Scarborough council approves police contract, zoning changes
SCARBOROUGH — A midsummer night's council meeting Wednesday produced a new, three-year labor agreement with the Scarborough Police Benevolent Association.
Much of the rest of the meeting was given over to Town Planner Dan Bacon, who explained five zoning questions requiring council actions.
With Councilors Richard Sullivan and Karen D'Andrea not in attendance, the police contract extending through June 30, 2015, was unanimously approved.
Town Manager Tom Hall said negotiations required mediation before the agreement was reached.
"It has been a year in process. It was not easy, but we did get there," Hall said.
Scarborough Police Chief Robert Moulton said the contract has been approved by the union, which has more than 30 members extending through the ranks of sergeant.
Hall said the town was able to achieve three objectives by requiring union members to shift to a less-expensive health insurance plan provided by the Maine Municipal Association, capping reimbursements for tuition and book costs for officers attending college classes, and capping the town pension contribution at 12.2 percent to the Maine Public Employees Retirement System.
The pension contribution marks an increase from the 10 percent contributed in the past, but was made in exchange for a wage increase for the next fiscal year. Union members will receive a 2.5 percent wage increase and a 3 percent increase in the second and third years of the contract.
Union members had been reimbursed for 80 percent of book and tuition costs no matter how many classroom or online courses were taken. The reimbursements will now be limited to eight courses per semester based on costs at Husson College.
Councilors approved and enacted revisions to zoning ordinances in the industrial zone and pertaining to accessory or 'in-law" units at homes.
The revisions created new definitions and uses in the industrial zone, including for assembly, research and development, and food processing.
The revision for accessory units switched the commercial definition of floor area to "living space," because floor area is used for commercial zoning ordinances, Bacon said.
Three zoning measures to help define industrial, commercial and residential uses in Pine Point, and to redraw zoning lines off Scottow Hill and Two Rod roads, were forwarded to the Planning Board after a first reading.
In the Pine Point area, extending roughly from the railroad overpass to the town wharf and Grand Avenue, revisions include allowing marine sales and seafood processing in certain areas, creating an industrial overlay district near the western end of Pine Point.
The overlay district allows current uses for three businesses and an option to incorporate other uses in the future.
The residential zoning revisions around Scottow Hill Road were drafted in part to remedy zoning rural and farming borders that bisected individual properties, while allowing some property owners to develop land that has been protected in residential farming areas.
With passage on first reading, the three ordinances were forwarded to the Planning Board for additional hearings and revisions. Final versions will be recommended to the council for an another public hearing before a second vote.