safewise logo
78 Sunny

Town Council Minutes 08/27/2013

South Berwick Town Council
August 27, 2013

Chairman Gerald W. MacPherson, Sr. called the meeting to order at 6:34pm.  Councilors present included Jean Demetracopoulos, David H. Webster, John C. Kareckas, and Russell H. Abell.  Town Manager Perry Ellsworth was also in attendance.

Approval of Minutes

1. Assessors 8-13-13:  On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.

2. Council 8-13-13:  On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes after adding the word “one” between the words ‘no’ and ‘wished’ under Public Comment.

Treasurer’s Warrant – Aug 27, 2013

On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant in the amount of $89,265.55.

Public Comment

No one wished to address Council.

Reports & Correspondence

1. John Sylvester (and 4 other members) of the York County Budget Committee presented the Committee’s request for funding ($435) to the Council.  The Committee is looking for funds to help cover their legal costs related to the dispute with the County Commissioners (over who ultimately has the final approval of the County Budget). Mr. Sylvester gave the history of the legislative establishment of the Budget Committee and its functions.  Mr. Sylvester added that the Commissioners have censured the Budget Committee and have not responded to requests from the Committee to meet.  This issue has been ongoing for many years.

2. Mike Cote, County Commissioner, was present to express his concerns with the issue between the Budget Committee and Commissioners.  He stated that he has only been in office since January, and he doesn’t feel it was proper for the Commissioners to censure the Committee.  Mr. Cote stated that he could not speak for the other Commission members; however, the general feeling is that the Commissioners are basing their actions on the advice of legal counsel.

3. Matt Peters of Avesta updated the Council on the progress, or lack thereof, of obtaining financing for the senior housing project.  He stated that Avesta will not apply for funds through the current round of Maine State Housing because the point system is currently not in our favor.  He did state that Avesta is looking at other financing options such as the proposed state bond package and 3rd party grants.

Mr. Ellsworth made note that the current Purchase & Sale Agreement expires February 1, 2014.  Mr. Peters formally asked the Council to extend the P & S until 2015.

Town Manager’s Report

-Paving on Portland Street should take place Wednesday, with the remainder of paving on Berwick Road and Main Street to be finished Thursday and Thursday night.
-The State has approved the installation of rumple strips on the center line along a portion of Route 4 in Berwick.
-The York County Advisory group met with Chellie Pingree recently to discuss federal funding.
-The Circuit Breaker program has been repealed which will have a significant impact on many tax payers, especially the elderly.
-Will be meeting with the union on Wednesday before a second attempt at arbitration.  The Manager stated that he will hire Gary Stenhouse to represent Council.
-Announced that there are numerous board and committee openings for anyone interested.

TC 8-27-13

Unfinished Business

1. On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to approve funds for the York County Budget Committee for its legal fees.  (The $435 is to be taken from the legal budget).  Mrs. Demetracopoulos asked to have a letter sent to the County Commissioners expressing the Council’s wish that there would be an expedited and non-litigious conclusion to their issues.

2. On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to table action on the P & S with Avesta Housing until the first meeting in January 2014.  

3. Mr. Ellsworth stated that Berwick will be discussing/taking action on the Route 4 Policing Policy at their next meeting.  It will then come back to us for action.

New Business

1. On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to adopt the Maine Municipal Association Model General Assistance Ordinance and the updated Appendices, with  Appendix A effective July 1, 2013 and Appendices B-E effective October 30, 2013.

Council Member Comments

1. Mr. Abell:
-Stated that he was happy to be back in town after being away for most of the month.
-Commented that he will be happy when the paving is complete.
-Commented that he was able to attend the After Glow for Lantern Fest.  It is a very nice event and hopes it will continue.
-Made note that he will be seeking re-election in November.

2. Mr. Kareckas:
-Commented that the contractor did a nice job on Vine Street.  He is concerned however, about the configuration and potential drainage issues at the Aikman driveway.
-Expressed his concerns that some of the existing defects are being paved over without being fixed first.
-Received confirmation of the current paving schedule.  He expressed his displeasure with the delayed completion of the project.
-Announced that he will be running for re-election in November.
-The paving job on Ogunquit Road looks great.  The crew did a nice job.

3. Mr. Webster:
-Stated that “there is no place like home”; he just returned from driving his daughter to Louisiana for school.
-Made note that the Facilities Manager for Public Service will attend the September 10th meeting to discuss the Schiller Station.

4. Mrs. Demetracopoulos:
-Made note of the upcoming Pumpkinman Triathlon.
-Encouraged her fellow Councilors to join her on a canoe trip up the Salmon Falls River.

5. Mr. MacPherson:
-Commented that he is looking forward to the rumple strips on Route 4.


On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 8:30pm.


Barbara Bennett, CCM