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Town Council Minutes 07/11/2017

South Berwick
Town Council Meeting
July 11, 2017
The Town Manager reported the following to the Clerk:
Chairman Russell H. Abell called the meeting to order at 6:15pm.  Councilors present included John C. Kareckas, John James, Laura Leber, and Thomas Chase.  Town Manager Perry A. Ellsworth was also in attendance.
Executive Session
1. On a motion by Mr. Chase, seconded by Mr. James, it was unanimously voted to enter executive session at 6:16pm pursuant to 1MRSA §405.6a to interview a potential new Library Advisory Board member.
On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Leber, it was unanimously voted to end the executive session at 6:23pm.
The regular meeting commenced at 6:30pm with the Clerk present.
Approval of Minutes
1. Council 06-27-17:  Mr. Kareckas made a motion to adopt the minutes of June 27th as written.  Mr. Chase seconded.  On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. James, it was unanimously voted to amend the minutes by deleting the sentence “Mrs. Leber commented that she is referred to as Ms. Leber in the minutes; she would prefer Mrs. Leber.” 
The original motion as amended was voted on and passed unanimously.
Treasurer’s Warrant
1. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Leber, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant dated July 7, 2017 in the amount of $1,149,404.21.
Public Comment
Town Manager’s Report
-Jay Redimarker (Highway Foreman) was chosen as Employee of the Year.  He has done an exceptional job.
-Road projects are going well.  Jay is on vacation and there will be no paving this week.
-State budget impacts:
          Homestead exemption is increasing to $20,000, however the state was going to reimburse us at 62.5%, but will now only reimburse 50%.  This will cause a tax rate increase of about 2 mills.  We are currently looking at a rate increase of about 70 mills ($0.70/$1000).
          Revenue Sharing is still at 2%.  If we received the full 5% that would cut our tax rate by about $1/$1000.  Mr. Kareckas commented “They are balancing the state budget on the backs of the property tax payers.  It’s unconscionable”.
          The 3% tax on the highest wage earners has been replaced with a flat $162 million increase in school funding.  However, our district included a vote (which passed) on its warrant that any additional funds from the state could be spent and not returned to the taxpayers. 
          County jail assessment/operations.  There will be costs associated with moving the county court to Biddeford.
          The local efficiency fund has been reduced.  This fund provided funds to municipalities that were looking to regionalize.
-The TRIO conversion is going well.  The tax piece is coming along.  So far “happy with it”.
-Made note that the Planning Board would like to meet in workshop with the Council to go over proposed ordinance changes.  Mr. Abell suggested looking at some time in August.
-The Personal Policy updates are not yet ready.  Additional staff time is needed for review.
TC 07-11-17
Unfinished Business
1. The Manager informed the Council that he has met with representatives of Farmgate.  Their ‘wish list’ is not extensive and includes some items the Town would have planned anyway. 
The Council discussed what steps to take next.  Mr. Ellsworth will work with Mike Lassel on a design for the site.  It was agreed that a workshop and executive session with the attorney may be necessary. 
New Business
1. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Leber, it was unanimously voted to affirm the following slate of municipal officials for the 2017/2018 fiscal year:
Perry A. Ellsworth               Town Manager, Tax Collector, Treasurer, Road Commissioner
Barbara Bennett, CCM       Town Clerk, Registrar of Voters, Motor Vehicle Agent, IF&W Agent
Craig Skelton                      Assessing Agent
Jon St. Pierre                      Public Works Director
Joe Rousselle                     Code Enforcement Officer, Plumbing Inspector, Health Officer
Jim Allaire (No Berwick)      Alternate CEO/Plumbing Inspector
Karen Estee                        General Assistance Administrator
Dana P. Lajoie                    Police Chief, Constable
George E. Gorman             Fire Chief, Fire Warden
Blain Cote                           Emergency Management Director
Karen Eger                         Library Director
Sharon R. Brassard            Recreation Director
Harvey Barr                        Animal Control Officer
2. On a motion by Mr. James, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to appoint Hilda Howell to the Library Advisory Board with a term to expire June 30, 2020.
3. Steve Bayse, Ogunquit Rd, asked why the proposed moratorium requires a public hearing and the policy regarding retail businesses/social clubs did not.  Mr. Abell stated that the moratorium is an actual ordinance.  The policy regarding retail marijuana businesses/social clubs was only a notice to the public that the Town is following State laws.  Mr. Bayse also stated that he is concerned with the definition of ‘Medical Marijuana Production Facility’ in regard to the caregiver’s primary residence.  Comment was made that the document contains very similar language to that being used in other communities.
On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Leber, it was unanimously voted to hold a public hearing on Tuesday, July 25th at 6:30pm to receive comment on the proposed emergency moratorium ordinance regarding medical marijuana production facilities
4. State budget impact:  see Town Manager’s report. 
Councilor Comments
1. Mr. Kareckas:
-Made note that a Vaughan Fund meeting should be scheduled for July 25th.
2. Mr. Chase:
-Congratulated Jay on being designated employee of the year.
-Thanked Hilda Howell for stepping up and becoming a member of the Library Advisory Board.
-Commented that the state roads in town are now in worse shape than the Town’s roads.
3. Mrs. Leber:
-Reiterated Mr. Chase’s comments regarding Jay Redimarker and Hilda Howell.
-Commented that she has a new family member.  Her 2nd grandchild was just born, a little girl.
TC 07-11-17
4. Mr. Abell:
-Asked about the timing for Vaughan Fund grants.  Applications are due in February.  The review at the next meeting (and another possibly in Nov/Dec) will indicate if there will be funds to disburse.
On a motion by Mrs. Leber, seconded by Mr. Chase, it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 7:28pm.
Barbara Bennett, CCM