Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
December 6, 2012
Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and Phil Haines
Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Jon Blumberg, and Rick Denico
1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Browne at 7:00 p.m.
2. Minutes – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the 11/21/12 meeting as written.
3. Tax sale – One bid was received for the tax acquired property formerly owned by Patrick Sullivan located off the Maple Ridge Road and shown on the Assessor’s tax maps as Map 012, Lob 056. Chairman Browne opened the bid from Philip and Mary Wentzell and read it aloud. The Wentzells bid $2,500 for the property and included a check for $250 as the required 10% deposit. Without discussion, and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Wentzell’s bid and to sell the property to Philip and Mary Wentzell for $2,500. Sabins will notify the Wentzells to complete the sale within the required 14 days, and the Board will sign the quit claim deed at the next meeting.
4. Section 906 Order – Sabins explained that adopting this Order to authorize and direct the Tax Collector and Treasurer to apply any tax payment received from an individual as payment for any property tax against the oldest unpaid tax bill will put in writing the protocol that is already in practice. With no discussion, and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to sign the Order as presented.
5. Reports – a. Status Report – Since there were no items on the report, there was no formal acceptance action taken by the Board. b. Road Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. c. Police Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented.
6. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #39 and #40.
7. Other – 1. Rick Denico presented a 10-year lease agreement for one dollar a year to the Board for the use of his tower on Cook Hill to install and use our rebroadcast station for our Public Works Department. On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by P. Haines, the Board voted unanimously to accept the proposal. The Board expressed appreciation for Mr. Denico’s generosity. 2. Jonathan Blumberg appeared at the meeting to discuss his written offer dated December 5, 2012 of in-kind restitution to pay his court ordered judgment (Docket No. WAT-CV-11-54) for $8,914.84 to repay the Town for attorney fees that is due by December 20, 2012. Jon wrote in his proposal and reiterated at the meeting that he is on disability and is unable to pay the amount due by the date due. He proposed to repay the Town with food for the food pantry or the school that he will grow himself, or perform roadside mowing in the summer using his tractor and the town’s mower, or a combination of those items along with a monthly payment plan over four years. The Board thanked Jon for complying with the Court order to clean up his property. Chairman Browne stated that the Town has been dealing with Jon’s land use issue for three or four years and he did not favor extending and complicating the issue further by entering into a payment arrangement or a barter system for food production and mowing services. He prefers to keep things simple. Selectman Titus inquired of Mr. Blumberg if he had exhausted other opportunities to gain funding to pay the debt such as a home equity loan at the Credit Union. L. Titus stated that the Town was not in the finance business, but banks are. Mr. Blumberg did not directly answer the question. Instead, he stated he would petition the Court. Selectman Haines then asked Mr. Blumberg again to answer Selectman Titus’ question if he had sought a bank loan to pay the debt. P. Haines stated that he wants the payment in cash to replace the cash the town has already spent on attorney fees on the case. Mr. Blumberg stated that he hasn’t borrowed money for many years. L. Titus stated that if the Town were to enter into a payment plan with Mr. Blumberg, he would be borrowing money from the town. Selectman Haines stated again that the Board is looking for a cash settlement and suggested to Mr. Blumberg that he should go to a bank to make arrangements. All Board members conveyed to Mr. Blumberg that they have no interest in his offers of food or mowing services made in his written proposal. Selectman Haines stated that if Mr. Blumberg petitions the Court for action, the action they take may require Mr. Blumberg to sell some or all of his property to meet the debt obligation, and that he should have cleaned up his property before the four years went by. Chairman Browne then ended the discussion, and P. Haines reiterated again that Mr. Blumberg needed to go to the Credit Union for a loan. Mr. Blumberg left the meeting at this time, and no further action on this matter was taken by the Board. 3. Sabins provided an update on the investigation into the land for sale abutting the town transfer station that the Town had considered acquiring in the future. A representative from the DEP had joined Gene and George for a walk on the property. Some evidence that the property contains wetland area was noted. Further research will be conducted by DEP staff and future updates will be provided as information becomes available. 4. L. Titus stated that Sabins had worked hard at organizing the tree lighting event last Friday night. The event was considered a success with approximately 140-150 in attendance.
8. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 7:40 p.m.
These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 12/20/12 with the following amendments: None.