MINUTES JANUARY 8, 2009

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MINUTES JANUARY 8, 2009

Post by C on Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:36 pm

SELECTMEN’S MEETING MINUTES
JANUARY 8, 2009
7:00 P.M.

1. Meeting called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman J. Arthur Boivin

2. All present pledged allegiance to the American Flag

3. Approval of Minutes from the Selectmen’s Meetings of December 18, 2008 and December 31, 2008

Mr. Belanger made a motion to approve the Minutes from the Selectmen’s Meetings of December 18, 2008 and December 31, 2008. Vote: 5-0

4. REPORTS

A. SELECTMEN’S REPORT

Mr. Cameron asked if the stairwell should be lit when a meeting is in session in the Auditorium.

Mr. Cameron asked if the Charter had been completed to bring it up to date since the election six months ago. The Town Manager reported that the Town Clerk may need to get some help to complete this project.

Mr. Cameron thanked whoever was responsible for shoveling out the fire hydrants, which have been done much more efficiently this year.

Mr. Cameron expressed his concern for the employees who have temporarily lost their jobs at New Page.

Mr. Cameron stated that a citizen asked him about changing the stop sign on Canal Street by the video store now that River Street has been discontinued.

Mr. Adley asked the status on the Waldo Street properties as a Court Hearing was held today regarding eviction of tenants. The Town Manager reported that we have tried to be compassionate with the tenants. Our Attorney gave the third floor residents a little more time to move. All the residents have agreed to move out by February 1, 2009.

Mr. Adley asked if we have become involved in the Presidential initiative on infrastructure that is available for shovel ready projects, such as the work being completed on Hancock Street. The Town Manager will look into this opportunity.

Mr. Adley reported that he worked a saturation patrol with the Police Department this weekend. Chief Stacy Carter was working the patrol with our Police Officers and Mr. Adley gave him accolades for being a “working” Police Chief.

Mr. Belanger had nothing to report.

Mr. DiConzo was concerned about misconceptions regarding the regionalization efforts of the Board. The Town of Rumford is still on board with this concept, he stated; unfortunately, we did not have many step forward after advertising for committee members.

Mr. DiConzo thanked the Town Manager for his letter to the editor this week regarding a suggested municipal resolution. Mr. DiConzo shared his opinion on the matter of blogging and his hope that people will keep the resolution in mind for the good of our town.

Mr. DiConzo stated that when he was on the Finance Committee he got involved with the departments to find out how they operated and rode with the Police Department on their patrol. He encouraged others to do the same so that a better decision can be made for the safety of our citizens. He encouraged citizens to get involved and get the facts when making decisions.

Mr. Boivin reported on the meeting that was held recently regarding the possible closing of the Rumford District Court.

Mr. Boivin attended the ribbon cutting at Region 9’s Open House and commented that we have a very good facility here.

B. TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

The Town Manager reported that he would like to start the budget process with a strategic set of facts. He has sent separate letters to the Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee and Department Heads that outline the process for this year. The Town Manager will submit guidelines for the budget process this year based on the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee’s feedback.

The Town Manager recently sent a letter to all employees, board and committee members with a suggested municipal resolution. Mr. Greaney asked that people state their opinions in an agreeable manner that is based on facts, whether positive or negative.

The Town Manager stated that he sensed regionalization efforts have had some negative vibes in moving forward and that it could be a matter of timing.

Regarding the Rumford District Court potential closing, Mr. Greaney would like to state our claim to our legislators to have them consider all the potential outcomes that could affect costs for municipalities and justice served for citizens who need the services of the Court.

C. DEPARTMENT MANAGER REPORTS (as necessary):

No reports were scheduled.

5. REQUESTS OF CITIZENS PRESENT

Kevin Saisi requested that the Board share with the citizens any impending changes coming from the NewPage paper mill. The Board had no official response.

Richard Scagliola, a member of the Strathglass Park Owners Association, asked that the Public Works Department use their expertise in the installation of the mirror near the park for the safety of residents accessing Maine Avenue.

Rick Greene asked that the Fire Department have the skills, equipment and manpower to do their jobs effectively. As a resident of the town he wants the Fire and Police Departments to be able to protect the life and property of the residents in the town.

6. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

None

7. NEW BUSINESS

A. Approval of Town Warrant dated January 9, 2009

Mr. Belanger made a motion to approve the Town Warrant dated January 9, 2009. Vote: 4-0-1, Mr. Adley abstained.

B. Appointment of Warden and Deputy Warden for Election of January 15, 2009

Mr. Adley made a motion to appoint Frank DiConzo as the Warden. Vote: 4-0-1, Mr. DiConzo abstained.

Mr. Belanger made a motion to appoint Robert Cameron as the Deputy Warden. Vote: 4-0-1, Mr. Cameron abstained.

C. Approval of Resolution for CDBG 2009 Housing Grant

Mr. Belanger made a motion to approve the resolution for the CDBG 2009 Housing Grant. Vote: 5-0

Town Manager Greaney stated that the matching funds are available in our Economic Development Account.

D. Snow Removal Process and Priorities

The Town Manager reported receiving several calls from citizens concerned about the safety of children walking on the roadways because the sidewalks had not been cleared. The Town Manager has given the Public Works Department permission to move around on the priority list so that they can take care of the sidewalks in an improved way. Another concern is the time that it takes to clear The Island. Public Works foreman, Buddy Tidswell, would like to use larger vehicles to remove the snow more efficiently from the business district. The Town Manager will also contact the Department of Environmental Protection to seek permission to remove the snow from River Street and Canal Street directly into the waterways as in his interpretation of State law is allowed. Congress Street will still be cleared with snow carried by truck from The Island.

Police Chief Stacy Carter addressed the concerns and problems of not enforcing the state law and town ordinance regarding snow remaining on public ways. Part of the reason that Public Works is having difficulty getting to their priorities is because they are taking care of everyone else’s snow. To address this situation, a public notice was placed in the newspaper to inform citizens that the Police Department will be enforcing the state law and town ordinance that does not allow snow to be placed in public ways. The fine under state law for this offense is $165. The town ordinance allows the police department to charge violators for snow removal which could turn out to be more costly than the $165 ticket. The Police Department is looking for voluntary compliance; they would prefer not to ticket if possible.

Jim Barnett stated that he plows 29 places including his business and shared his opinion on the snow removal process.

Mr. Cameron wanted Franklin Street and Lincoln Avenue to remain the top priorities so that access is open to the hospital. Mr. Cameron stated that in the rural area where he lives, the lane of traffic was only 3 feet wide in one area because a person was plowing snow into the road. The Town ended up having to remove that snow with a bucket loader and that is not the town’s responsibility, he stated.

Kelly Gorham suggested that the Public Works Department use a sidewalk snow blower rather than the sidewalk plow such as is used in the City of Auburn to make the job more efficient. He suggested demonstrating some machines this year for possible purchase in next year’s budget.

Kevin Saisi asked if there was a process in place to permit the police to stop parking along the streets until snow removal is completed, so that our primary streets are clear for travel.

Mike Mills reported that he got a letter from the Town Manager regarding the state law and town ordinances that was addressed to snow plowing businesses. He stated that he was never informed by anyone about not plowing snow along the street. He stated that the town will have a lawsuit if he is ticketed because he has no other place to put the snow other than the snow bankings.

Mr. Cameron asked who the responsible party is in the removal of snow if it is not done properly. Chief Carter answered that it is the person who has placed the snow there.

Mr. Mills mentioned that the use of 10-wheelers was done 50 years ago.

Mr. Mills asked for fairness in private contractors hauling snow to the snow dumps.

Connie Lang, a resident on Franklin Street, suggested that parking be allowed on only one side of the street after a storm so that the grader will not have to go around the parked cars on each side. She asked what she should do with her snow as she has no place to put it.

Selectmen DiConzo stated that we should allow our police department some discretion in enforcement.

Police Chief Carter stated that they will use discretion and try to work with people to comply voluntarily.

Mr. Cameron asked if the town blows snow onto peoples lawns. In the rural areas all the snow goes on peoples lawns.

