Town Council Minutes 08/26/2014
South Berwick Town Council
August 26, 2014
Chairman Gerald W. MacPherson, Sr. called the meeting to order at 6:30pm. Councilors present included Jean Demetracopoulos, David H. Webster, and John C. Kareckas. Town Manager Perry Ellsworth was also in attendance. Councilor Abell arrived at the beginning of Reports & Presentations.
Approval of Minutes
1. Public Hearing – GA Ordinance 08-05-14: On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.
2. Board of Assessors 08-05-14: On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.
3. Council 08-05-14: On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.
1. On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to ratify the signing of the warrant dated August 7, 2014 in the amount of $353,812.03.
2. On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to sign the August 21, 2014 warrant in the amount of $61,565.85.
Reports & Presentations
1. Henry Nduaguibe, York Woods Rd, addressed the Council about the need for traffic lights at the intersections of Portland St/Main St and Main St/Route 236. Mr. Nduaguibe stated that factors such as increased population, increased local and regional business & residential development, and the addition of Rollinsford students to the school system would all have significant impacts on the flow of traffic in town.
Mr. Nduaguibe asked the Council to consider sending a mass mailing to ask the residents if they want traffic lights or not. This option was discussed; however, costs, lack of staff time, and the proper wording of the survey are prohibitive. Mr. Ellsworth stated that something could be included in the next Quamphegan newsletter in February.
Mr. MacPherson stated that the Town has had many discussions with the MDOT regarding traffic lights. Both intersections connect State roads and we would be required to follow the MDOT standards. A stop light at the intersection of Portland and Main Streets would result in the loss of almost all of the parking on Main Street from the funeral home to the Chinese restaurant. Mrs. Demetracopoulos added that a survey was done in 2009 and at that time, the residents were more in favor of preserving the downtown atmosphere and pedestrian safety. Comments were also made regarding the fact that traffic lights would cost the Town hundreds of thousands for installation, operation, and maintenance.
Mr. Ellsworth and Mr. Kareckas both invited Mr. Nduaguibe to get involved with the new parking committee or as an alternate on the Planning Board. Mr. Kareckas stated that Mr. Nduaguibe’s enthusiasm would be helpful and new blood is needed.
Town Manager’s Report
-The by-pass drainage has been installed at Shorey’s Bridge. Work is moving along.
-We have the signed Drainage Easement necessary to begin the work for Avesta housing.
-Work is still progressing at the library, steeple & siding.
-Feedback from the recent ordinance workshop will be in next week’s packets.
-Will be meeting on Wednesday to wrap up library construction projects and spend out the funds from the construction account for closure in November.
-Congratulated Jerry MacPherson for his 10 years of service to the Volunteer Driver’s Network. (The Network provides free transportation to/from medical appointments for those in need)
-The price for fuel oil (7500 gallons) for the Town Hall and General Assistance has been locked in at $3.10 per gallon. This is less than last year and less than budgeted for this year.
1. Mr. Ellsworth updated the Council on the progress of the Seacoast Energy Initiative Grants. We expect the solar panels to be installed at the library by mid September. Electric rates are coming down and our contract is up soon. We will also be getting a credit for the additional electricity we generate. Projects are also moving along in the other towns; however, a short extension for completion may be needed.
1. On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to accept the donation of furnishings and equipment totaling $15,187.78 from the Friends of the Library as presented (representing the period of May 15, 2014 to July 15, 2014).
2. On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to authorize the Town Manager to sell Fire Engine #2 upon the receipt of the replacement truck in early October.
3. The Council briefly discussed economic development and TIF’s. Mr. Ellsworth stated that if we want to maintain the current downtown culture we need to have an analysis done regarding what we want, what we need for support, and what is the Town willing to do.
The proposed industrial park (Route 236) will require numerous agreements, especially for water and sewer.
Mrs. Demetracopoulos stated that she would like to have a ‘refresher’ on TIF’s. Mr. Kareckas noted that a market analysis of So Western Maine vs. So Eastern NH would be helpful.
Council Member Comments
1. Mrs. Demetracopoulos:
-Stated that it was a pleasure to see Perry recognized by the Maine Town & City Manager’s Association with a leadership award.
-Commented that sand & gravel washing from driveways into the roads is a safety issue, especially along the Eastern Bicycle Trail. She asked if there was something the highway crew could do.
-She also stated that the Eastern Trail should put a detour notice on its website due to the Shorey’s Bridge project.
2. Mr. Webster:
-Stated that a Vaughan Fund meeting is needed in September.
-Commented that he has never seen the downtown as active as it has been lately. We have a beautiful downtown and need to keep it going.
3. Mr. Abell:
-Stated that he was sorry he was not been able to make it, but congratulated Mr. Ellsworth on his leadership award.
-Sorry to have missed the Lantern Fest last week.
4. Mr. MacPherson:
-Commented that he was surprised to see so many workers involved in the resurfacing of the Brattle Street Bridge.
-Invited everyone to attend the Ice Cream Social at the Community Center on Wednesday. The event is being hosted by York Ambulance; ice cream is being supplied by Aggie’s.
On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 8:00pm.
Barbara Bennett, CCM