Town Council Minutes 05/14/2013
South Berwick Town Council
May 14, 2013
Vice-Chairman David H. Webster called the meeting to order at 7:01pm. Councilors present included John C. Kareckas, and Russell H. Abell. Town Manager Perry Ellsworth was also in attendance. Councilors Gerald W. MacPherson, Sr. and Jean Demetracopoulos were not present.
Approval of Minutes
1. Council 4-23-13: On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes after correcting the Manager’s comment (under Council Member Comments #1) to show the Strawberry Festival Committee would be purchasing a memorial bench, not Sobo Central.
Treasurer’s Warrant – May 14, 2013
On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant in the amount of $754,862.02.
No one in the audience wished to address Council.
Reports & Correspondence
1. Letter from MDOT: The speed limits on Portland Street will be adjusted down; new signs will be installed soon.
2. Have received a notification that the MDOT is conducting a traffic study at Route 236 & Vine Street.
Town Manager’s Report
-The road construction project is going well and is on target.
-Met with Mr. Gallo regarding the donation of 1 acre of land at the Town Forest for the parking lot.
-Have started conversations with the Great Works Regional Land Trust regarding their possible purchase of town property.
-Have spoken with Avesta. The new QAP (Quality Assurance Points) needed for financing are being modified. More information is forth coming.
-No one will be in the offices on Wednesday; everyone will be attending a training workshop.
-LD 1496 (tax reform bill): have met with staff to analyze the numbers and the affect they would have on South Berwick. The Maine Municipal Legislative Policy Committee has agreed to support the legislation, but only with modifications. Mr. Ellsworth stated that the consensus was that it won’t pass because it is too complex and came about too quickly.
Mr. Abell stated that the larger concept sounds reasonable but when looked at on a case by case basis it is does not appear to be equitable.
-Mr. Kareckas commented that it would be simple to just increase the sales, meals and lodging tax.
1. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to cancel the June 11th meeting.
2. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant calling the Referendum Election for SAD #35 on June 11th.
3. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to table action on the Zoning Ordinance amendments until the full board is present.
Council Member Comments
1. Mr. Abell:
-Asked if there is a new traffic study being conducted. Mr. Ellsworth stated that there is a new study being conducted at the intersection of Route 236 and Vine Street. Traffic counts may also be being conducted.
2. Mr. Kareckas:
-Asked where things stand with the Governor’s proposal to cut revenue sharing especially in the areas of BETR, BETE, Homestead Exemptions, and the Circuit Breaker program. Mr. Ellsworth stated that there may be modifications but many believe there will be very little change this year.
-Commented that he had not done the edits to the TIF documents yet.
-Made note that no action has been taken in regard to the request by Barry & Julie Person on Old Emery’s Bridge Road. He added that there is no reason we can’t eliminate the Town’s responsibility to the road. Mr. Ellsworth stated that the Town would have to do a Road Discontinuance with no easements.
-Made note that there is a business directional sign for Monkey Business Bakery that should be removed. The business is no longer in South Berwick.
-Made note that the signage for Subway/Sunoco is in the right of way.
-Asked if the Council were interested in pursuing an ordinance that would exempt active military members from paying excise tax.
-Asked about the land off of Hooper Sands Road for timber harvesting. Mr. Ellsworth stated that the property hasn’t been walked yet.
3. Mr. Webster:
-Commented that the curbstone around the island on Main & Portland Streets is coming loose and needs to be fixed.
Mr. Ellsworth commented that he is trying to schedule a meeting with surrounding towns; however too large a group may not be productive. He is working on getting a meeting together with Berwick for sometime in June.
On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 7:46pm.