Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
February 4, 2021

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

Others Present: Mary Sabins, David Trask (virtual meeting host), Holly Weidner, Melissa & Zack Olson, Peggy Horner, and Attorney Kristin Collins (7:45). 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 John Melrose at 6:30 pm. Due to the Covid-19 (Corona virus) global pandemic, the Board continues to hold virtual meetings for an unspecified period of time. A temporary change in State Law passed by the Legislature months ago remains in effect that allows the provision for these remote video-conference meetings to accomplish town business. Each vote taken is required to be taken by roll call vote, which Chairman Melrose asked Sabins to do for each vote taken.

2. Minutes – B. Redmond noted an error in Section 3 of the minutes concerning the renewal of Natanis’ Liquor License. Barbara noted that she had made the motion, and Chairman Melrose had seconded her motion. Selectman Browne took no part in the vote on this agenda item as he is part owner of the Natanis business and it would have been a conflict of interest. The correction should read as follows:

Natanis Liquor License Renewal (taken out of agenda order while awaiting Eric Calderwood’s arrival) – On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by J. Melrose, the Board voted two in favor and one abstention (R. Browne) by roll call vote to approve the on-premises and auxiliary liquor license renewal applications for Natanis Golf Club.

On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by J. Melrose, the Board voted unanimously by roll call vote to accept the minutes of the 1/21/21 meeting as amended.

3. Conservation Commission Member Holly Weidner presented the revised version of the Resolve from last week that she and the Conservation Commission are requesting the Select Board support and endorse. The Resolve would be sent to State and Federal Legislators, the Governor and the US President requesting that the US Congress enact a National Revenue-Neutral, Carbon-Fee and Dividend on Carbon Fuels at their Source. Holly presented a power point presentation that described how the program would charge fossil fuel companies for pollution they produce and rebate the money collected to every single resident in the USA. After lengthy discussion, B. Redmond stated that she was not comfortable signing the document. She prefers to go the direction that the Maine Climate Council has chosen. Selectman Browne stated that was his preference also and to take no action tonight. Chairman Melrose suggested placing the topic on the next meeting agenda, stating that there seems to be some sentiment for embracing the State’s plan rather than signing this resolve.

4. FD Fundraising ideas – A handout of the fundraising proposal was submitted by Mike Vashon and distributed to the Select Board in their agenda packets prior to the meeting. During the meeting, Chief Thompson and Mike Vashon described to the Board the research they have done and the company named Cost Recovery they have talked with to recoup some costs expended by the fire department while covering calls that involve non-residents. The Fire Department (FD) would like to enter into an agreement with Cost Recovery to have that company submit claims to the insurance companies of non-residents for payment for FD services. The FD would receive the collected proceeds from Cost Recovery. Half of the net proceeds collected (after Cost Recovery’s commission) would be submitted to the Town for investment in the fire truck reserve account; the other half of the net proceeds would be retained in the FD treasury to spend on anything they need and would not require voter approval. After discussion and on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously by roll call vote to approve the proposal as submitted by the Volunteer Fire Department. After the vote, Chief Thompson gave the Select Board an update on the high number of calls (20) the FD has already responded to this year. Chief Thompson praised the town public works department for their response to sand roads during FD calls to keep the scene safe and for the great job they are doing. An update on the leaking boiler at the North Fire Station was also provided. The boiler has been patched for now with the hope that it will last through the winter. Boiler replacement is expected to cost $17,500 and will need to be done in the near future.

5. Monument Park – Chairman Melrose described the outreach he had done to Provost Monument seeking a price to create a “Monument Park” sign from some granite owned by the town that is now laying at the public works garage. The discounted price would be $825.00 to clean and engrave the sign, and to saw, drill, pin, and epoxy the sign to the base. After discussion and on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously by roll call vote to approve the plan as presented. The sign will be placed in the park on Rt. #32 where the Civil War Monument is located and will be dedicated at the town’s 250th birthday celebration in April.

6. Rt. #32 North Village Rehabilitation project – Chairman Melrose explained that MaineDOT has proposed a plan to put down a skinny mix of pavement on Rt. #32 from China through North Vassalboro that will likely break up pretty quickly. This plan is the less-costly, modified-scale version of the original plan made several years ago when MaineDOT had more funding for larger projects. Chairman Melrose reported that he had received a call recently from Ray Breton who lives in the North Vassalboro village area who was upset with the modified paving plan, knowing that flooding has occurred in the North Vassalboro area in the past and needs to be rectified. The road has also been dug up in multiple locations in the last two years for the sewer main project, leaving very rough surfaces. Melrose felt MaineDOT could modify their plan to give more priority to rehabilitate the North Village area and skip the paving of some areas with lower priority in better condition along Rt. #32 between China and Vassalboro. Chairman Melrose suggested that the Board write a letter to MaineDOT to request a meeting to discuss the matter, and that he was willing to work with Sabins to compose the letter. After discussion and on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously by roll call vote to support Chairman Melrose’s plan to submit a letter to MaineDOT requesting a meeting to discuss increasing the priority in the North Village area.

7. Town Report theme – The Board revisited suggestions for a town report theme that were made at the last meeting. After discussion, the Board agreed on the idea of commemorating the State of Maine’s 200th birthday.

8. Reports – On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously by roll call vote to accept the Road Report and the Police Report as presented.

9. Marijuana Ordinance Revisions – Attorney Kristin Collins joined the meeting at 7:45 pm and she discussed with the Board the new proposed ordinance. A question and answer session ensued, with suggestions made by both the Board and by Sabins for additional revisions and clarifications. After discussion, Attorney Collins agreed she would have another revised version of the Ordinance available by the end of the week. The revised version will be posted on the town website and distributed to the public for review and comment. The Ordinance will be addressed again at the next meeting for a possible final reading.

10. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously by roll call vote to approve warrants #43 and #44.

11. Other – 1. None.

12. Budget packets – The packets are ready for distribution and will be picked up by the Select Board at the town office when they go in to sign the Treasurer’s Warrants.

13. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:38 p.m.

/mss

These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 2/18/21 with the following amendments:
2. Minutes – Chairman Melrose stated that the minutes in section 6 concerning the MaineDOT work got a little garbled up. He made suggestions for changes to the paragraph as follows:

Rt. #32 North Village Rehabilitation project – Chairman Melrose explained that MaineDOT will maintenance pave Rt. #32 from China through North Vassalboro this year. He reported that he had received a call recently from Ray Breton who lives in the North Vassalboro village area who was upset that a more substantive rehabilitation project planned by MaineDOT was being deferred knowing that flooding has occurred in the North Vassalboro area in the past and needs to be rectified. The road has also been dug up in multiple locations in the last two years for the sewer main project, leaving very rough surfaces. Melrose felt MaineDOT could modify this deferred rehabilitation plan to give priority to the North Village area at much less cost than attempting to rehab all of Rt. #32 in Vassalboro and the north end in China. Chairman Melrose suggested that the Board write a letter to MaineDOT to request a meeting to discuss the matter, and that he was willing to work with Sabins to compose the letter. After discussion and on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously by roll call vote to support Chairman Melrose’s plan to submit a letter to MaineDOT requesting a meeting to discuss increasing the priority in the North Village area.

On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously by roll call vote to accept the minutes of the 2/4/21 meeting as amended.