Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
April 15, 2021

Members Present: Rob Browne, John Melrose, and Barbara Redmond

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Mike Poulin, and Melissa Olson.

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman John Melrose at 6:30 pm.

2. Minutes – On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 4/1/21 meeting as written.

3. Town Meeting Warrant Articles – The Board reviewed a newly revised draft of the warrant articles that was distributed by Sabins. After discussion and on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to amend Article 11 to the following language: To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Selectmen to expend Transfer Station Reserve funds up to $156,000 to provide up to two operational trash compactors and such other improvements at the transfer station facility as the Board of Selectmen deem necessary.  (The balance of the transfer station reserve is estimated to be approximately $156K). Other warrant articles were briefly discussed, but no other changes were made. The final warrant will be signed at the next Board meeting. It was also noted that an estimate has been received from a vendor who proposed installing two new compactors at the transfer station.

4. Recap of MDOT meeting regarding paving in the North Village area – Chairman Melrose reviewed the Maine Department of Transportation’s (MaineDOT) plan a few years ago to conduct a large reconstruction project of Route #32 from China to Winslow, but delayed the project due to the Vassalboro Sanitary District sewer main project on Rt. #32 that tore up the highway and took a few years to complete. The funding for that large reconstruction project is no longer in place. Instead, MaineDOT now plans to put down a less-costly skim coat of hot top in the summer of 2021. J. Melrose discussed the meeting that he, Sabins, and PW Director Gene Field had recently attended with MaineDOT representatives regarding the drainage and sidewalk improvements needed in the North Village area before pavement is laid. As a result of the discussion, MaineDOT representatives will meet with Ray Breton to investigate and learn what Ray knows about the ongoing drainage problems in the North Village area. J. Melrose also told how the options for sidewalk maintenance or replacement in the North Village area were discussed at length. It is estimated by MaineDOT that it would cost approximately $400K to place new sidewalks with granite curbing on both sides of the road. The use of slip form curbing made of concrete instead of granite would be cheaper, about half the price. Currently, sidewalks are only on one side of the road. It is unclear at this point if a sidewalk on both sides of the road would be required or if additional savings could be realized by refurbishing just the one sidewalk now in place. J. Melrose described an idea that PW Director Gene Field had to reclaim the top of the existing sidewalk, reset the curbing, and resurface the existing sidewalk. After discussion by the Board Members on this topic, no formal action was taken at this time.

5. Land use agreement with Kennebec Water District – Chairman Melrose reported to the Board that the Kennebec Water District Trustees have approved the final draft of the land use agreement last reviewed by Town Attorney Kristin Collins. The agreement grants permission to the Town of Vassalboro to locate, construct, and maintain a hiking trail across a portion of Kennebec Water District property (tax map 11, lot 21) to connect with trails in the Vassalboro Town Forest (tax map 11, lot 13) to allow for non-motorized public recreational use of the trail to include walking, cycling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing and would provide access to a scenic view of Red Brook. On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to authorize Town Manager Sabins to sign the land use agreement with Kennebec Water District as approved by the Town Attorney. As for the name of the trail, Chairman John Melrose suggested the name of “Red Brook Trail” and he provided a mocked-up sample of the trail sign. The other Board members approved by consensus the name of the trail and the trail sign design as proposed by Chairman Melrose. Board Chairman John Melrose also serves as the Chair of the town Trails Committee.

6. Reports – B. Redmond inquired about the use of prisoners in the public works department as noted in the Roads Report. Sabins explained that they are Kennebec County inmates who work and help out in the PW department fairly often when available, especially in the spring when cemetery raking and clean-up is needed. The inmates who are accompanied by a jail guard to the job site, receive time off their sentence for the work performed. On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Road and Police Reports as presented.

7. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #58 and #59.

8. Other – 1. The Board reviewed a memo from Assessor Ellery Bane concerning the town’s certified ratio. Due to high demand for property and selling prices higher than assessed values, the Town will only be able to certify at 95%, rather than 100%. The direct impact means the homestead and veterans exemptions will be adjusted down 5% since we cannot certify at 100% with the State. 2. Melissa Olson inquired about volunteering to serve on the Recreation Committee and how to get involved. R. Browne explained that the committee members are appointed by the Select Board at the last Board meeting in June each year. The appointment is for the upcoming fiscal year for a one year term. 3. Chairman Melrose shared a picture of the Monument Park granite sign that is being created by Provost Monuments using granite stone that the town provided. The sign will be installed near the Civil War Monument as soon as Monday, April 19th and before the town’s 250th birthday celebration kickoff event on Monday, April 26th. 4. An invoice received from Dirt Solar was briefly discussed. It was determined that the invoice will be ongoing either monthly or quarterly and represents a portion of our CMP credits the town received from the solar power purchase agreement that is owed back to Dirt Solar as per our agreement with them. 5. R. Browne asked about the solar project on Webber Pond Road. Town Line Reporter Mary Grow provided knowledge that she had about the project after attending a planning board meeting.

9. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 7:35 p.m.

/mss

These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 4/29/21 with the following amendments:

John Melrose stated that a correction in wording for clarification is needed in a sentence near the end of Section 4 of the 4/15/21 minutes as follows (remove stuck-out words “a sidewalk” and add underlined word “curbing”.):

Recap of MDOT meeting regarding paving in the North Village area – Chairman Melrose reviewed the Maine Department of Transportation’s (MaineDOT) plan a few years ago to conduct a large reconstruction project of Route #32 from China to Winslow, but delayed the project due to the Vassalboro Sanitary District sewer main project on Rt. #32 that tore up the highway and took a few years to complete. The funding for that large reconstruction project is no longer in place. Instead, MaineDOT now plans to put down a less-costly skim coat of hot top in the summer of 2021. J. Melrose discussed the meeting that he, Sabins, and PW Director Gene Field had recently attended with MaineDOT representatives regarding the drainage and sidewalk improvements needed in the North Village area before pavement is laid. As a result of the discussion, MaineDOT representatives will meet with Ray Breton to investigate and learn what Ray knows about the ongoing drainage problems in the North Village area. J. Melrose also told how the options for sidewalk maintenance or replacement in the North Village area were discussed at length. It is estimated by MaineDOT that it would cost approximately $400K to place new sidewalks with granite curbing on both sides of the road. The use of slip form curbing made of concrete instead of granite would be cheaper, about half the price. Currently, sidewalks are only on one side of the road. It is unclear at this point if a sidewalk curbing on both sides of the road would be required or if additional savings could be realized by refurbishing just the one sidewalk now in place. J. Melrose described an idea that PW Director Gene Field had to reclaim the top of the existing sidewalk, reset the curbing, and resurface the existing sidewalk. After discussion by the Board Members on this topic, no formal action was taken at this time.

On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to adopt the minutes as amended.