Town Council Minutes 10/14/2014
South Berwick Town Council
October 14, 2014
Chairman Gerald W. MacPherson, Sr. called the meeting to order at 6:45pm. 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. Council 9-23-14: On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.
1. On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant dated October 9, 2014 in the amount of $1,856,031.85. This warrant includes the monthly school payment, payments for grant projects, capital improvement projects, four bond payments, and our portion of the new fire truck.
Town Manager’s Report
-Provided the Councilors with invitations to the Unitil Annual Meeting.
-Provided the Councilors with emergency reporting information from Comcast.
-The Shorey’s Brook Bridge work is done except the guardrails. Our cost is under $160,000.
-Met with the interested parties regarding the Vine Street Bridge. The State is scheduled to remove the bridge in 2017. He is currently trying to arrange a meeting with the State, the dam owner, and interested parties to go over the possible scenarios for the bridge.
-Avesta is in the bid process and should have them back by the end of the month. Our bid requests for the parking lot and utilities have gone out.
-All of the Seacoast Energy Initiative Grant projects are complete. The remaining $14,000+ will be used at the Town Hall for LED lighting and some of the Manager’s time.
-Tentatively scheduled a workshop on Tuesday, October 21st to discuss roads.
-Asked that his performance evaluation be done on October 30th.
-The new Parking Committee held its first meeting. The intent is to meet every two weeks.
-Informed the Council that an individual has expressed desire to run a write-in campaign for one of the Council seats.
-The annual audit will take place at the end of the month. We are under budget.
-Will be out for the rest of the week.
1. The Council discussed fireworks and the possible implementation of a moratorium. The moratorium would provide the Council with a “cooling off period”, (as stated by Mr. Kareckas). It was agreed amongst the Council that more information is needed. Not all Councilors were in favor of a moratorium.
On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to authorize the Town Manager to seek a legal review of the proposed moratorium language dated October 12, 2014 as presented (by Mr. Kareckas).
1. On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to change the meeting date of Tuesday, November 11th to Monday, November 10th to accommodate the Veterans’ Day holiday.
2. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant calling the municipal election on November 4, 2014.
3. A: On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to write-off the uncollectable Personal Property taxes for Pepperland Café, Acct #P0020P, in the amounts of $815.48 for 2012/2013 and $871.13 for 2013/2014.
B: On a motion by a Mr. Webster, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to write-off the uncollectible Personal Property taxes for Bit’O Green-Baker, Acct #B2143P, in the amounts of $113.25 for 2010/2011, $116.25 for 2011/2012, $121.13 for 2012/2013, and $129.38 for 2013/2014.
C: On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to write-off the uncollectible Personal Property taxes for Stained Images Glass Studio in the amount of $21 for 2012/2013.
4. On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to authorize the Town Manager to purchase a 2015 Ford Police Interceptor from Quirk Ford in the amount of $25,219 and to expend up to $15,500 for the new Interceptor setup costs. (Lights, radio, etc.)
Council Member Comments
1. Mr. Webster:
-Made note of the graffiti in the alleyway at the pharmacy. Mr. Ellsworth stated that he would speak with the property owner; it will be taken care of.
-Commented that it was nice to have fellow Councilor Abell also run in the Eliot Festival Race.
2. Mr. Kareckas:
-Commented that it was unfortunate that the open MIC night at the Library is not working out.
-Commented that the Planning Board should be at the October 21st roads workshop.
-Commented on the flashing sign at the high school. He asked, “Is it what we want for the town?”
-Commented that the highway crew did a great job on the Shorey’s Brook culvert project.
-Suggested that a podium for speakers at the Council meetings might be helpful.
3. Mr. Abell:
-Noted that he will not be able to attend the workshop on October 21st.
-Reminded everyone of the Marshwood Education Foundation annual fundraiser at the Links on Friday, October 17th.
4. Mr. MacPherson:
-Made note that the Masonic Lodge is having an open house on October 18th from 9am-3pm. There will be informational presentations.
On a motion by Mr. Webster, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 8:05pm.
Barbara Bennett, CCM