Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and Phil Haines
Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Nate Gray, Jim Hart, Jennifer Irving, Chris Snowdeal, Ray Breton, George Hamar, Gene Field, Mrs. Bonenfant and son (Boy Scout).
1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Haines at 7:00 p.m. and then he gave a brief lesson in town government to the Boy Scout in the room who was working on achieving a badge by attending.
2. Minutes – On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 2/12/15 meeting as written.
3. Investment Advisor Matt Weaver – Due to a scheduling conflict, Mr. Weaver was unable to attend the meeting. The Board took no action on this agenda item. Mr. Weaver has rescheduled for the March 12th meeting.
4. China Lake Restoration Project – Jim Hart introduced Jennifer Irving who is representing the Sebasticook Regional Land Trust, an active partner in the alewife restoration project working with the China Region Lakes Alliance. The restoration project entails either breaching or building fish ladders in the six dams in town that impede fish passageway now to China Lake and is expected to cost $2.2 million. Jim stated that $700K - $800K in funds are needed this year to start the first leg of the project. Jim and Jennifer inquired if funds might be available for the alewife restoration project from the town’s alewife revenue reserve fund. This fund contains all of the alewife harvesting revenue collected by the town since alewife reintroduction into Webber Pond in 2008; the total of which today is just over $42 thousand dollars. They also asked about available funds from the TIF revenue fund. The TIF revenue funds are earmarked for this alewife restoration project, along with the Sanitary District system upgrade, and local economic development opportunities for businesses. When asked by Selectmen when the Sanitary District project is scheduled to commence and the projected cost, Sanitary District Chairman Ray Breton replied the projected cost is $5.5 million, scheduled to start next year if funds are available. Nate Gray endorsed the fish restoration project and encouraged funding for the project. After discussion, the Selectmen encouraged Jim and Jennifer to put their request for alewife reserve funds in writing for Board consideration. The Board would then decide whether to include an article on this year’s town meeting warrant to seek voter approval for the requested use of funds. Decisions on disbursement of the TIF revenues is not scheduled to occur until after the fourth quarterly tax payment is made by Summit Gas into the TIF revenue fund sometime after April 2015.
5. CES Engineering report on Transfer Station layout changes – CES Representative Chris Snowdeal introduced himself and gave a brief summary of the qualifications and historical origin of the CES Company. Using enlarged copies of his designs placed on an easel for ease in viewing, Mr. Snowdeal described the two options for layout changes his company is proposing for traffic flow improvements at the Transfer Station. Both options include removal of the old transfer station office and compactor building to be replaced by another building, the floor of which to be strategically placed overtop of two compactor canisters on a cement pad below, one for municipal solid waste; the other for single stream recyclables. The two project options varied by the size of the building, and one plan included building a new facility entrance with a larger two lane drive-through building; the other option was for using the same facility entrance/exit used now with a smaller two lane building that must be backed into by patrons. The prices were nearly $1.3 million for the larger building and new entrance; the other option was priced at nearly $1 million. The Board agreed they like the concept of the plans but funding them will be a challenge. The Board thanked Chris for his work and took no other formal action.
6. Land purchase proposal from William & Sharon Coolahan – The Board read the written proposal from William & Sharon Coolahan to purchase the town-owned .85 acre piece of land abutting their property on Arnold Road for $2,000. After a brief discussion, and on a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Coolahan offer of $2,000 to purchase a parcel of land formerly known on the town tax maps as Map 16B, Lot ???, now known as Map 16B, Lot 31. Sabins will notify Mr. & Mrs. Coolahan of the Board’s decision, and advise them to send a check. Once the check is received, the Board will sign the quitclaim deed at the next meeting.
7. Tax abatement – The Board signed the abatement form for the tax abatement #15-01 that was approved after executive session at the last meeting.
8. Easter closing – At the request of Transfer Station staff, and on a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to close the Transfer Station for the Easter Sunday holiday. Selectman Browne stated that he had received a few complaints about the number of times the transfer station was closed this winter due to inclement weather.
9. Budget discussion – The Board reviewed the proposed budget worksheets that Sabins had prepared after the budget work session held by the Board on February 23rd. No changes needed to this second draft of the budget were identified, but Chairman Haines requested clarification in the language contained in the cover memo that will accompany the budget document. Sabins stated she will make the change and distribute the budget packets on Monday of next week.
10. 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.
At this time, because of the late hour and the length of time anticipated before the meeting would be concluded, the Treasurer’s warrant process to pay town bills was described by Selectman Titus to the Boy Scout in the room. After that explanation, the Board signed a copy of the agenda for the Scout to prove he had been in attendance, and the Scout and his mother left the meeting.
11. Treasurer’s Warrants – After the reading of each item on the warrant, and on a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #53 and #54.
12. Other – 1. Sabins read the invitation from the Town of China to participate in their paper shredding event on Saturday, May 2nd from 9 a.m.-10 a.m. for a $100 contribution. On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to participate in this event. 2. Chairman Haines reminded the group that the Spirit of America (SOA) awards banquet is coming up this week and he asked if anyone was planning to attend to represent the Town. Selectman Titus stated he would check with his wife to see if any member of the Vassalboro Business Association (last year’s SOA recipient) plans to attend this banquet for group recognition. If they do not plan to attend, the Selectmen will not need to attend either.
13. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 3/12/15 with the following amendments: None.