Town Council Minutes 11/26/2013
South Berwick Town Council
November 26, 2013
Vice Chairman David H. Webster called the meeting to order at 6:45m. Councilors present included Jean Demetracopoulos, John C. Kareckas, and Russell H. Abell. Town Manager Perry Ellsworth was also in attendance. Gerald W. MacPherson, Sr. was not present.
Approval of Minutes
1. Council 11-12-13: On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.
Treasurer’s Warrant – Nov 12, 2013
On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant in the amount of $142,184.01.
1. Jonathan Zoba, Pond Rd, asked if the 3rd floor auditorium is available for public use. Mr. Ellsworth stated that it is and arrangements can be made with Bridget Pote.
Reports & Correspondence
1. Mr. Ellsworth read a letter from the MDOT regarding the work at the intersection of Route 236 and Vine Street. The State is trying to obtain information and concerns regarding any historic properties that may be affected.
Town Manager’s Report
-The shared Code Enforcement Officer contract is up in January. Berwick is currently reviewing the new proposed contract. There is an increase in the hourly rate charged to Berwick to cover benefits.
-The Professional Union has decertified. Arbitration should begin shortly for the Public Works Union.
-We have received a draft of the audit. Employees have done a great job on keeping expenditures down; and will be returning about $200,000 in unspent monies to the Undesignated Fund. The Fund balance will be approximately $2.5 million.
-The new General Assistance Administrator is working out well. Close to 50 holiday food baskets have been distributed in the last couple of days.
-Commended Fern Houliares (Deputy Treasurer) for getting a head start on preparing for the upcoming budget season.
-The Senior Center will be closed the rest of the week for the Thanksgiving Holiday. The Town Hall will be closed on Thursday and Friday.
-Asked the Council to consider holding a meeting on December 17th to go over his performance review. Consensus of the Council was to meet in executive session on December 3rd at 6:30pm.
1. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to amend section 140-26 Zoning Ordinance prohibiting Official Business Directional Signs from the downtown area after correcting several typo’s in the presented draft.
On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos it was unanimously voted to amend Table A of the Zoning Ordinance (incorporating the changes from 140-26) and include the new official business directional sign map.
2. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to hold a public hearing on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 6:30pm to receive comment on the application for a new liquor license for Rob Miller of On the Block Bistro.
3. No action taken. [The Tax Payment Application Policy was adopted and codified in January 2004. The Policy requires that any property tax payments received are applied to the oldest outstanding taxes first.]
4. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to approve the use of the Workfare Program, consistent with State law, for General Assistance.
5. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to reallocate the $250 expenditure (from the Historic District budget) for use toward promotional items for the Bicentennial instead of a sign.
Council Member Comments
1. Mrs. Demetracopoulos:
-Commented on the training that Firefighters go through; and is thankful for their willingness to spend their time training, even on weekends.
-Commented that the new FEMA maps are in and should be reviewed. She added that she did not believe any ordinance changes would be necessary.
2. Mr. Kareckas:
-Attended that Rally for the Balcony fundraiser at the Library. He added that they are getting close to their fundraising goal.
-Commented that he would be attending the double Eagle Scout ceremony on November 30th. He asked for Council consensus to recognize the Scouts for their achievements.
3. Mr. Abell:
-Thanked his father-in-law for attending the tonight’s meeting.
-Commented that he will also be attending the Eagle Scout ceremony.
4. Mr. Webster:
-Asked the Manager to have a tree at 91 Hooper Sands Road checked. The Manager stated that there are a number of trees at different locations that may need to come down.
-Clarified that sand for residents will be available at the Food Pantry parking lot. Sand may also be available at the Town Garage (when open).
-Made note of the Bicentennial Party at the Library in February.
Mr. Ellsworth made note that the Community Chorus would be performing on Sunday, December 8th at Marshwood High School.
On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 7:27pm.
Barbara Bennett, CCM