Mr. Adley made a motion to allow Donna Thomas, a non-resident, to speak. Vote: 5-0

Ms. Thomas stated that she has apartment buildings on Cumberland Street that her husband plows. He was clearing the sidewalks and pushed up to the pile by Mr. Barnett’s store to clear the sidewalks to help the children in the area. He will need to do things differently, she stated.

Mr. Cameron asked if we need to investigate the purchase of a snow melter. The Town Manager stated the cost is $250,000 and the DEP is not in favor of using that process.

E. Apartment Building Inspections

Mr. Belanger made a motion to allow Gary Wentzell, a non-resident, to speak. Vote: 5-0

Fire Chief Gary Wentzell gave an update on the apartment building inspection process.
Jim Barnett also shared his concerns and opinions.

Mr. Cameron made a motion to allow Calvin Burgess, a non-resident, to speak. Vote: 5-0

Mr. Burgess stated that he is a member of RUMMEX which has over 40 members including 3,000 members statewide. He stated that single family homes carry the most fire dangers at 65% and rather than singling out apartment buildings, we should be inspecting single family homes at the same time.

Mr. Adley proposed writing our own common sense codes to follow.

Mr. Cameron stated that the townspeople voted on this process and if anyone wants to change it, it must come back before the voters.

Mr. Belanger suggested that we not stop the process, continuing to check on egress and life safety issues and come June we could have this vote rescinded and possibly adopt something that makes more common sense. Mr. Adley and Mr. Cameron agreed.

Mr. Belanger made a motion to continue the inspections as the Fire Chief determines and re-visit rescinding the code book. Vote: 5-0

Fire Chief Wentzell stated that the 2009 NFPA Code Book is out now; even if a code has never been officially adopted, we can still use the code book in the inspection process. Mr. Wentzell stated that he does not agree with the 65% statistic that was quoted earlier and does not believe that we can go into private homes and perform inspections because of the legalities involved. Chief Wentzell stated his main concern is commercial buildings where people sleep that must have early notification with hard wired smoke detectors and second exits.

F. Request for Permitting Software from Code Enforcement Officer

This item was tabled as the Code Enforcement Officer was not present.

G. Emergency Medical Services for Rumford Citizens (RFD and Med-Care)

The Town Manager stated that he has spoken to the Fire Chief, Dean Milligan of Med-Care and board members and more work needs to be done regarding making a recommendation on re-instituting EMS capability within the Fire Department. He believes that we should continue with the meetings and have a recommendation ready for the next meeting.

H. Approval of Application for Liquor License from King Wok

Mr. DiConzo stated that King Wok was given a provisional approval that requires compliance with outstanding violations within 30 days according to Fire Chief Wentzell.

Mr. DiConzo made a motion to approve the application for a Liquor License for King Wok (provisional). Vote: 5-0

Judy O’Neil asked to comment on item G on the Agenda. Chairman Boivin did not allow her to speak on this item.

I. Approval of No Parking Sign on Knox Street

Mr. Belanger requested that no parking signs be replaced on the middle section of Knox Street that had been removed when the street had been redone.

Mr. Cameron made a motion to approve the replacement of the no parking signs. Vote: 5-0

J. Appointment of Maine Service Centers Coalition Representative and Alternate

This item was tabled until the next meeting.

K. Request to Waive Evening Hours from Voter Registrar

Mr. Belanger made a motion to approve the request from the Voter Registrar. Vote: 5-0

8. Executive Session pursuant to 1 MRS §405 (6)(A) regarding a personnel matter with the Town Manager, Town Attorney, Public Works Superintendent and Public Works Superintendent’s Attorney

Mr. Belanger made a motion to go into Executive Session at 9:10 p.m. pursuant to 1 MRS §405 (6)(A) regarding a personnel matter with the Town Manager, Town Attorney, Public Works Superintendent and Public Works Superintendent’s Attorney. Vote: 5-0

The Board met in Executive Session in the Jury Room.

The Chairman declared the Board out of Executive Session at 10:54 p.m.

9. Adjournment
Mr. Belanger made a motion to adjourn at 10:55 p.m. Vote: 5-0



Leonard P. Greaney
Town Manager
LPG/tp

C
Admin

Number of posts : 707
Registration date : 2008-05-24
Location : Rumford, ME

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