Town Council Minutes 09/10/2013
South Berwick Town Council
September 10, 2013
Chairman Gerald W. MacPherson, Sr. called the meeting to order at 6:30pm. 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. Public Hearing – General Assistance 8-27-13: On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.
2. Council 8-27-13: Mr. Abell made a motion to adopt the minutes as written. Mr. Kareckas seconded the motion. On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to amend the minutes by inserting the word “since” in the second sentence under Reports #1 in front of the word January, including reference to the request to send a letter to the County Commissioners regarding the Council’s desire for an expedited and non-litigious conclusion to their issues under Unfinished Business #1, and to change the word “end” to “attend” in Council Comments by Mr. Abell regarding the After Glow for Lantern Fest. The original motion as amended passed unanimously.
Treasurer’s Warrant – Sep 10, 2013
On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant in the amount of $679,091.76.
Reports & Correspondence
1. Tom Harmon, Brad Christo, David Stansfield, and Fred Wildnauer, members of the Building Committee were present to report their preliminary findings in regard to the Police Department space assessment. Mr. Harmon explained that the current Police Station is inadequate and recommends that a Station be constructed at another location. Numerous options were discussed; the 4 highest ranking locations included the Community Center, Town Hall, “Day” property combined with Powderhouse Hill property, and the open fields west of Willow Drive. Council consensus was to hold a workshop.
2. Schiller Station (Portsmouth, NH) Manager Richard Despins addressed the Council in regard to Eliot’s Good Neighbor petition to the EPA. Mr. Despins explained that the Station operates in accordance with all local, state, and federal permits and laws. The Station meets its sulfur dioxide emission levels by burning low sulfur coal. In 2006 the Station also started burning wood, lowering its emissions by 30%; and in 2010 started burning cocoa shells (received locally from Lindt Chocolate) to further decrease emissions.
A lengthy discussion took place regarding the Station’s permit requirements and the differences between modeling projections and actual data to determine emission levels.
Mrs. Demetracopoulos commented that the information used by Eliot for their petition was derived from projection models; they did not actually take and measure air samples.
Town Manager’s Report
-Glad to see the road project wrapping up. He added that he has asked Jon St. Pierre to set up a meeting with the DOT to go over any remaining issues.
-The Brattle Street Bridge is the next project coming up. The State would like to close it completely for 2 weeks. The Fire Chief is opposed to it being closed for safety reasons, and it would be more difficult for traffic flow. Keeping one lane open would increase the project time to about 6 weeks. There is a meeting coming up.
-The Vine Street project is done. There are still water drainage issues.
-Informed everyone that he would be out of the office for a meeting on Thursday and will be taking time next week for vacation.
1. On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to sign the Municipal Assistance Compact for Police Protection with Berwick. (This agreement allows both towns to enforce traffic laws on Routes 4 and 236 without specific case-by-case requests).
2. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to table action on the execution of documents selling land to the Great Works Regional Land Trust until the next meeting. (The documents as presented had several discrepancies).
1. On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to accept the $1200 grant from the Strawberry Festival Committee for the Recreation Department to fund 5 sessions of the educational Granite State Zoo program.
2. Council consensus was that Adopt-A-Spot was an administrative task and agreed that it was ok for Isidore on the Rocks to landscape & maintain the area behind the restaurant.
3. On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to designate Perry Ellsworth as the voting delegate to the Maine Municipal Association Annual Business Meeting.
Council Member Comments
1. Mrs. Demetracopoulos:
-Suggested holding a workshop to discuss the downtown TIF. Mr. Ellsworth stated that he would ask Roberta to put together a timeline and task list.
-Questioned the status of the Business Directional Signs. The last action was a joint public hearing with the Planning Board, which did not have a quorum of members present. The ordinance was referred back to the Planning Board.
2. Mr. Webster:
-Commented that he saw the Chinese restaurant power washing equipment on the sidewalk. He asked the Manager to look into it.
-Commented that he had pushed for gravel on Railroad Ave (as part of the road construction project) and expressed his concern that now that the project is wrapping up the gravel work won’t be done. Mr. Ellsworth commented that several agreements were made but not followed through on. Mr. Ellsworth also stated that he will discuss the issues with the MDOT, but it may be a lost cause.
-Recommended that a workshop be held (with fire & rescue) to discuss if requiring house numbers is worthwhile. Mr. Ellsworth stated that he would do some research. The Clerk commented that an ordinance already exists.
3. Mr. Kareckas:
-Thanked the Manager and Public Works Director for their efforts throughout the road project.
-Commented that the recent Pumpkinman Triathlon was another great event for South Berwick.
4. Mr. Abell:
-Made note that the Cub Scouts would be holding the annual recruitment event on Friday, September 13th.
-Asked the Manager if any meeting dates had been set to discuss collaboration opportunities. Not yet.
On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to enter executive session at 8:24pm pursuant to 1MRSA §405.6D to discuss union negotiations.
On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to end the executive session at 9:10pm.
On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 9:10pm.
Barbara Bennett, CCM