Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
November 22, 2011
Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and Phil Haines
Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Tom Richards, Dick Phippen, Dick Kelly, Olin Charette and a male helper, and Gene Field.
1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Haines at 7:00 p.m.
2. Minutes – On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by P. Haines, the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the 11/10/11 meeting as written.
3. Public Hearing on Automobile Junkyard and Hobbyist permits – Chairman Haines opened the public hearing at 7:01 p.m. and read the list of Junkyard applicants as follows: Stan Garnett, d/b/a Garnett Motors, 1616 N. Belfast Ave.; Dale Clement, d/b/a Bondo’s, 471 Taber Hill Road; William Pullen, d/b/a Freddies, 163 So. Stanley Hill Road; Jim Cogley, d/b/a Ron’s Parts, 510 Main Street; Voit Ritch, d/b/a Autowerkes, Ritch Road; Francis Joseph, d/b/a Antiques of Maine, 148 Priest Hill Road; Olin Charette, d/b/a Weeks Mill Garage, 1499 Riverside Drive; and Hobbyist applicant Keith Lemieux, located at 79 Priest Hill Road. Hearing no public comment, the public hearing was closed at 7:02 p.m. On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve permits for the list as read. Olin Charette gave a brief summary of the site cleanup on his property.
4. Cemetery Committee update – Committee Chairman Dick Kelly gave a summary update on the work of the Committee over the last two years. Most recently, the Committee has been surveying the condition of the town’s cemeteries and have found much tree and brush work that needs to be done, as well as some stone repair. The Committee plans to look for grant opportunities to help with those maintenance costs. The Committee also recommends increasing the price of lots in the North Cemetery from $150 to $250 effective January 1, 2012. Dick stated that after surveying other towns, the Committee has found that our lot rates are much lower than surrounding towns. After discussion and on a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to go along with the recommendations of the Cemetery Committee to increase the lot fees to $250 effective January 1, 2012.
5. Road behind the school (not on the agenda) – As a result of a recent small fire in a bathroom at the school that required fire department response, the Board noted that the dirt road behind the school that has not been utilized for years has grown in and needs to be maintained to provide access for a fire truck to get to the back of the school building. Public Works Director Gene Field, who was in attendance at the meeting, stated he would look into it.
6. Personnel Handbook adoption – Sabins explained that she had added the words “and technology” on page 14 that were suggested by the attorney during his review, but overlooked by Sabins when she incorporated his suggestions the Board had accepted at the last meeting into the version that the Board had received in their agenda packets for this meeting. Without further discussion and on a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to adopt this final version of the Personnel Handbook that the Board has worked on for several months.
7. Gene Field’s request for insurance coverage – Public Works Director Gene Field restated his request from the last meeting to have the Board honor the old personnel policy (last revision date of 1992) and to provide family health insurance coverage for him and his family. The old policy stated that employees hired prior to July 1, 1990 would receive family health insurance coverage; Gene was hired prior to this date. Each of the Selectmen explained their opposition to providing this benefit. Their reasoning included the facts that the old policy was severely outdated and had been not utilized for many years; the current cost for family health insurance coverage is more than double the cost of when Gene last received family coverage in 2001 and is now valued at an annual cost of almost $20,000; and the fear that providing family coverage to Gene would start a precedent and an expectation for other employees. Selectman Titus quoted State Representative Dennis Keschl from Belgrade who recently stated: “Unfortunately, we cannot fulfill promises made in the past.” Gene stated he wanted to file a grievance, to which the Selectmen stated they are the Appeal Board and their decision is final. The Board encouraged Gene to enroll himself for insurance coverage as the Town will pay 100% coverage for the employee. Gene still has the option to enroll his family for insurance coverage that he can pay for through payroll deduction.
8. Reports – a. Status Report – On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. b. Road Report - On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. c. Financial Report - On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented.
9. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrant #23, and warrant #24 in the amount of $28,649.64, and warrant #25 in the amount of $6,883.32.
10. Other – 1. The Board signed a letter of intent that will allow the Town to offer supplemental life insurance benefits to the employees at the employee’s expense. 2. The Board signed a Project Certification form for the Recreation Grant Application. 3. Tom Richards stated he felt the Board should consider purchasing a new compactor at the Transfer Station. Sabins stated that a replacement reserve has been started. 4. L. Titus stated he appreciated receiving the outside agency contribution comparison summary recently provided by Fairfield Town Manager Josh Reny. Lauchlin further analyzed the information to determine a per-capita contribution amount.
11. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 12/8/11 with the following amendments: None.