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Town Council Minutes 08/22/2017

South Berwick
Town Council Meeting
August 22, 2017
 
 
Chairman Russell H. Abell called the meeting to order at 7:04pm.  Councilors present included John C. Kareckas, John James, Laura Leber, and Thomas Chase.  Town Manager Perry A. Ellsworth was also in attendance.
 
Approval of Minutes
 
1. Board of Assessors 08-08-17:  On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Chase, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.
 
2. Town Council 08-08-17:  On a motion by Mr. James, seconded by Mrs. Leber, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.
 
Treasurer’s Warrant
 
1. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Chase, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant dated August 16, 2017 in the amount of $859,661.32.
 
Public Comment
 
None
 
Town Manager’s Report
 
-The Town has received a dividend check for $12,343 from Worker’s Comp.  The dividend (or refund) is partly due to increased safety and training in conjunction with the efforts of Deanna Remick and the Safety Committee.
-We continue to look at the ordinances for both medical and recreational marijuana.
-Announced that the Finance Director has given her notice.  She will leave around the 1st of October.  Other staff are cross training and a plan moving forward has yet to be developed.
 
Unfinished Business
 
1. The Council briefly discussed the necessity of holding a workshop with the Planning Board.  Several dates were discussed.  The Manager will coordinate with the Planning Board to finalize.
 
2. The consensus of the Council was to authorize the Manager to continue his negotiations with the Farmgate Association regarding the taking of land for a new police station.
 
Mr. Ellsworth made note that negotiations are almost complete with Farmgate and title searches will have to be done.  Mike Lassel will further define the boundaries and discussions with the Water District will have to take place.  The Manager and Mr. Lassel both stated that a time line should be established to getter a better sense of the scope of the project.
 
New Business
 
1. New Police cruisier:  Chief Lajoie explained that the Department rotates vehicles to manage mileage; which has allowed us to keep them in service longer than most other town.  Generally, a vehicle is replaced every seven years.
 
On a motion by Mr. James, seconded by Mr. Chase, it was unanimously voted to authorize the purchase of a 2017 SUV Cruiser (as denoted in the 2017-2018 budget) from Quirk in the amount of $27,669.
 
2. Mr. Ellsworth explained that in addition to the new software system, there are new procedures for billing and paying property taxes.  There will only be one bill mailed out in August. 
 
We are also expanding the use of credit cards.  In the past only available for online transactions; cards can now be used in the Business Office for any transaction.  Mr. Ellsworth was clear in stating that the user will pay the fee associated with using their card; the Town will not.
 
 
 
 
08-22-17
 
 
Mr. Kareckas said he would be curious to see how many collection letters will have to be sent out because of the lack of a second tax billing.  Mr. Ellsworth stated that a balance reminder postcard will be sent with the Quamphegan newsletter in February.  By eliminating the printing and mailing costs of the second bill, the Town will save several thousand dollars.
 
3. The Council discussed the impacts to both the town and county of a combined courthouse in Biddeford and the lack of public and elected official input.  Mr. Abell read the Resolution into the record. 
 
Mr. Abell stated that he would vote no because the is no information available from the State as to why and he hasn’t had the time to research the issue.
 
On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. James, it was voted 4-1 (Mr. Abell) to sign the Resolution Regarding the Economic Impacts of the Combined Courthouse in York County.
 
4. The Town joined MainePERS in July 1970.  Originally there were no class of employees excluded from participating under the system.  It has been the intent of the Town to exclude all employees who are not regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week or more with the exception of the elected members of the Town Council, whose work is based on fulfilling the duties of the position without set hours, since July 12, 2010.
 
On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. James, it was unanimously voted to clarify that as of July 12, 2010, it has been the Town’s intent to exclude all employees who are not regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week or more with the exception of the elected members of the Town Council, whose work is based on fulfilling the duties of the position without set hours, from participating in the MainePers program.
 
Councilor Comments
 
1. Mr. Chase:
-Thanked the public for attending.
-Glad to hear that we will be taking credit cards; it does make it easier.
 
2. Mrs. Leber:
-Made note of the Pumpkinman Triathlon on September 9th and 10th.  She added that it’s a great athletic event and fundraiser.
 
Adjournment
 
On a motion by Mr. James, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 8:00pm.
 
 
Attest:
 
 
 
Barbara Bennett, CCM