Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
April 30, 2020

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

Others logged on to Participate: Mary Sabins, David Trask (virtual meeting host), Attorney Aga Dixon, Lee Trahan, and Cathy Coyne. Other members of the public are anticipated to have observed the meeting being broadcast live online via YouTube; the actual number of which are unknown.

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Titus at 6:30 pm. Due to the Covid-19 (Corona virus) national pandemic, a state-wide Stay-At-Home Order has been issued by the Governor for the month of April. In addition, a temporary change in State Law has been passed by the Legislature that allows the provision for these remote video-conference meetings to get town business accomplished. Chairman Titus reminded the Board members that each vote taken is required to be taken by roll call vote. Chairman Titus stated he will make the motions, look for a second, and then take the roll call vote in alphabetical order by last name.

2. Minutes – A motion was made by L. Titus, seconded by J. Melrose, to accept the minutes of the 4/16/20 meeting as presented. The roll call vote revealed the following: R. Browne: agree; J. Melrose: yes; L. Titus: yes.

3. Power Purchase Agreement contract – Attorney Aga Dixon from the law firm of Drummond Woodsum of Portland, Maine explained in detail the Solar Power and Net Energy Billing (NEB) Credit Purchase and Sale Agreement being considered by the Board tonight. J. Melrose stated that he had participated virtually in the School Committee’s Board Meeting last evening. The School Committee voted to sign their NEB contract but did not choose the option to purchase the Renewable Energy Credits and he thinks the town should follow suit. John asked Attorney Dixon if all other interested parties in this solar project will sign the same contract. Dixon responded that the school’s contract differs only to allow for educational purposes for students to learn and observe how solar energy production works. The Town of Topsham has approved a contract to join this solar project. Vassalboro Sanitary District Trustee Lee Trahan stated that he was not certain that the Sanitary District is ready to make a commitment to participate in this Power Purchase Agreement. More discussion is needed by the Trustees at a future meeting. After discussion, a motion was made by Chairman Titus to sign the Power Purchase Agreement contract presented without Renewable Energy Credits. The motion was seconded by J. Melrose. Sabins questioned Attorney Aga Dixon if the Board needed to adopt the exact motion that she had prepared for the Board to consider this evening. Aga confirmed that she did want the Board to adopt that specific motion. Chairman Titus then rescinded his motion and made a new motion as follows: “I move that the Order entitled, “Order Authorizing the Purchase of Solar Net Energy Billing Credits,” be adopted in form presented to this meeting.” This new motion was seconded by J. Melrose. The roll call vote revealed the following: R. Browne: agree; J. Melrose: yes; L. Titus: yes.

4. Matt Streeter was unprepared to join the meeting tonight as his fishway plans would not be ready to discuss until the next meeting on May 14th. The Chairman passed over this agenda item.

5. Review of Town Meeting Warrant Articles – The Board reviewed the draft Town Meeting Warrant articles as prepared by Sabins with limited discussion on the content of the warrant articles. Much more discussion was given on the date for town meeting and the municipal election, due to the fact that the Governor has recently extended the prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people through the end of August 2020 to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Melrose introduced the idea of delaying town meeting to September and if necessary, to commit 2020 taxes based on the current year’s budget which is similar in numbers to the proposed budget for next year. He speculated that funds could then be transferred within the budget to appropriate departments after a joint meeting with the Budget Committee. No formal action was taken by the Board on this suggestion or on the topic of rescheduling town meeting again. Instead, the Board agreed to wait until additional guidance is provided from the Governor after inquiry was sent to the Governor’s office by the Maine Municipal Association seeking relief to allow town meetings across the State to be held. This topic will likely be addressed again at the next meeting.

6. Reports – A motion to accept the Road, Transfer Station, and the Treasurer’s Reports was made by Chairman Titus and seconded by R. Browne. J. Melrose commented that the tonnage was down on the transfer station report. The roll call vote revealed the following: R. Browne: approve; J. Melrose: yes; L. Titus: yes.

7. Other1. Sabins updated the Board that the PW Department is back up and running after spending much of April at home due to the Governor’s stay at home order. The team is now practicing social distancing and will wear face masks when working in close proximity of one another. 2. R. Browne asked about the food pantry operations. Sabins said she had contacted the pantry director Cindy Ferland a week or more ago to ascertain if enough food was available for those in need in town. Ms. Ferland indicated to Sabins that food supply and donations was not a problem, but finding volunteers to shop for the food was a challenge. Cindy was informed that the Selectmen have a contingency fund for use in emergencies if she needed money to purchase more food and that she should contact Sabins if help is needed. No further communication with Ms. Ferland has been received.

8. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.

/mss

These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 5/14/20 with the following amendments: None.