Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
August 18, 2011
Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and Phil Haines
Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Matt Weaver and Scott Hammond from First Advisors, Nicole (Nikki) Wasilewski, Tiffany Luczko, Mike Vashon, Tom Richards, Mr. & Mrs. Mike Farrell, Chuck O’Neal, several residents from the Coyote Ridge Subdivision, and Ray Breton (7:25).
1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Haines at 7:00 p.m.
2. Minutes – On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the 7/21/11 meeting as written. On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the 8/4/11 meeting as written.
3. New Business – a.) SOA Photo – The Spirit of America (SOA) photo with Tom Richards was retaken just as the meeting began. The original photos taken at town meeting did not come out well. b.) Maturing Certificate of Deposit (CD) – The town has two $250,000 certificates maturing this week. Sabins explained that the proceeds from one CD deposited at Kennebec Federal Savings Bank that matured on August 17th was needed this week to pay for paving invoices on tonight’s accounts payable warrant; the other CD at Kennebec Savings is available for reinvestment. Once the tax money comes in after the first tax due date at the end of September, the value of the CD used this week to pay bills can be reinstated for investment at a later time as the Board deems appropriate. After discussion about investment options, and on a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to forward the available $250,000 from the Kennebec Savings CD to First Advisors for investment. c.) Investment update - Investment Advisor Matt Weaver from First Advisors distributed some handouts and explained that the value of the Town’s investment fund has dropped by just over one percent since First Advisors took over management of the accounts. Given the volatile stock market in these troubled economic times, the Selectmen were pleased the value had not dropped more severely. Selectman Titus stated that he was happy with the service that Matt and First Advisors have provided so far. d.) Sheetrock repair and painting bids – A summary of the 10 bids received was distributed by Manager Sabins. The Manager recommended that the bid be awarded to the apparent low bidder, Robert Poulin of Rob’s Painting in Waterville for the amount of $4,550 for two coats of paint. Mr. Poulin also offered in his bid submission to clean and paint the heaters, which had been erroneously omitted from the specifications. On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Manager’s recommendation and to award the bid to Robert Poulin of Rob’s Painting. e.) Recycling Building materials bids – A spreadsheet summary of the nine bids received for materials needed for the recycling building was distributed by Sabins. After analysis, it was determined that McCormack Building Supply of Winslow was the company with the most low-priced items on the materials list. Contractor Consultant Ray Breton offered that he had spoken with representatives from McCormack’s earlier in the day when it was discovered that they were the apparent low bidder. Ray stated that McCormack’s representative agreed to try to meet the competitor’s low price on the other items he was higher on when possible. After brief discussion and on a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne who stated that he had satisfactorily used the McCormack Company in the past, the Board voted unanimously to award the bid to McCormack Building Supply. f.) Dam repair in North Village – Ray Breton brought to the Board’s attention, the need for repairs to the Ladd Dam structure in the North Village. The water is flowing heavily under the gates and through the structure, which is causing the upstream level to be very low. The dam belongs to the Sanitary District. Chairman Haines, who also serves as Chairman of the Trustees for the Sanitary District, stated that the District is aware there is a problem with the Dam. Ray stated that many property owners along the stream bed have lost portions of the back of their property to landslides into the stream because of the low water level and unstable banks. The low water level also causes the sewer district’s pipes that cross the stream to be exposed, posing a risk of freezing in the winter. Ray suggested fill could be put in front of the dam structure to fill the voids where the water is leaking by. Discussion was given as to what permits would be required to perform that repair work. Sabins offered to call DEP for assistance and will report back. g.) Coyote Ridge – Coyote Ridge Subdivision residents Mike Farrell and Chuck O’Neal stated that they had learned that the subdivision mortgage holder Ron LaVallee no longer intends to pay the taxes on the unsold lots in the subdivision, which means the 2009 town tax liens will mature to foreclosure status in February 2012. The Subdivision residents think the town will then own the now private road and will be required to fix the condition of the road and plow it in the winter. Selectman Titus explained that the Town can waive foreclosure on the properties if the Town chooses not to inherit the problems with the private road that is out of alignment and does not meet town specifications. Mr. Farrell repeatedly