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Dexter Town COUNCIL MINUTES OF OCTOBER 9, 2008 COUNCIL PRESENT: Roger Brawn, Fred Sherburne, Judy Craig, Rick Goodwin, Sherman Leighton, and Dean Thompson STAFF PRESENT: Dave Pearson, Shelley Watson, Marilyn Curtis, Mike Delaware, Jana Wood, Jean Jacobs, Liz Breault, Barry Deering and Art Roy The invocation was led by Pastor Lois Field followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Pearson explained that we were trying something new and that the camera in the back of the room was a live web cam. Ms. Craig added that one could go to the town’s web site and watch the meeting in action or watch it later as well. I. PUBLIC HEARING None II. MINUTES 1. Approve/Amend Minutes of September 11, 2008 Dean Thompson: Motion to approve Second: Judy Craig Vote: 6-0 in favor, motion passes. III. NOMINATIONS, APPOINTMENTS & ELECTIONS 1. Approve/Sign Warrant for November 4, 2008 Election Dean Thompson: Motion to approve Second: Rick Goodwin Vote: 6-0 in favor, motion passes 2. Order A2008-75 Office Closure BE IT ORDERED, that the Dexter Town Council hereby authorizes the closure of the municipal office on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 for the Presidential Election. Filed October 9, 2008 SHERMAN LEIGHTON Second Dean Thompson Mr. Pearson explained that this item is on the agenda at the request of the clerk as this is a big election and she would like all the clerks to work at the polls which has been done in the past. Mr. Pearson added that the General Assistance office, Code Office and Assessor’s office will remain open. Rick Goodwin asked what the clerks would be doing to which Ms. Watson answered they would be working and that it was too much for one person to maintain the office alone. Mr. Leighton agreed that it was too much for one person to handle. Vote: 6-0 in favor, motion passes. IV. UNFINISHED BUSINESS 1. Manager’s Report Mr. Pearson stated he had a number of items with the revaluation program being the most important. As of today the taxes have been committed and the tax bills will be sent out in a few days. Mr. Pearson added that the mil rate was set at 14.5 mils with a $75,000 overlay. The assessing company estimated they held 400 hearings and they had some problems with the phone lines which was frustrating for all of us. Any requests now for a change will be by an abatement form collected at the town office which will be taken down to Van Tuinen as they must defend their assessments for the next six months. If the resident is not happy with that process they may appeal the decision to the Board of Appeals. Mr. Pearson advised not to call the designated phone lines any longer but to get an abatement request form. The taxes have never been committed this late. Mr. Pearson commented that roller skating started and had 50 people in attendance with $150 made at the snack shack. Ella Munday added that they had 150 attend the teen dance the night before. Mr. Pearson informed the council that a resident has proposed holding a Halloween party at the Town Hall on the 31st as it is a Friday night and there 1 have been some concerns regarding candy alteration. The resident requested the town pay for the candy, but after consulting Andy there is no money in his budget for extras. Mr. Pearson informed the resident that the town would be happy to allow the use of the facility, but she should try to obtain donations for the candy. Mr. Pearson was pleased to announce the town received a donation to fix the town hall to meet the fire code and all renovations should be done before the election. A lease arrangement must be worked out for the use of the facility. Mr. Pearson added that he knew there were concerns when the wall was knocked out of an historical structure, but an escape door was necessary on the north side of the building to comply with the fire codes. Mr. Pearson announced that the council and the utility district met with a mediator regarding the boat launch at the picnic area and the mediator suggested the water district document the threat to the drinking water and the town search for an alternative site. Mr. Pearson was pleased that the town has located a preliminary site and the Department of Conservation representative is coming to approve the site. If the state likes the site and the seller is agreeable the state will appraise the land and the Land of Maine’s Future will pay the appraised amount, but if there is a shortage there may be a point where we come back to the council. Mr. Pearson stated he had no idea what would happen but he wanted to make the council aware of where they were. The project would still require planning board approval and state permits which is a long process. This compromise location is 9000’ from the intake. Mr. Pearson advised that he had talked with the town’s financial people as he was nervous but the town is in pretty good shape with $938,000 in reserve funds which are 100% government backed with a 1.97% interest rate which was cut by ½ % but as secure as anything can