Trust.  2 lots were found to have been improperly foreclosed on in the 1950’s.  One lot is owned by the Grant Heirs and the other by Marty Parent.  An agreement has been reached with Marty Parent to sell the lot to GWRLT and split the proceeds (minus expenses) with the Town.
-The roads have been posted.  An agreement has been signed with Willbros Utility for use and damage to the roads.  They have posted cash of $195,000 to our account to draw from.  The roads listed in the agreement are Knight’s Pond (also a portion of Harvey) and Agamenticus Road.  Mr. Webster noted that a small portion of Emery’s Bridge Rd is also involved.  Mr. Ellsworth stated that he or Jon would check on that.  In response to Mr. Webster’s concerns about which roads are to be used, Mr. Ellsworth stated that Councilors should report any trucks using roads that are not authorized in the agreement.  He also commented that Willbros (and the companies working for them) are the only authorized users of the posted roads.
-Made note that the firefighters will be applying for 2 safety enhancements grants: emergency signage $1058.06 and a PS200 gas monitor $790.00.  There will be no cost to the Town; the Firefighter Association will be covering the match.  Council will have to accept the award if granted.
-Commented that the MDOT already has preliminary plans for the Route 236/Vine Street intersection changes.  The Town will be paying a portion of the cost and we need to make sure we get as much of what we want as possible.  Mr. Kareckas agreed that a meeting is needed ASAP to verify that items of concern, such as crosswalks and extending the sidewalk are addressed.  Mr. Kareckas also expressed his concerns that if the state already has preliminary designs they may not be willing to change much.
-Reminded everyone of the meeting at 8:00am on Wednesday in Eliot.
-Made note of the informational meeting scheduled for the Trans Pacific Partnership for Wednesday evening.  Council action may or may not be necessary based on the feelings of the community.  [The meeting was cancelled – weather]
-The Town’s total valuation is only up by about $250,000.
-Informed the Council that the Planning Board would like to meet with the Council to discuss the Growth Ordinance.
-Informed Council that we have received 3 applications for Vaughan Fund Grants.  The amount available is approximately $12,000.  It was agreed to hold a Vaughan Fund meeting before the start of the next Council meeting.

New Business

1. On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to close all waters within South Berwick to Alewives harvesting for the 2014 season for conservation purposes.

TC 3-11-14

2. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to renew the Solid Waste Hauler License for BBI Waste Industries until June 30, 2014.

3. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to retract the order of December 10, 2013 to purchase a cruiser from Irwin Ford and authorize the purchase of a new Police Interceptor from Quirk Ford for $25,001.

Council Member Comments

1. Mr. Kareckas:
-Made note that he has been attending ad hoc committee meetings regarding the Vine Street/Varney Bridge.  The prevailing thought is to create a pedestrian/bicycle bridge.  A timber frame bridge is being suggested.  Mr. Kareckas commented that it is too early for that type of decision and more information is necessary.  Mr. Kareckas’ statement is included as an attachment to these minutes.
-Commented that Powderhouse Hill has had a good year; open 35-36 days thus far.

2. Mr. Abell:
-Commented that he did some follow up on LD 1483 dealing with disposal of municipal waste.  The sponsor of the bill has significantly changed the language in response to the input from numerous communities.  One change is the elimination of an additional surcharge to municipalities unable to use a trash to energy plant for their disposal.
-Informed everyone of the DIVA night scheduled for March 21st at the Red Barn.  This year’s proceeds will go to benefit bicentennial events through Sobo Central.

3. Mr. Webster:
-Commented that he was surprised to see a plow on the road this morning for less than an inch of snow.  Mr. Ellsworth commented that prior to the snow the roads had iced up; as a safety issue it was determined best to put the trucks out.

4. Mrs. Demetracopoulos:
-Commented that she has sent the letter regarding safety and speeding on Route 236 to the Governor’s Office, State Reps, Senator, and Commissioner of Transportation.  She has not received any responses.

Executive Session

1. On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to enter executive session at 7:24pm per 1MRSA §405.6A to discuss the Manager’s contract.

The following was reported to the Clerk:

On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to end the executive session at 8:52pm.


On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 8:53pm.


Barbara Bennett, CCM