Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and Phil Haines
Others Present: Mary Sabins, Gene Field, Dan Mayotte, Doug Phillips, and Don Marquis (2:45).
1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Titus at 2:00 p.m.
2. Minutes – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted 2-0-1 to accept the minutes of the 2/9/17 meeting as written. Chairman Titus abstained from the vote as he was not present at that meeting.
Item #3 on the agenda concerning disposal of tax acquired property was postponed until 3:00 p.m. (the time when an earlier announcement of the meeting stated the discussion would take place.) Several other agenda items were taken out of agenda order to accommodate spectators in the room who wished to participate in discussion.
3. First Responder Chief Dan Mayotte attended the meeting at the Selectmen’s request to explain his budget request. He stated that he would like to keep enough money in the budget to fund continuing education hours at the annual EMS Seminar at the Samoset in Rockport, and funding for gear for four members. He also plans a First Responder Certification class where interested persons from Vassalboro and surrounding towns could attend and become licensed. A question and answer session ensued. No formal action was taken by the Board.
4. Darrell Gagnon mowing contract renewal – After brief discussion and on affirmation by the Public Works Director that Darrell is performing the contract very satisfactorily, the Board voted unanimously on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, to renew Darrell Gagnon’s two mowing contracts for three years for the prices quoted by Darrell in his proposal as follows: Recreation Field mowing: 2018 – $8,200; 2019 - $8,200; 2020 - $8,300. Lawns: 2018 - $7,400; 2019 - $7,400; 2020 - $7,500.
5. Legal Fees – Chairman Titus stated that he had requested that this item be placed on the agenda. He is concerned about the repeated court action required by the town and the town’s attorney to defend against frivolous cases filed by an individual in town. After discussion, the Board agreed by consensus to instruct Sabins to inform the town attorney that the town intends to pursue reimbursement of legal fees and restitution for these cases.
6. LED Streetlight conversion – The Board reviewed the lease amount numbers attained by Sabins from Tax Exempt Leasing Corp. for this project estimated to cost $60,275.00. After discussion, the Board agreed to have Sabins add a note on the budget spreadsheet next to the Streetlight expense line that discussion is needed on this possible LED streetlight conversion project. This note would serve as a flag to the Budget Committee Members next week during budget deliberations that the Selectmen would like to present this LED streetlight conversion idea for discussion and possible funding.
7. Summer meeting dates – The Board agreed by consensus to set the summer Board meeting dates as July 13th and August 10th. Chairman Titus stated that, at this time, he does not plan to run for re-election in June and would not be attending these meetings. The other Board members and staff expressed regrets at this news and encouraged him to reconsider.
8. Fire Department request to sell old fire truck – The Board considered the fire department’s request to put the 1984 fire truck that is being replaced out to bid, with the proceeds to be used to buy equipment for the new truck. By consensus, the Board agreed to advertise the old truck for sale, but made no decision at this time on the proceeds benefiting the fire department.
9. Reports – On a single motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Road Report, the Police Report, and the Financial Report as presented. No First Responder’s report was available to approve.
10. Budget review – Selectman Haines gave a verbal report of the town roads he had traveled over today to verify the need for paving. He further stated that he agreed with Public Works Director Gene Field’s recommended list of paving priorities, and more money is needed for even more paving work. Gene distributed a handout with new lower price estimates if the Board wanted to consider a thinner top coat of only one inch so more paving work could be accomplished, but the pavement would likely not last as long. After discussion, the Board decided to leave those paving decisions up to Gene, and made no changes to any of the proposed budget amounts they had agreed upon during Monday’s budget work session.
11. Tax acquired property – Two residential dwellings and 12 subdivision lots have been acquired by the Town during the recent maturation of 2014 tax liens. Sabins stated that TD Bank emailed a statement of intentions to pay all three years of taxes if the Board would agree to accept it and issue a Quit Claim deed back to them on the tenement property they owned, located on the Oak Grove Road. The Board approved this request and set a deadline for receipt of the taxes for Thursday, March 9th. Concerning the second residential property, located on Taber Hill Road and owned by Kimberly Pooler, the Board asked Sabins to contact the State of Maine Adult Protective Services, as this house is the last known residence of a mentally challenged adult who lived in the household with Kim Pooler. Repeated attempts have been made by Sabins, but no contact with Kim Pooler has been achieved about the foreclosure action. The Board does not want to dislocate a disabled person while dealing with this tax acquired property. The twelve undeveloped subdivision lots, formerly owned by Leon Cummings, are located on Ilona Drive. A neighbor to the property, Don Marquis, participated in the discussion and stated that he is interested in obtaining some or all of the lots to protect his own investment and homestead across the street. He does not want to see the lots developed, and much prefers the property be reverted back to deer habitat. After discussion, and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to sell the twelve lots together as one bid process, with the minimum bid price to be set by the Town Manager as an even hundreds of dollars amount that is moderately above the Town’s break-even amount. Sabins will research the cost for the transfer tax, and will add the costs for the tax sale advertisement, and recordings at the registry of deeds, along with taxes, interest, and costs now owed.
12. Other – Doug Phillips had several questions and comments for the Board as follows: 1. Doug expressed concern about the process by which the School Committee has filled recent vacancies on their Board. Current School Committee policy allows the Committee members to appoint someone to serve in the position until the next municipal election. Doug is concerned about this process stating that the public is not being made aware that the vacancy exists before it is filled. The Selectmen asked Sabins to contact MMA legal about this process. 2. Doug stated that the Town Planning Board he is a member of, has given their authorization for several medical marijuana grow operations in Town. He is concerned now that retail marijuana has been legalized in Maine, those businesses might convert to retail operations which are prohibited in Vassalboro, without the Town ever knowing about it. 3. Doug asked if the Selectmen planned to bring the Shoreland Zone Ordinance revisions back to town meeting for another vote. The Board agreed they do intend to do so. 4. Doug asked if the Board would consider arranging for a Shredding Day that all Vassalboro residents could participate in to shred unwanted documents. Sabins will research. 5. Disposal of wood chips now located at the transfer station as the result of a trucking accident was discussed. The Board agreed by consensus to allow people to take the chips at no charge, just to get rid of the chips and clean up the pile.
13. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrant #48.
14. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 3/9/17 with the following amendments: None.