be. Mr. Pearson added that the town has $200,000 earning 2.24% interest which was not FDIC insured until 1 ½ weeks ago, but now is insured. The $200,000 county payment is due and the school bills the town monthly. Mr. Pearson was concerned with the Perpetual Care funds of $290,000 which are used to offset the costs of the cemetery which are in mutual funds and lost $20,000 last month which could affect the general fund. Mr. Pearson added that in the future he would like to have a nice breakdown and a visual power point presentation. Mr. Pearson praised Marilyn for getting out the financial reports, but as we know they are sometimes hard to understand as it is not a net budgetary. Mr. Pearson remarked that the weatherization group would be gathering in the council chambers at 8:00 AM Saturday to show residents how to install plastic to prevent heat loss. The road crew has their winter salt all hauled as they prefer to haul it in good weather to avoid moisture and freezing. Mr. Pearson announced that the town is now a member of Rapid renewal and residents can register their vehicles online. Mr. Goodwin asked how the property valuation could be reduced by $4 million and still have a 14.5 mil rate. Mr. Pearson answered that he tried to build in a cushion with a cautious overlay. Mr. Goodwin asked if residents with a question on their tax bills should come to the assessor. Mr. Pearson answered no that abatement forms would be available. Mr. Goodwin asked about the door at the town hall on the north side. Mike Delaware answered the door was donated. Mr. Pearson added that he was quoted $2500 to install the door and he approached the teen club for a donation to cover the costs and they gave the town $6,000 which makes the work all covered by donation. Mr. Leighton asked about the airport easements. Mr. Pearson answered that we could never find a deed granting the easement to the utility district for their sewer line that runs across the airport runway. The utility district hired Bill Webber and we may come back before the council for approval to bury the line underground. 2. Proposed Ordinance – Shoreland Zoning (tabled) Mr. Brawn commented that nothing had changed and the ordinance should remain on the table. Jana Wood added that the Planning Board discussed the lot sizes in the limited commercial zone and decided to have the lots remain the same and she wanted to make the council aware of that action so they could do what they wished in that realm. Ms. Wood continued that the next action the planning board would take would involve holding a public hearing to change 24 properties to wetlands in Resource Protection including Dunn Road, Pullen Road, Old Dover Road and Dover Road. Dean Thompson: Motion to leave the ordinance on the table. Second: Sherman Leighton Vote: 6-0 in favor, motion passes. V. NEW BUSINESS 1. Acknowledgement of Golf Course Volunteers 2 Mr. Pearson commented that volunteers do not get recognized enough and he was happy to recognize those volunteers that helped with the golf course project. Those recognized included: Ted Bryant, Ken Pooler, Ross Morancie, Don Swan, Don Swain, Ken Gardiner, Tony Mayo, Kasper Klausen, Dale Wright, Andy Bandola, Mike Dyer, Don Vosburgh, Jim-Bob Hartford, Ray Mountain, Gary Sawyer and Dick Bilodeau. Jim Costedio thanked the volunteers as well as Mike Delaware and his crew and Fred Banks. Mr. Costedio praised Paul Stiffler and felt he went way beyond the scope of the job requirements and gave the golf course a bang for its buck with all the extra work he did. Jim also thanked Judy Doore for obtaining the grant which made the whole project possible. Jim especially thanked Ted Bryant the “clerk of the works” aka “Mr. Dirt”, and the board of directors who kicked in an extra $900 for a shortfall as well as Ken Pooler who was at the course as much as Jim. Ted Bryant commented that Paul Stiffler was good to work with and did work another contractor would never have agreed to. 2. Proposed Ordinance – Internet Policy Mr. Pearson commented that Judy started this project and we all need to be made aware that emails are public records and employees need to be careful what sites they visit and that computers can be monitored if management felt there was a need. Mr. Pearson added that this is a basic policy. Dean Thompson: Motion to place the policy on next month’s agenda. Second: Judy Craig Vote: 6-0 in favor, motion passes. 3. Proposed Ordinance – General Assistance Guidelines Mr. Pearson explained that these guidelines come before the council every year as the state wide guidelines for assistance. Jean Jacobs added that the state increased the allowances using the fair market index for rent and electricity which went up $10 - $12 per person. Ms. Jacobs added that to change the state guidelines entailed quite a process and she was all for going with the standard amounts as they seemed fair for this area. Sherman Leighton: Motion to place ordinance on next month’s agenda. Second: Dean Thompson Vote: Unanimous in favor, motion passes. 