Baileyville Town Council Meeting

By Gwen Clark

Baileyville town council met for a regularly scheduled monthly meeting on March 10th.  Council members in attendance were: Dick Gayton, Craig Croman, Jack Costello, Tim Call and Thurman Roberts via SKYPE.  Approval of the last meetings minutes were approved and also approval of the following warrants;  warrant #59 dated 02/27/2014 for $14,487.00; warrant #60 dated 03/06/2014 for $11,460.67; and warrant #61 dated 03/10/2014 for $41,259.21.  Previous to department head reports councilor Gayton inquired about the problem with the catch basin that had been worked on by the city in the Woodland Food Mart parking lot.  A brief discussion ensued and further research will be followed up on the property and basin itself.  The issue  is concerning who owns the parking lot , and whether the city is responsible for it.

  The department head reports  included monthly reports from the transfer station and public works and the fuel usage by all departments  public works have been kept busy with snow and clearing of the roadways.   The fire department reported  that the mutual aid departments were a tremendous help in getting control of the fire at Fulghum Fibres during their recent fire that consumed the building.   It was considered the largest structural fire that Baileyville has dealt with.  The Police Department reported  that Chief Fitzsimmons had received their "Report Card" from the State of Maine.  The report shows closures of cases.  The percentage of cases that were closed is at 57.1% for the year 2013 and was up from 41% in 2012.  The rate is above the rural average of 35.1%.   Woodland Recreation Department showed a variety of special interest activities, business activities, facility maintenance.  Elementary school recreation cheerleaders took second in the State Championship and took the Washington County Championship with Missy Campbell as their coach and were commended by recreation director  Mike Boies by the great job they did.  Pee Wee basketball and cheering programs are in full sessions at the elementary school as well as other spring programs and two jr. high basketball tournaments are scheduled over the next two weekends.  The code enforcement officer would review his report later in the meeting.   

  A discussion of the proposition of developing a position of sorts for the Assessing Agent for Baileyville similar to what Calais has in place but on a smaller scale.  The monthly report for the waste water treatment plant was presented from the environmental engineers.

Old business: 

A decision  to send the newer vehicle  and unpaid sewer bills to the new collection agency as they have been fairly successful in the collection of a majority of the bills. An ordinance and approval of posting the weight limit for spring to be placed on the South Princeton road. The approval with one against in returning the signed resolutions to the East Machias selectmen to support the Washington County  Jail and the Downeast Correctional facility.   The adoption of the same  penalty fees for violation of building codes in Baileyville as the State of Maine has, was approved.  Added to the agenda was the public hearing on a building condemnation.  The owner had been given the required amount of time in advance notice and had signed a receipt of that notice but did not appear for the hearing.  Actions were taken by the council to resolve that property situation.

New business: 

The discussion of personnel policy regarding  pay out of earned time at the time of separation of an employee.  It was noted that in the past some possible unfair pay out may have been approved by previous individuals in power. The sale of a paper street of a portion of Cumberland Street after checking it was not a portion of that particular street but another street that will be further checked into, as well as the personnel policy pay out. That particular issue was tabled until further research. The approval of write off taxes, interests and costs for sold tax acquired properties was pursued. A motion was made by Councilor Gayton to write off the taxes for three properties  as stated:  43 Mill Street for  $5,732.91 and 130 Main Street for $4,07.17  Croman seconded the motion.  Costello asked if the town had received payment from Woodland Pulp for the three properties and Town Manager Bronson  replied:  "$16,000 yes we already got paid."  The vote was carried.

  A public comment question arose as to the council's  and town manager's reaction to the Bangor Daily News  article concerning Eastport council choosing not to participate in the joint council meetings with Baileyville and Calais.  Councilor Call responded:  "Well, you see how I responded, its entirely up to them.  It sounds like a personal issue as far as I'm concerned between Calais and Eastport.  If down the road they want to come back to the table and join in that's fine.  I've said that if the council wants to move forward that they are really not going to hinder the project and the same with Princeton if they don't want to we're going to strike it forward and see where we end up."  Town manager Bronson stated: "I was at a meeting with a group of managers Friday here in the county and I can tell you  that the city manager from Eastport made it clear that he intends to talk with the city manager in Calais and  that he thinks the misunderstanding can be worked out.  He believes that the misunderstanding between Eastport and Calais involves school districts, ambulances and other things and not economic development  and as a result this can be sorted out."

The town managers report followed with comments how well the various Fire Departments worked together in handling the Fulghum Fibres fire; the suggestion for a community garden for the summer by Chief Fitzsimmons that the children as well as other community members can participate in ; possibly with the use of pallets so that no soil will be turned up.  Two sites discussed were beside the town offices and beside the elementary school.  A family deed like and variance before the transferring of property via a real estate transfer outside the family was a topic of discussion.  The lack of paperwork from the town office was in question although former employees do remember certain papers being filed with the town and they are nowhere to be found to date.  The town meeting /public hearing date for budget discussion was set for March 24 with a TIF meeting just prior to that meeting at 5:30.