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Town Council Minutes 05/28/2013

South Berwick Town Council
May 28, 2013

Chairman Gerald W. MacPherson, Sr. called the meeting to order at 6:35pm.  Councilors present included Jean Demetracopoulos, David H. Webster, and John C. Kareckas.  Town Manager Perry Ellsworth was also in attendance.  Russell Abell arrived at approximately 6:40pm.

Mrs. Demetracopoulos asked if the approval of the minutes could be taken up after Mr. Abell arrives, since his vote would be needed for a quorum.  It was agreed to take up action on the minutes after the arrival of Mr. Abell.

Treasurer’s Warrant – May 28, 2013

On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant in the amount of $94,410.57.

Public Comment

1. Bruce Gordon, Elizabeth Rd, stated that he as a school district employee drives around town on a regular basis and has noticed that many homes are not displaying house numbers.  He asked if South Berwick had an ordinance, and emphasized the importance of proper numbering for emergency service vehicles.  He added that, as a former selectman in a New Hampshire town, an ordinance was passed requiring homes to properly display house numbers.  In response to Mr. Kareckas’ question on how they were able to accomplish it, Mr. Gordon stated they set a time limit for compliance, levied fines, and would not allow residents to register their vehicles until they complied.

[Clerk’s note:  see South Berwick Code, Chapter 61, Buildings, Numbering of]

Mr. Gordon also commented about the amount of litter on the sides of the roads.  He noted that some of it was created by town employees because they were leaving chunks of tar from road repairs on the sidewalks, grassy areas and roadside.

Mr. Ellsworth stated that it would be looked into.

Approval of Minutes

1. Public Hearing 5-14-13:  On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.  Mrs. Demetracopoulos & Mr. MacPherson abstained.

2. Council 5-14-13:  On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.  Mrs. Demetracopoulos & Mr. MacPherson abstained.

Mr. Kareckas commented that he was not aware of anything in the guidelines that required a member to abstain from voting on minutes for a meeting that the member was not present for.

Mrs. Demetracopoulos commented that it was in Robert’s Rules.  Mr. Kareckas stated that he did not think so, but if a member chooses to abstain as a courtesy that’s fine.

Town Manager’s Report

-Commented that he had the privilege of attending the change in command ceremony at the Shipyard on Friday.
-A meeting with the Berwick Selectmen is scheduled for here on June 19th at 6:30pm.
-Made note that the paperwork for the Vaughan Fund investments has finally arrived.  It is being reviewed.  Consensus was that a special Vaughan Fund meeting was not necessary because the Chairman and Treasurer already have the authority to sign for the Fund.
-Made note that through Roberta Orsini’s due diligence, we have replaced a couple of photocopiers and are receiving a better deal than we had.
-The Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission annual meeting is June 12th.
-Reminded everyone of the Hike-Thru-History on Friday.

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-Stated that oil prices are currently low and he plans on putting it out to bid soon.  He added that the bid request will include a right to refuse.
-Road work continues; and is progressing nicely.
-Have held a couple of union negotiation meetings.  An executive session will be needed to meet with the mediator.
-Commented that he enjoyed the Memorial Day celebration; it was a wonderful day for it.

New Business

1. The Links at Outlook Liquor License & Special Amusement Permit:

Mr. Kareckas pointed out that the distance to the nearest school or church on the application is incorrectly stated as 3 miles.  Mr. Webster commented that it is closer to 1 mile.

The Council discussed the fact that some applications are incomplete or contain incorrect information.  Consensus was to emphasize to applicants that all applications submitted must be complete with correct information.  Mr. Ellsworth noted that other towns require the applicant to be present for action to be taken.

On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to renew the liquor license and special amusement permit for the Links at Outlook Golf Club.

2. Pepperland Cafe Liquor License & Special Amusement Permit:

On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to renew the liquor license and special amusement permit for Pepperland Cafe.

3. On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to transfer $9500.00 from the Undesignated Fund to Social Services – Assistance Grants acct #4510-2710.

Mr. Ellsworth noted that an additional $5,000 may be needed at the next meeting in June.

4. On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to extend the Manager’s contract to June 30, 2015.

Note was made that an annual extension to a 2 year contract provides both sides ample time to prepare for a change in Manager if necessary.

Council Member Comments

1. Mrs. Demetracopoulos:
-Asked if the benches for the Town Hall lawn would be in before Strawberry Festival.  Mr. Ellsworth stated that they have been ordered, but he can’t guarantee they will be installed by Festival day.
-Commented that it is nice to see the Regional Maintenance Facility operating in the black and that it has paid back the initial start up funding provided at the town meeting in 2006.
-Asked about the public hearing of May 14th regarding the change in the zoning ordinance.  Mr. Kareckas stated that language for ice-cream trucks and home delivery vehicles should be added.

Mr. Ellsworth stated that we should have it on the June 25th agenda.  Mr. Kareckas stated that perhaps the Planning Board should be asked to endorse the additional language at their next meeting.

2. Mr. Webster:
-It was a great day for the Memorial Day celebration and parade.
-Commented that he had not noticed much grass growing in the sidewalks yet, except between Isidore‘s and the tattoo shop.

3. Mr. Kareckas:
-Asked if there was any will on the Council’s behalf to look into exempting active duty servicemen from paying excise tax.
-Asked if the Manager could direct department heads to have employees write out their job descriptions.  He stated that it would make a good planning tool.

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-Asked if a thank you letter could be sent to the Navy Captain that attended our Memorial Day ceremony.
-Thanked the VFW for its work on the Memorial Day ceremony.
-Informed the Board that he had contacted the Manager regarding an update on the Building Committee.  Mr. Ellsworth stated that the Committee will meet on Tuesday at 7:00am.  He added that the committee will meet regularly at 7:00am.

4. Mr. Abell:
-Commented that he was fortune enough for the first time to attend the Memorial Day celebration.  He and his kids enjoyed it; it was very nice.
-Asked about the schedule for the Building Committee charge of reviewing town facilities.  Mr. Ellsworth responded that the committee will have an update for Council in mid-summer, with a goal to finish in the fall for budget season.  The committee will be looking at all buildings, but the focus is specific to the needs of the Police Department.

5. Mr. MacPherson:
-Asked if the memorial benches in front of the old library will be moving.  Mr. Ellsworth stated that he had not looked into it yet.
-Asked if the Council is committed to the Hike-Thru-History.  He added that although he has a conflict, he may be able to make it.
-Commented that he attended a very nice Memorial Day celebration in Ellsworth.


On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 7:23pm.


Barbara Bennett, CCM