Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
April 4, 2019

Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and John Melrose

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Billy & Roxanne Pullen, Mike Vashon, Don Breton, Mike Poulin, a few other unknown members of the public, and Mary Grow (6:20)

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Titus at 6:00 p.m.

2. Minutes – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 3/21/19 meeting as written.

3. Solar array article – Sabins distributed copies of proposed solar array articles as collected and drafted by Selectman Melrose, which had been reviewed earlier by the Town Attorney. Selectman Melrose stated he was interested in putting an article in the Town Meeting Warrant to learn the level of support from the voters for a solar project in town. The Board discussed the articles and read the response from the attorney, who recommended a slight revision to Selectman Melrose’s article. After discussion and on a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to include the solar article in this year’s town meeting warrant as amended. The article will read as follows: “To see if the voters of the Town of Vassalboro will vote to authorize the Vassalboro Select Board to negotiate and to enter into a long-term, multi-year lease with a private company or companies to install a solar array, and associated equipment, or like utility(ies), on land owned by the Town upon such terms and conditions as the Board determines to be in the best interests of the Town provided the agreement yields annual net electrical cost savings to the Town and incorporates the option for a lease buyout. The array output should be sufficient, at a minimum, to cover the annual electric demand of the Town Office, both fire stations, the Library, and the Vassalboro Historical Society at the former East Vassalboro School.”

4. Riverside Fire Station article – It was noted that two bids for the metal roof replacement have been received and opened. The low bidder was C.O. Beck in the amount of $27,535. This bid amount is higher than what is currently planned in the budget. After discussion, and on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to increase the proposed budget amount for the metal roof project by $5,000.

Discussion was then given about the article to acquire Riverside Fire Station from the Riverside Hose Company (RHC). The RHC members present at the meeting stated they would prefer not to have a 99-year lease agreement in the article. Instead, they would prefer to rewrite the current maintenance and operations agreement now in place for the North Fire Station to include the Riverside Fire Station. The Board asked Sabins to inquire of the town attorney if a lease component is required in the article.
RHC member Mike Vashon stated that the furnace at the North Fire Station has been leaking, so he sought an estimate for replacement costs while repairs were being conducted. The estimated cost for replacement is $17K. J. Melrose suggested the option of installing heat pumps instead of a furnace should be investigated. Discussion ensued, but no action taken at this time.

5. Transfer Station layout – J. Melrose suggested appointing a working group to establish the parameters for a potential new transfer station entrance and layout. Melrose stated that he felt the town PW crew could do the work, as the proposed change in driveway location is no more complicated than the work the PW team accomplished at the Reynolds Road intersection. His main objective in making a change is public safety by avoiding traffic backup. J. Melrose stated he would put the scope of work for the working group in writing. The Board agreed by consensus to form the working group, and Melrose stated he would work with Sabins to create an outline.

6. Sidewalks in the North Village area – Chairman Titus explained that this topic was addressed at a previous meeting, but no decision made at that time. Board wanted to revisit the topic again after time and consideration. At issue is the requirement of MDOT for the Town to maintain and clear sidewalks in all seasons, once the sidewalks are re-installed in the North Village area. Sidewalk winter maintenance has the potential to add to budget costs and is a concern. Melrose stated that while winter maintenance is required by written agreement, no one from MDOT monitors if sidewalks are plowed. Even though the State could plow the sidewalks and then bill the town for the work, it is never done. The Selectmen discussed with members of the audience the pros and cons of retaining sidewalks versus eliminating them. After discussion, and on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted two in favor, and one abstention (R. Browne) to execute an agreement with MDOT to accept sidewalks in North Vassalboro during the Rt. #32 reconstruction project. The Town will cross the maintenance question bridge in the future, should it become an issue.

7. Reports – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Road and Police reports as presented.

8. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #56 and #57.

9. Other1. The Board circulated and signed a card of congratulations for Victor Esposito who will be recognized by the Chamber of Commerce in a few weeks. 2. Several members of the Board of Selectmen plan to attend a Veterans’ remembrance event on Monday, April 15th at St. Bridget Center. No Town business will be discussed. 3. The Board had continued extended discussion with members of the public in attendance about their concerns with the proposed sewer rate increases. 4. The Board approved changing the theme of the town report to a history of the school educational system in town. The Bicentennial theme will be used for future town reports in the next year or two.

10. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 7:05 p.m. with a Budget Committee Meeting to follow immediately after adjournment.
/mss

These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 4/18/19 with the following amendments:

John Melrose requested the following corrections and amendments:

5. Transfer Station layout – J. Melrose suggested appointing a working group to establish the parameters for a potential new transfer station entrance and layout. Melrose stated that he felt the town PW crew could do the work, as the proposed change in driveway location is no more complicated than the work the PW team accomplished at the Reynolds Road intersection. His main objective in making a change is public safety and to by avoiding vehicles backing up to tip their trash traffic backup. J. Melrose stated he would put the scope of work for the working group in writing. The Board agreed by consensus to form the working group, and Melrose stated he would work with Sabins to create an outline.

6. Sidewalks in the North Village area – Chairman Titus explained that this topic was addressed at a previous meeting, but no decision made at that time. Board wanted to revisit the topic again after time and consideration. At issue is the requirement of MDOT for the Town to maintain and clear sidewalks in all seasons, once the sidewalks are re-installed in the North Village area. Sidewalk winter maintenance has the potential to add to budget costs and is a concern. Melrose stated that while winter maintenance is required by written agreement, no one from MDOT monitors if sidewalks are plowed. Even though the State could plow the sidewalks and then bill the town for the work, it is never done. The Selectmen discussed with members of the audience the pros and cons of retaining sidewalks versus eliminating them. After discussion, and on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted two in favor, and one abstention (R. Browne) to execute an agreement with MDOT to accept sidewalks in North Vassalboro during the Rt. #32 reconstruction project. The Town will cross the maintenance question bridge in the future, should it become an issue.