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

Members Present: Rob Browne and John Melrose

Members Absent: Barbara Redmond

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Holly Weidner, Mike Poulin, Mary Grow, Melissa Olson, Rick Denico, Jr.

1. Call to order – The meeting, which was held in the spacious gymnasium at the Vassalboro Community School to allow for Covid-19 social distancing requirements was called to order by Chairman John Melrose at 6:00 pm.

2. Minutes – On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by J. Melrose, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 2/18/21 meeting as written.

3. Kennebec Water District (KWD) land agreement – Chairman Melrose explained that he has been communicating with KWD Manager Roger Crouse regarding a possible land acquisition and use agreement to enlarge the town trail near the District’s water treatment plant. The discussion is on-going and John will report back as further developments occur. The proposed agreement between KWD and the Town that the two men have been working on so far is as follows:

1. We agree to propose to our respective Boards a transfer of a portion of KWD property (tax map 11 , lot 21) lying west of a line running 60 feet east and parallel to the westerly line of the Vassalboro Town Forest parcel ( tax map 11, lot 13) and extending northerly to Ron’s Realty LLC. (tax map 12, lot 3).
2. We agree the Town of Vassalboro would acquire this parcel and would give right of first refusal to KWD for $1 with the following conditions. Right of first refusal: The Town of Vassalboro agrees to accept a purchase price of $1 from KWD if KWD elects to exercise its right of first refusal. 
3.      The Town would agree to the creation of a 150’ buffer parallel and to the south of the shared east- west line of KWD and the Town.  The Town would agree to not place public use trails within the buffer or conduct any other development in this area except that KWD would allow forest management activities including selective harvesting.
4. We agree that a survey would not be required.

 

4. Tax Acquired Property – Sabins explained that four 2018 tax liens had matured to foreclosure on February 19, 2021. Thomas Ibbitson, former owner of a parcel of land on Cindy Lane, contacted Sabins and indicated a desire to pay all three years of back taxes to buy his land back from the Town. Sabins prepared a land purchase contract agreement for Mr. Ibbitson which the Board had previewed prior to the meeting. On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board approved the land purchase agreement as presented and then signed the contract document requiring Mr. Ibbitson to pay $100 weekly for five weeks until the balance is paid in full. A quit claim deed will be issued by the Board to Mr. Ibbitson for the land once the taxes are paid in full. Another former owner, Mark Dixon, had called Sabins just prior to the meeting and also expressed a desire to purchase his two adjacent parcels of land along Rt. #32, one containing a dilapidated mobile home, back from the town. After discussion, the Selectmen agreed to quit claim Mr. Dixon’s property back to him but only if he has paid all three years of back taxes, removed the structures and debris on the property, and cleaned up the downed trees and tree limbs within a two month period of time. Sabins will relay this information to Mr. Dixon. The fourth parcel of land on Cemetery Street was formerly owned by Robert Starratt, Jr. (now deceased). Sabins is unable to locate his personal representative Robert Starratt, III but will keep trying and report back to the Select Board.

5. MaineDOT over-limit permit – A written request has been received from MaineDOT to issue an over-weight permit to subcontractors of the state during paving season. Sabins reported that PW director Gene Field had spoken with MDOT representatives about this request and he sees no issue with the Selectmen signing this agreement. On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by J. Melrose, the Board voted unanimously to issue the permit when needed as requested and to sign the agreement.

6. Budget Deliberations – R. Browne stated he felt the town should wait on transfer station renovations. He thinks we should just replace the aging compactor. He doesn’t want to keep dumping money into developing a plan, saying “We got what we got”. He’d like to see a cover over the top of the canister to prevent water/snow from adding weight to the can. He feels we should have ample money set aside already to purchase the replacement compactor and the cover (pole barn or whatever design). Chairman Melrose asked R. Browne to sketch out or write down his ideas to share with Engineer Al Hodsdon to develop. On another matter, both R. Browne and J. Melrose agreed to move the proposed $17,500 in the fire department budget for a new furnace at the North Fire Station to the capital improvement section of the budget, since the furnace is considered a long-term investment.

7. Reports – On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by J. Melrose, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Road Report, Police Report, and the Transfer Station Report as presented.

8. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by J. Melrose, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #48 and #49.

9. Other – 1. Sabins asked the Board about their willingness to sit for a group photo for the town report. It was suggested the photo could be taken next week when the Board meets to conduct the Manager’s performance evaluation. 2. Sabins informed the Board that former Code Officer Dick Dolby has agreed to return to that position in April when current Code Officer Paul Mitnik retires. 3. The town report dedication was discussed and the Board agreed by consensus to the person/organization suggested to them by the Town Manager in an earlier email, which will not be disclosed until the book has been printed. 4. Sabins informed the Board that Danielle Sullivan has decided to return as the recreation director until June 30th. 5. Sabins explained that she had been contacted by a legal firm who discovered that a quit claim deed needs to be signed by the Board to release an undischarged 1993 tax lien for Richard Alley to clear title for the property. On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by J. Melrose the Board voted unanimously to approve and sign the quit claim deed. 6. It was noted that a 44% reduction in the CMP bill totals were experienced this month over last month due to the solar power purchase agreement that recently took effect. 7. Chairman Melrose noted that the Vassalboro Business Association has been working on making an arrangement with the Manocchio family to launch the town’s birthday celebration fireworks from their property. More funding is needed to support the project. On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by J. Melrose, the Board voted unanimously to increase the proposed funding for the fireworks display from $2K to $3K. 8. Chairman Melrose stated that the trail committee has been working on a design for the trail entrance sign.

10. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 6:45 p.m. The Budget Committee held their first work session of the new budget season immediately following this meeting.

/mss

These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 3/18/21 with the following amendments: None.