Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
August 8, 2016
Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and Phil Haines
Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mike Vashon, Bill Pullen, Holly Weidner, Denise Gidney, Don Breton, Patrick Korte, Roxanne Pullen, Janet Babb, Deanna Stearns, Scott Stearns, Steve Jones, Larisa Batchelder, and Vivian Flam.
1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Titus at 7:00 p.m.
2. Minutes – On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted two in favor, one abstained (P. Haines as he was absent from that meeting) to accept the minutes of the 7/13/16 meeting as written.
3. CMP Pole permit – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to sign the CMP pole permit request for a pole on the Cross Hill Road.
4. Shoreland Zoning Ordinance hearing – After brief explanation to the public in the room about the changes needed in the ordinance to meet new State standards, and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the proposed date and time of September 8th at 6:00 p.m. for a public hearing on this issue.
5. Referendum question on the November ballot concerning sidewalks – Several members of the public came to the meeting to hear and participate in the discussion on this agenda item. Chairman Titus explained that MDOT is going to conduct a major rebuild and upgrade to Rt. #32 in 2018. Once that work is done, there will be a moratorium on opening the road for five years, so he wants to have the issue of sidewalk installation in the East Village area revisited by the townspeople in November to see if there has been a change in sentiment. The article to fund the sidewalk project was rejected by the voters at the June 2, 2014 town meeting. Many residents spoke up during this meeting both in favor and in opposition to the sidewalk proposal. After lengthy discussion, and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted two in favor, one opposed (R. Browne) to put a question on the November referendum ballot to consider appropriating $58,600 in surplus funds for this sidewalk project and accepting the sidewalk grant funding that was previously awarded. The public hearing on this issue will also be held on September 8th at the town office, along with the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance public hearing set earlier in the meeting.
6. Mil rate for FY 2016-17 taxes – After review of the tax rate options provided by Assessor Ellery Bane, and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to set the FY 2016-17 tax rate at $14.05 per thousand.
7. Resolution to authorize Sabins to sign the MRC Joinder Agreement – At the request of the Municipal Review Committee (MRC) to provide proof that the Town Manager had the Selectmen’s authority to sign the MRC Joinder Agreement for the Fiberight Proposal, the Town Attorney Alton Stevens prepared a resolution for the Board of Selectmen to adopt. After brief discussion and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to adopt the following resolution as prepared by the Town Attorney:
INHABITANTS OF THE TOWN OF VASSALBORO
RESOLUTION TO BE ADOPTED BY
THE SELECT BOARD
RESOLVED, that, pursuant to the approval of Article 19 of the Town warrant at the June 6, 2016 Town meeting, the Select Board authorizes Mary Sabins, the Town Manager, to execute and deliver the Municipal Joinder Agreement with the Municipal Review Committee, Inc. in substantially the form on file with the Town Clerk and approved at the Town meeting; and
RESOLVED, that any and all documents and agreements heretofore executed and delivered, and actions heretofore taken, to effectuate the purposes of the foregoing resolution are hereby ratified, approved, and confirmed in all respects as the act of the Town and this Select Board.
8. Resignation of Police Chief Richard Phippen – Sabins reported that Officer Richard Phippen verbally expressed to her, his desire to retire and said he would work through the end of August. Officer Phippen has worked part-time for the town as the only town police officer for twenty years. On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by P. Haines, the Board voted unanimously to accept Richard Phippen’s resignation with regret and a thank you for many years of service. Sabins explained the research that she had conducted already to fill the position, saying that the Kennebec Sheriff’s office would make a deputy available for special duty for the town at $65/hour. During general discussion, the Board supported the concept of a local person to fill the slot, and L. Titus stated that several years back when the town was given the option to eliminate the position, they voted overwhelmingly to keep the position. The Board gave Sabins the okay to start an advertising and recruitment campaign to attempt to fill the vacancy.
9. Reports – a. Road Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. L. Titus told of how he had seen the town truck exiting the town gravel pit road in China recently. He had never been into the town pit and decided to travel down to see it, once the town truck revealed the location of the pit road. b. First Responders’ Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. c. Police Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. d. Financial Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented.
10. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #10 and #11.
11. Other – 1. The Board approved town payment of portable toilet services during Vassalboro Days at the request of the Vassalboro Business Association. 2. Billy Pullen asked from the audience if the Selectmen would approve the use of the town office lawn for a car show during Vassalboro Days weekend. The Board gave their approval. 3. Sabins gave the Selectmen an update on the activities of the Senior Citizens working group. 4. On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to reappoint Tom Richards to the Cemetery Committee. 5. Sabins reported that she had received an inquiry from a business owner in North Vassalboro about the availability for TIF grant funding to repair her building. The Board continued with their earlier decision not to make TIF funds available yet to local businesses until the larger sewer and fish restoration projects are completed that are outlined as approved expenses for TIF funds in the TIF Development Plan. 5. Sabins informed the Board that an office staff member learned she will need surgery in early September and will be out of work for six to eight weeks. Cross training will be conducted, and coverage will be provided by another office member during the absence. 6. P. Haines commended Town Clerk Cathy Coyne on her accomplishment of certification as a General Assistance Administrator. The Board received notification of her certification by letter from the Maine Welfare Director’s Association President.
12. Executive session pursuant to 36 MRSA Section 841 – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted at 8:31 p.m. to enter into an executive session to discuss an abatement application. The Board returned to open session at 8:45 p.m. A motion was then made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, and voted unanimously by the Board to deny the request for an abatement.
13. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:46 p.m.
These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 9/8/16 with the following amendments: None.