Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
May 22, 2013
Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and Phil Haines
Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Linda Titus, George Gould, Lynette Gamache, Holly Weidner, John Melrose, Paul Mitnik, Sylvia Michaud, and Cameron Brown.
1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Browne at 7:00 p.m.
2. Minutes – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the April 25, 2013 and the May 1, 2013 meetings as written.
3. Tax Acquired Property – Vassalboro Conservation Commission (VCC) Member Paul Mitnik explained that the VCC has reviewed the tax acquired property formerly owned by Leal Corson on the Webber Pond Road, and the VCC feels the property is valuable for conservation because it is adjacent to the Kennebec Land Trust (KLT) property that is being conserved as wildlife habitat. The VCC recommends that the Selectmen give the property to the KLT. John Melrose, as a steward for the KLT property, reiterated that the acquired land is valuable because it is adjacent to the 168 acres of KLT conserved land. He feels this conserved land preserves the water quality of Webber Pond. Selectman Haines stated that because this tax acquired land has an assessed value of $21,400, he feels the Selectmen have a fiduciary responsibility to put the property out to bid and that the KLT is welcome to submit a bid. Holly Weidner stated that the Town Strategic Plan indicates that the Town wants to preserve the rural atmosphere of the Town. She expressed concern about roadside development; once this parcel is developed, it is gone and will affect the corridors where animals travel that also serves as deer wintering grounds. Selectman Titus offered that the Selectmen have some discretion concerning disposal. He suggested that the property be advertised, and if no response is received, the Board could make a decision about disposal. Chairman Browne stated that he needed time to think about this matter. After discussion and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to place an ad in the paper. L. Titus requested the bid advertisement include a requirement that the bidder state what they intend to do with the property. The Board also agreed that the bid process will have no minimum bid, a 10% deposit is required with the bid submission, and the bids are due by 4:00 p.m. on June 20th. The bids will be opened during the Selectmen’s meeting that evening.
4. Photovoltaics – Selectman Titus explained that a company named Revision Energy has come up with a program for towns to produce energy: Revision Energy buys the photovoltaic (solar) system and the town buys the system on a lease-purchase program. The payback is estimated to be 3-5 years, possibly longer. L. Titus stated that he had a photovoltaic system on his former home in another town about 30 years ago, and he is interested in pursuing this further. John Melrose stated that Revision Energy would give a presentation if there was any interest. P. Haines suggested that the Town Energy Committee should review this idea, and then it could be presented to the town meeting next year if appropriate.
5. Backyard composting – L. Titus explained that while reading a magazine ad recently, he saw an ad for compostable polybags for composting kitchen waste. While our transfer station is not licensed to compost kitchen food wastes and the transfer station manager is concerned about disposal of non-compostable plastic bags at the transfer station, L. Titus believes he could find people to put on a workshop to teach a home composting training class on a Saturday afternoon at the transfer station in the early fall if any resident was interested in learning about it.
6. Linda Titus, President of the Vassalboro Business Association provided an update to the Board on the fundraising effort recently conducted to purchase 100 flags that will be erected on the CMP poles along Main Street in the North and East villages. The Fire Department and the Masons hung the brackets two weekends ago, and the students at the school are assembling the flags and poles. The flags will be mounted in the brackets this weekend just before Memorial Day. East Vassalboro resident Sylvia Michaud stated that she has two CMP poles in front of her property, one of which is in front of her view of China Lake. She objects to having a flag in front of her lake view all summer long. She is not opposed to having the flag fly on holidays, but would prefer to not have the flag there all summer. Discussion was given about not mounting the flag in front of Sylvia’s house, but Linda is concerned the missing flag in the line-up of flags would be conspicuous and look odd. After discussion, Sylvia agreed to allow the flag to be mounted in front of her property on a trial basis over the upcoming holiday. After a week if she still feels strongly that she doesn’t want the flag there, she will call Linda Titus to discuss removal of the flag.
7. Reports – a. Status Report – No status update was available from the Town Attorney, therefore no status report was given and no action was taken by the Board. b. Road Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. c. Police Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. d. Financial Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. The First Advisors investment report for April was also distributed as part of the Financial Report.
8. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by P. Haines, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #74 and #75.
9. Other – 1. The Board agreed to conduct the Town Manager’s evaluation during the June 6th meeting. 2. The Board agreed to present the Spirit of America Award at the school on June 3rd in addition to a town meeting presentation. 3. George Gould has submitted his written resignation from the Planning Board effective June 30th. 4. Sabins shared a thank you note from Spectrum Generations for our annual contribution, and a note from MDOT regarding a planning meeting in Augusta for a project they are planning that may affect traffic volumes in Vassalboro. 5. L. Titus explained to the other Board members that he had sent a letter to Jon Blumberg stating his decision not to visit Jon Blumberg’s property as requested by Jon recently.
10. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.
These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 6/6/13 with the following amendments: None.