Town Council Minutes 12/10/2013
South Berwick Town Council
December 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 – Zoning 11-26-13: On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.
2. Council 11-26-13: On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes after correcting the typo in Public Comments by changing Bridge to Bridget (as noted by Mrs. Demetracopoulos).
3. Special Council 12-03-13: On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to adopt the minutes as written.
Treasurer’s Warrant – Dec 10, 2013
On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to sign the warrant in the amount of $837,630.95. Mrs. Demetracopoulos made note that this warrant includes a one-time payment to the County for Its fiscal year change.
1. George Muller, Portland St, stated that he had spoken with the Police Chief in regard to vehicles passing on the right (in the breakdown/parking lane) and the potential for an ordinance change prohibiting it.
Reports & Correspondence
1. Michael Morrison of Swamp Inc. was present to give the Council an overview of what his company does. The focus is on disease suppression by trapping and testing mosquitoes, then treating the area based on the tests. Swamp Inc. also provides tick management programs. Costs vary with the type of program agreed upon.
Town Manager’s Report
-Commented that the highway crew has done a good job through the recent small storms.
-Will be meeting with MDOT this week to go over the plowing/sanding routine for Routes 4 & 236.
1. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to authorize the Town Manager to sign the agreement with the Community Chorus for storage space at the library.
2. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to authorize the Manager to sign the extension of the land Purchase & Sale Agreement (item #3 Closing) with Great Works Regional Land Trust until January 15, 2014. [Map 2, Lots 37, 39, & 39A].
3. On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to accept the report from the Building Committee dated November 2013 regarding the Police Station Space & Location Assessment.
Mr. Kareckas made note that the Council’s intentions are not to displace any group or activity. If the Community Center were converted to a Police Station, senior and recreation activities would be given a new home.
1. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mr. Webster, it was unanimously voted to cancel the meeting scheduled for December 24th.
2. The Council briefly discussed the request from Rob Mill for a new liquor license. Mrs. Demetracopoulos expressed concern that the Bistro could turn into an agency liquor store. Mr. Miller stated that he will not be serving or selling hard liquor at the Bistro; his license will be for wine and beer only.
On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to approve the liquor license application for On the Block Bistro.
3. On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Abell, it was unanimously voted to approve the liquor license for Fogarty’s Restaurant.
4. On a motion by Mr. Kareckas, seconded by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, it was unanimously voted to authorize the Town Manager to move forward the with purchase of a 2014 Police Interceptor Cruiser from Irwin Motors for $24,325.
Mr. Ellsworth made note that the final cost of the new cruiser would be close to $39,000 after it is outfitted with the new gear such as lights and tough book computer; funds are available in the capital budget.
5. On a motion by Mr. Abell, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to authorize the Chairman to sign the agreement with Berwick for shared Code Enforcement and Plumbing Inspector services through June 30, 2015.
Mr. Ellsworth made note that the term of the agreement has been adjusted to fit both Towns’ fiscal year.
Council Member Comments
1. Mr. Abell:
-Commented that he and his family were able to enjoy the Home for the Holiday’s celebration.
-Asked Council to consider going to paperless packets to increase efficiencies and cost savings.
-Expressed his concerns with making the General Assistance Workfare Program mandatory. Making it optional with incentives may be a better approach; especially for those that may be unable to participate. He commented that a mandatory program could deter some people from applying because they may be questioned by other residents about their status with the Town.
2. Mr. Kareckas:
-Asked the Manager to research the laws regarding passing on the right.
-Commented that the Chorus put on a good concert on Sunday. And, Home for the Holidays was another nice event for families to enjoy.
-Confirmed the meeting at the library with the Librarian, Advisory Board, Friends, and Finance Director will be January 7th at 6:30pm.
-Questioned the Computer Budget (4125) at 55%. Mr. Ellsworth stated that before Roberta left we replaced three computers.
3. Mr. Webster:
-Thanked everyone for supporting the Community Chorus.
4. Mrs. Demetracopoulos:
-Asked the Manager if there had been any resolution to the issues between the County Commissioners and the County Budget Committee. Mr. Ellsworth stated that he was not sure, but would make inquiries.
5. Mr. MacPherson:
-Read a note from Robin Kerr thanking the Council for appropriating money from the sale of lands toward the funding of the Mt. Agamenticus Conservation Region efforts.
-Made note of the meeting at 8:00am in Eliot with SAD 35 and Eliot Selectmen.
-Wished Perry Ellsworth happy birthday.
Merry Christmas wishes to all.
On a motion by Mrs. Demetracopoulos, seconded by Mr. Kareckas, it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 7:24pm.
Barbara Bennett, CCM