Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
May 22, 2014
Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and Phil Haines
Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Dick Phippen, Rhonda Lilly, Jodi & Matt Goodie, Sandy & Everett Reynolds, Don Breton, Jessica Breton, Cathy Coyne, Kevin Reed, Amanda Martin, Lionel Dubord, Kay Pooler, John Cote, Al Pelletier, Brian Lahler, Jan Murton, and several other unknown members of the public.
1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Titus at 7:00 p.m.
2. Minutes – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 5/8/14 meeting as written.
3. Public Hearing on the Ordinance to Regulate Use of Exploding Targets – Chairman Titus called the public hearing to order at 7:01 p.m. and gave the audience the background on why the ordinance is being proposed. Excessive use of exploding targets on Cemetery Street in the last few months has caused the neighbors to request the presentation of this ordinance at town meeting to regulate the use of exploding targets. Several residents who were not aware of previous conversations about this subject at previous Selectmen’s meetings, wanted to know the cause of the loud explosions they have been hearing. When explained that the explosive targets are the reason, resident Jan Murton stated that this was not a gun rights issue, but rather an issue of not being courteous to your neighbors. Chairman Titus explained the process to adopt an ordinance, and he encouraged the group to attend town meeting to vote their opinion on the ordinance. Selectman Haines explained that a noise ordinance is not being proposed due to the difficulty in enforcing it, as a noise ordinance usually specifies a decibel level that cannot be exceeded. Some residents told personal stories of how the explosive target shooting has affected them personally, while others told of resulting property damage. Resident John Cote stated that he is one of the target shooters and he enjoys the activity because “blowing up trees is fun.” He acknowledged his group gets out of hand sometimes and goes to the extreme and makes a lot of noise. Resident Brian Lahler encouraged target practice in moderation, back in the woods where neighbors wouldn’t be disturbed. Selectman Haines stated that common sense would go a long way, but there has been no neighborly cooperation and this ordinance is the result. Selectman Browne stated that laws beget more laws and he would prefer that this law not have to be implemented, but the target shooters had the opportunity to avoid this ordinance a month ago when asked to cease the activity, and there was no cooperation. The residents were encouraged again to attend town meeting on June 2nd at 6:30 p.m. at the school, and the public hearing was closed at 7:30 p.m.
4. Ordinance Certification (taken out of agenda order) – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to sign the “Municipal Officers’ Certification of Official Text of a Proposed Ordinance” Form for the ordinance entitled: Town of Vassalboro - Ordinance to Regulate Use of Exploding Targets. The certificate will be attached to a true copy of the official text of the Ordinance to Regulate Use of Exploding Targets, and it gives the town clerk instructions to make the ordinance available for distribution to the voters and ensure that copies are available at town meeting on the day of the vote.
5. Sidewalk grant article – Sabins distributed a revised version of the town meeting warrant and reviewed changes made from the original warrant signed at an earlier meeting. The changes included the name of the resident on page one and page 13 who would post the warrant. Resident Dick Phippen is unavailable to post the warrant tomorrow (5/23/14), so Town Clerk Cathy Coyne has agreed to post them. The funding source for Article 19 (sidewalk grant article) was corrected to seek $53,335 from surplus, instead of cash. And correction in the name of the Exploding Target ordinance proposed in Article 18 was also included. On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to sign the warrant with corrections made.
6. MMA Legislative Policy Committee nominations – After brief discussion, Chairman Titus offered that he would approach resident and elected Budget Committee Member John Melrose to see if he might be interested in serving on the Maine Municipal Association Legislative Policy Committee. This item was tabled until the next meeting to give Chairman Titus time to make contact with Mr. Melrose.
7. Reports – a. Road Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. b. Financial Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented.
8. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #60 and #61.
9. Other – 1. The Board signed the Spirit of America Award Certificates. 2. Sabins informed the Board that $4,168 had been received last week in alewife harvest revenues. 3. Selectman Haines stated that Congressman Mike Michaud and a group of other dignitaries made an appearance at the Webber Pond fish ladder a week ago.
10. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.
These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 6/5/14 with the following amendments: None.