Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
March 18, 2021

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

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Kayla Krause, Mary Grow, Mike Poulin, Eugene Field, Melissa Olsen, and Matt Weaver (6:35pm).

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

2. Minutes – On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by J. Melrose, the Board voted two in favor, one abstention (B. Redmond who was not in attendance at that meeting) to accept the minutes of the 3/4/21 meeting as written.

3. Wage Consultant – Town Manager Mary Sabins outlined a proposal for the Town of Vassalboro, written by Laurie Bouchard with LBouchard & Associates LLC which details out facilitating a market study for the town’s employment positions and creating a compensation program. The Board was concerned about allocating the funds for such a study to be conducted, when to have the study done, and when to implement the findings of the study. Concerns of what the study would bring about and how it would affect the town’s employees were raised. Eugene Field and Mary Sabins expressed being in favor of having the study conducted. After discussion and on a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to conduct the wage study in FY 21/22 with a plan to implement the results of the study in the following fiscal year, and to add the $3,800 in funds needed for the study to be added to the proposed administration budget for FY 21/22.

4. Sign Marijuana Ordinance – R. Browne motioned, B. Redmond seconded, and the Board voted unanimously to sign the certification form for the proposed Marijuana Business Ordinance. A public hearing date was set for April 29th at 6:30pm at the Vassalboro School.

5. Town Meeting Warrant article format- was discussed. The Board was in agreement to combine a couple of articles into one. The Board went with Town Manager Mary Sabins’ recommendation to have ballots printed for $.25/ballot so that automated processing can occur. B. Redmond made the motion, R. Browne seconded and the Board voted unanimously.

6. Investment Advisor Matt Weaver- provided the Town’s annual investment report. Matt reviewed the existing Investment Policy and recommended that no changes be made to the policy. As for the investment portfolio performance last year, Matt concluded that the 7.43% return net of fee with only 25% exposure to equities was good news for the town. Matt discussed whether the Federal stimulus money and low interest rates will heat up the economy. On a motion by B. Redmond and seconded by R. Browne the Board voted unanimously to keep the Investment Policy as is and renewed it for another year.

7. Land Agreement with Kennebec Water District (KWD) - J. Melrose gave an update that there was not much to report other than he did some research and found a sample trail agreement that could be emulated for our agreement with KWD. A copy of the agreement has been shared with KWD trustees and we are awaiting a response.

8. Transfer Station Renovation- discussion was given again regarding the cost estimate previously provided by A.E. Hodsdon Consulting Engineers which outlined two options for upgrading the Transfer Station. The 1st was an estimate for all proposed work at a cost of $318K. The 2nd proposal broke out the work over a two-year period with expenses for phase 1 listed at $166K and phase 2 listed at $152K. Chairman John Melrose explained how he believed the two-year approach could work and we could reduce some of the costs. His suggestions were that the PW department might be able to topple and remove the two structures to make way for new ones at a cost less than $8,000. John also questioned the need to extend the retaining wall in Phase I for $4,000 when we know from experience we can operate for extended periods with the current set up while the compacter is out of service.  And third, John suggested we do not need to move the pole in Phase I and can therefore defer $2,000 in expense.  If those three items came out, the $166,000 Phase I estimate drops to $152,000 including a contingency of $15,000.  With the proposed increase in reserve funding of $25,000 for the transfer station in FY21-22, we will be short about $56,000 to complete Phase I. John suggested that it seems prudent to at least discuss with the Budget Committee this bare bones approach and get everyone’s view on adding this amount from surplus or defer everything for another year.  R. Browne stated that he felt we just need to get a new compactor in place that works and make other changes after that. Put a roof over it to keep the water out. Rob would be happy with that approach. B. Redmond agreed. The electrical systems need to be upgraded for the new compactor as well. Chairman Melrose asked Sabins to talk with Engineer Al Hodsdon to see what cost would be involved to just replace the old compactor with a new one and upgrade the electrical systems for comparison purposes.

9. Reports- On a motion made by R. Bowne, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to accept both the Road and Treasurer’s Reports.

10. Treasurer’s Warrants- #52 & #53- R. Browne motioned to approve, B. Redmond seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous.

11. Other Items- 1.) By consensus, the Board approved participation in a Drug Take Back/Shredding event on April 24th 10am-2pm at the China Transfer Station. The cost for the event for Town of Vassalboro will be $100.00. 2.) Eugene Field discussed a 20,000 watt generator purchase for the Public Works Garage. Estimate from Augusta Fuel Company was the lowest at $11,050.00. There would be a 500 gallon propane tank purchased and $3197.00 would be needed for tank, labor, and install. R. Browne motioned to approve, B. Redmond seconded and the vote was unanimous. 3.) Mary Sabins discussed her being asked to serve as past president for the MMA for the remainder of the 2021 calendar year to fill an immediate vacancy if she chose to do so. The Board had no problem in supporting her taking that role, which would expire 12/31/2021.

12. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 7:08 pm.
A budget committee meeting immediately followed this meeting.

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These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 4/1/21 with the following amendments: None.