Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and Phil Haines
Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, William & Sharon Coolahan, Vern Pinney & Parish Manson, surveyors; Robert Bryson, Dan Mayotte, Mike Vashon, David Allen and his son; Bob Reed and his son Seth; and Public Works Director Gene Field (arrived approx. 7:30).
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 L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 1/15/15 meeting as written.
3. Coolahan discussion on possible acquisition of town-owned property – Sabins explained that after the last Selectmen’s meeting and at the Selectmen’s request, she sent a letter via certified mail to William & Sharon Coolahan about the parcel of land that abuts the Coolahan’s property that the town now owns due to tax lien foreclosure back in the late 1960’s. The fact that the town owns this land and that Mr. Coolahan’s garage is on town property, was discovered by land surveyors Vern Pinney and Parish Manson while conducting a land survey commissioned by Mr. Coolahan and his abutting neighbor Robert Bryson. The Selectmen decided at the last meeting that they do not want to retain the property. While acknowledging receipt of the letter via phone conversation, Mr. Coolahan expressed an interest in obtaining the land from the town, so he and his wife, along with his abutting neighbor Robert Bryson came to the meeting this evening to discuss the details. Chairman Haines stated that the town assessor has valued the .85 parcel of land at $10,000. Mr. Coolahan stated he was not willing to pay $10K for the landlocked piece of swamp land, especially since he paid a lot of money for the survey that revealed to the Town that the land belongs to the Town. Chairman Haines asked what price he wanted to pay, to which Mr. Coolahan and Mr. Bryson jointly offered $2,000. The Board did not reject or accept this offer, but rather asked the gentlemen to submit a written bid price for consideration by the Board at another meeting. Mr. Coolahan and Mr. Bryson asked if the Board would split the piece of land and deed half to each of them. The Board stated that they would quit-claim deed the land to one or the other of them, and that Mr. Coolahan and Mr. Bryson could then have the piece of land divided amongst themselves.
At this time, Chairman Haines explained general town government functions and protocols to the Boys Scouts in attendance at the meeting who were working to earn their Citizenship and Community badge.
4. Other (taken out of agenda order) – Mike Vashon and Dan Mayotte requested that the Board make one expense line for the dispatch fees next fiscal year, rather than splitting the contract price between the Fire Department and the First Responders, because any increase in dispatch fees give the appearance that the Fire Department and First Responder budgets are increasing. They suggested the single expense line should appear in the Public Safety Department budget. The Board agreed by consensus to move the expense to the Public Safety budget. First Responder Chief Dan Mayotte also told the Board that his department has been talking with the fire department and they are making a plan to raise funds and apply for grants to purchase house number signs for every house in town so emergency services can find those who need help. Many houses in town do not have house numbers posted, making it difficult to find the location of emergency calls. Dan suggested the adoption of an ordinance requiring the numbers to be posted may be needed.
5. Alewife harvester contract – With little discussion, and on a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to sign a three-year contract with Ron Weeks to harvest alewife for the town.
6. Building permit fees – Selectman Titus explained that he had attended the January Planning Board Meeting to hear Code Officer Bob Folsom’s discussion on the MUBEC building code the town is required to adhere to. The MUBEC code requires the Code Officer to make multiple jobsite inspections during the construction phase in order to issue an occupancy permit to the property owner upon job completion. This additional work may lead to an increase in the hours for the CEO from 20 hours per week to 32 hours per week. One way to help pay for the increase in hours is to increase permit fees. Vassalboro building permit fees are well below other town’s permit fees, as evidenced by the sample list of permit fees from other towns prepared by the Code Officer that was read by Sabins. R. Browne stated he only wants to see a minimum increase as he wants to encourage building in town. After discussion and on a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to ask the Planning Board to review the current building permit fee schedule and to make recommendations for changes to the Board of Selectmen prior to the start of the building season this year.
7. Natanis Liquor license renewal – Sabins indicated that she had called Craig McCabe at the State Alcohol Licensing division; he has received no complaints and has no issue with renewing the liquor license for Natanis Golf Course. On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by P. Haines, the Board voted to approve the renewal of the Natanis Liquor License. Selectman Browne abstained from the vote as he owns the Natanis business.
8. Other (taken out of order again) – PW Director Gene Field came to the meeting to discuss the funding for the new public works truck. When approved at town meeting in June 2014, voters approved expending no more than $200K for the truck. Upon recent receipt of the two truck and body/plow invoices that includes $12,087 for an extended warranty, it appears we have overspent by $12,500. Sabins explained that she had spoken with the town attorney who endorsed the suggestion that the town pay for the warranty package separately out of the PW operations budget, which would get the purchase price down within $413 of the authorized purchase. Gene indicated he had already spoken with the truck vendor who expressed willingness to provide two separate invoices for the truck and the warranty package. He also indicated he has some wiggle room with the invoice from the truck body/plow vendor and may be able to get an additional $413 off that invoice to get the price of the truck to $200K. After discussion and on a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to have Sabins and Gene do whatever is necessary to reduce the purchase price of the truck to $200K or below as voted by the townspeople.
9. Reports – a. Road Report - On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. b. Police Report - On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. c. First Responders Report - On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. c. Financial Report - On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented.
10. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #50 and #51.
11. Other – 1. Sabins stated that she had received a request from Emily Mitchell to use the town office building on Sunday, March 8th for a first aid/CPR class for up to 32 people. While the Board did not embrace this idea, they suggested that it was possible the group could rent the North Fire Station from the fire department. Sabins will call Emily and offer her the Fire Chief’s contact information. 2. Sabins informed the Board that Personal Time balances are getting low for many employees, due to the severe winter weather this year. Rather than adding more personal time to the employees’ bank, the Selectmen recommended that the staff should plan to use any earned time (vacation or compensatory) except sick time on their time cards, if they are unable to report to work due to inclement weather. 3. Holly Weidner has given her resignation as the Health Officer. L. Titus and P. Haines offered that the new doctor in town may be willing to accept the appointment. They will ask the doctor when they see him within the next few weeks if he is willing to serve as the Health Officer.
The Board signed copies of the agenda for the Scouts to prove they had attended the meeting for credit toward their badge. All members of the public still in attendance then left the building in anticipation of the upcoming executive session.
12. Executive Session – On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously at 8:42 p.m. to enter into an executive session pursuant to 36 MRSA Section 841 to consider an application for an abatement. The Board returned to open session at 8:43 p.m. On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the board voted unanimously to approve the abatement request and to abate the 2012 principle real estate tax, along with any accrued interest and costs for case #15-01.
13. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 2/26/15 with the following amendments: None.