Town Council Minutes 03/12/2013
South Berwick Town Council
March 12, 2013
Chairman Gerald W. MacPherson, Sr. called the meeting to order at 6:30pm. Councilors present included David H. Webster, John C. Kareckas, and Russell H. Abell. Town Manager Perry Ellsworth was also in attendance. Jean Demetracopoulos was not present.
Approval of Minutes
1. Public Hearing 2-26-13: On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.
2. Council 2-26-13: On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.
Treasurer’s Warrant – Mar 12, 2013
On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant in the amount of $151,706.86.
No one in the audience wished to address Council.
Reports & Correspondence
1. Mt. Agamenticus Conservation Coordinator Robin Kerr gave the Council an update on the accomplishments for 2012. Major summit improvements and the establishment of the new summit loop trail were the highlights. Other work involved ongoing trail improvements & maintenance, trash clean up, public outreach/education, and completion of a new brochure. The significant amount of work is completed by volunteers.
Town Manager’s Report
-Commented that he had received some complaints about the volume on the meeting podcasts. He added that the volume has been adjusted, but there seems to be a problem with certain computers, and headphones or external speakers may be needed.
-Suggested that the Council consider eliminating paper packets and use computers. The computers would be for Town business only and would be subject to the Right-to-Know law.
-Made note that he and Mr. Kareckas had walked the Town Forest and established GPS coordinates for the Right-of-Way that may be granted to the Great Works Regional Land Trust.
-Commented that the offices had received numerous calls regarding the road construction. He stated that he plans on going door to door to inform residents/business owners of the process and to encourage them to subscribe to the Town’s website so they could receive updates for the construction projects and other Town business.
-Made note that he along with Councilors MacPherson and Kareckas would be testifying in Augusta on Wednesday in regard to the Governor’s proposed budget cuts. He added that the Governor’s proposal would cost South Berwick over $600,000 in revenues and homestead exemption reimbursements.
-Commented that we have received a couple of Vaughan Fund applications. He recommended holding a meeting after budgets are finished. He also recommended holding a workshop to go over the proposed investment portfolio.
-Made note that firefighter Jeff Pino passed away yesterday.
1. Mr. Ellsworth commented that he had received a large packet of information from Police Chief Lajoie in regard to the need for an investigator position. He added that he would like to review the information and then hold a meeting with those involved.
2. The Council discussed the Building Committee and agreed that the Manager would write-up a charge that the Council could review. Current and future infrastructure needs and field facility uses would be included.
3. The Council discussed the proposed changes to the Zoning Ordinance, regarding restaurants and the outdoor sales of food & merchandise. Planning Board Chairman John Stirling stated that the issue first came about to address mobile vending. Mr. Stirling also stated that the proposed changes would better define “restaurant” and give the Code Officer more teeth for enforcement.
Mr. Ellsworth read prepared comments by Councilor Demetracopoulos expressing her concern that the ordinance as proposed would prohibit some farmers’ markets and farm stand sales. Mr. Stirling stated that the ordinance would exempt both.
Council consensus was to move forward with the process and refer the matter back to the Planning Board for its public hearing.
Council Member Comments
1. Mr. Webster:
-Suggested that people have patience with the traffic issues created by the road construction.
2. Mr. Kareckas:
-Commented that construction is always tough and people will have to get used to it. He added that we will need to stay ahead of the curve with the notification process.
3. Mr. Abell:
-Thanked Councilors MacPherson and Kareckas for attending the budget hearing in Augusta with Manager Ellsworth. He added that he would attend if his schedule allowed.
4. Mr. MacPherson:
-Commented that the chain link fence at the Vine Street Bridge appears to have been cut and foot traffic is obvious. The signage is also gone. Mr. Ellsworth stated that he would have Jon St. Pierre check on it and call the state if necessary.
On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 8:00pm.
Barbara Bennett, CCM