4. Order A2008-77 Renewal of Malt, Spirituous & Vinous License for John Chappell dba The Watering Hole. BE IT ORDERED, that the Dexter Town Council hereby approves the Vinous, Spirituous and Malt Liquor License for John Chappell dba The Watering Hole. Filed October 11, 2008 DEAN THOMPSON Second Judy Craig Mr. Pearson stated that he checked with the Chief of Police regarding any complaints against the business and was told they had none. Vote: 6-0 in favor, motion passes. 5. Order A2008-78 Acceptance of Golf Cart Donation BE IT ORDERED, that the Dexter Town Council hereby votes to accept the donation of a golf cart from Joseph Edes in memory of his father James Edes. Filed October 9, 2008 FRED SHERBURNE Second Judy Craig Mr. Pearson explained that Jim Edes was an original founder of the golf course and commended this thoughtful gesture. Jim Costedio introduced Joseph Edes. Mr. Edes presented the golf course a plaque of an epitaph of a golfer. Mr. Edes added that when he was cleaning up the cart he found his father’s last score card. He passed away four days after he played his last game. Vote: 6-0 in favor, motion passes. 6. Order A2008-79 Donation 3 BE IT ORDERED, that the Dexter Town Council hereby accepts the donation of $6,000 from the Totally Teen Club to be used at the Town Hall for Fire Code renovations. Filed October 9, 2008 SHERMAN LEIGHTON Second Judy Craig Mr. Pearson commented that the teen club has been defunct for a few years but they donated the funds to bring the building up to fire codes. Vote: 6-0 in favor, motion passes. 7. Order A2008-80 United Way Donation BE IT ORDERED, that the Dexter Town Council hereby accepts the donation of $2,500 from the Dexter Regional Development Corporation and United Way of Maine to be used for the Weatherization fund to assist residents in winterizing their homes. Filed October 9, 2008 JUDY CRAIG Second Sherman Leighton Mr. Pearson commented that he liked these kinds of orders. Last year the town had a “Warm Your Neighbor Fund” and this year we have a “Weatherization Fund” for plastic kits with your consent this donation will go directly into that fund. Vote: 6-0 in favor, motion passes. 8. Approve/Sign Treasurer’s Warrants Rick Goodwin: Motion to approve Second: Dean Thompson Vote: 6-0 in favor, so done. VI. PUBLIC FORUM Melvin Wyman asked if the revaluation was at 100% of the sale value. Mr. Pearson answered that was the goal. Mr. Wyman asked what would happen if the sale was higher than the value. Mr. Pearson stated that if the sales ratio study of sales goes down the percentage would go down. Mr. Pearson added that several properties sold the last few years and after looking on the web site the differences of sold properties and the values had quite a few undervalued which concerned him. Mr. Pearson reported that he needed to learn the revaluation team’s system. Mr. Wyman commented that land values on the main drags like Route 7 and Main Street were quite a bit more than those on streets like Pine Street with Spring Street having the higher values which didn’t seem fair to him. Mr. Pearson answered that the commercial properties didn’t have very good sales which lowered the values. Mr. Goodwin asked how the mil rate could remain at 14.5 if the town lost $4 million in valuation. Mr. Pearson stated that was the amount of adjustments made during the hearings. Mr. Goodwin asked if that meant we would take in less. Mr. Pearson answered yes. Mr. Goodwin couldn’t understand how the town could maintain the 14.5 mil rate. Mr. Pearson answered that the numbers he gave last month were conservative as he knew the numbers were not 100% right. Mr. Leighton asked if the new windows had been installed. Mr. Pearson stated yes. Mr. Leighton asked about the security cameras at the fire station. Barry Deering answered that the cameras had been ordered. Mr. Pearson added that the insurance claim on the golf course was denied. Mr. Deering commented that the fire department members changed the combination locks on the doors and replaced 2 rotted doors and the cameras are on order. Mr. Leighton stated that he has had several residents ask what the Council was doing about advertising for a town manager. Mr. Leighton requested the Council advertise in house before going public. Mr. Brawn stated it was up to the Council. Mr. Leighton asked how to proceed and if the item would be placed on next month’s agenda. Mr. Brawn answered that could be done. VII. EXECUTIVE SESSION 1. Poverty Abatement Request 4 Dean Thompson: Motion to adjourn to executive session for a poverty abatement request per 1 MRSA Sec 405 (6) (F) Second: Sherman Leighton Vote: All in favor at approximately 8:10 PM **Rick Goodwin: Motion to come out of executive session Second: Judy Craig Vote: All in favor Rick Goodwin: Motion to abate taxes for the 2006 year only Second: Sherman Leighton Vote: 6-0 in favor, motion passes. Dean Thompson: Motion to adjourn Second: Sherman Leighton So done.** **As presented by Dave Pearson Respectfully submitted, Shelley L. Watson Council Secretary 5
"Dexter Town COUNCIL MINUTES OF OCTOBER 9_ 2008"