expressed that he felt the town has some culpability with the road problems that the homeowners in the subdivision are experiencing and he wants the town to remedy it. Mike and Chuck have knowledge of a $425,000 letter of credit that Mr. LaVallee provided to the DEP as assurance that the subdivision road would be paved when the subdivision was created; they want the town to pursue that avenue to see if Mr. LaVallee can be held responsible to fix the road. The Selectmen asked Mike and Chuck to provide the town with a copy of the letter. As a recourse for the residents, Selectman Titus offered that the residents could circulate a petition and gather the required amount of signatures that would force a town meeting article to vote on accepting the private road as a town road. Sabins explained that the town has a quorum requirement of 125 registered voters for a legal special town meeting. Otherwise, the petitioned article would need to be placed on the annual June town meeting warrant. h.) MainePERS – On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by P. Haines, the Board voted unanimously to appoint Mary Sabins as the MainePERS Employer Self-Service Security Administrator. This appointment was necessary in order to electronically submit monthly payrolls and conduct other transactions with the retirement program. Sabins will designate the payroll clerk, Jean Poulin, as a user of the system. i.) Abatement for uncollectible taxes – On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to abate all outstanding real estate taxes and fees on account #3271 as the whereabouts of the owner Susan Wood are unknown, and the mobile home has been destroyed. j.) MMA Convention – Sabins inquired if any Board members would like to attend the annual convention in October. Chairman Haines stated that he would like to attend; the others do not. Sabins will register Chairman Haines. k.) Recreation Program (not on agenda) – Recreation Director Nikki Wasilewski gave an update on the program offerings of the recreation department. Also, Nikki and recreation committee hopeful Tiffany Luczko inquired why Tiffany was not appointed to the recreation committee as requested. Tiffany wants to be a member so she can write the grant for the recreation field drainage improvements. Selectman Browne offered that the discussion might want to be given on another night when the subject was publicized on the agenda or in executive session, but little support was given for that idea and the matter was discussed in open session. Selectman Browne stated that he had received 31 complaints about the recreation committee this past year, which was very unusual. He stated that when members were considered for appointment this year, their skills and experiences to bring to the recreation program were considered. Rob defended the appointment decisions that were made in June and described the appointee’s qualifications. Rob further stated that an appointment to the committee is not required in order for Tiffany to assist with grant writing. Nicole stated that she was not aware of the number of complaints and asked how she was supposed to resolve them if she was not aware of them. Rob agreed to share the list of complaints with Nikki. Discussion was also given about the Recreation Committee By-Laws. Nikki was under the impression that the rules proposed by her and the committee months ago were active and approved by the Board; the Board emphatically told her the by-laws were sent back for further revision by her when last reviewed and have not been officially adopted by the Board. Nikki stated that she had submitted a revised version and assumed that she was all set. She stated she did not understand the process. The Board and Nikki agreed to put the recreation program on the agenda for discussion at the Selectmen’s next meeting to be held on September 1st.
4.Reports – a. Status report – On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Status Report as presented. b. Road Report – On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Road Report as presented. c. Police Report – On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Police Report as presented.
5.Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #8 and #9.
6. Other – 1. Upon request of the town manager and on a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to waive the town fees for a building permit and plumbing permit for the new recycling/office building.
7. Executive session – On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously at 9:00 p.m. to enter into an executive session pursuant to 1 MRSA, Section 405, Subsection 6(A) to discuss a personnel matter. The Board returned to open session at 9:05 p.m. A motion was then made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne to approve the Selectmen’s written evaluation of Town Manager Mary Sabins dated 8/18/11 and to place it along with Sabins’ self-evaluation into her personnel file.
8. General discussion was given about the development of the personnel policy. No action taken.
9.Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 9/1/11 with the following amendments: Tiffany Luczko was incorrectly listed as in attendance at the meeting; the correct name of the attendee is Kristen Bowker. All references to Tiffany Luczko in section 3(k) should have said Kristen Bowker.