Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
October 1, 2020

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

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Mike Poulin, Sue Little, Paul Mitnik, Holly Weidner, Mike Vashon, Al Hodsdon, and Robert Dore.

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Melrose at 6:30 p.m.

2. Minutes – Selectman Barbara Redmond noted that in Section 2 of the minutes, the first initial of her first name should be corrected to the letter “B”. On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by J. Melrose, the Board voted to accept the minutes of the 9/17/20 meeting as amended. Selectman Browne abstained from the vote as he was not present at the 9/17/20 meeting.

3. Engineer Al Hodsdon provided a handout to the Board Members and Sabins containing the latest proposed revisions to the layout and traffic pattern at the Transfer Station. Mr. Hodsdon indicated that he has spoken with the abutting landowner, William Spaulding, and Mr. Spaulding has expressed a willingness to work with the town to either sell a portion of his land or to provide an easement over his land, to create a new exit driveway out of the transfer station to improve traffic flow. A question and answer session ensued. With suggestions made at the meeting, Mr. Hodsdon agreed more planning and research is needed. He will perform the additional work and report back at a later meeting.

4. Public Hearing on Junkyard and Hobbyist Permits – Chairman Melrose declared the public hearing open at 6:50 p.m. and read the list of applicants for each type of permit. Code Officer Paul Mitnik described the difference between the two types of permits, stating that the graveyard/junkyard applicants must have a business and hobbyists do not. Paul stated that after performing routine inspections, he recommends approval on all the applicants on the list except Richard Jose. Mr. Jose had more than two unserviceable vehicles on this property, but it appears he has cleaned them up and does not need a permit. Paul provided information on each applicant, including the ones he has had enforcement action with in the past. He also named special conditions (i.e.: screening) he has required on some permits. Chairman Melrose asked about the number of unlicensed vehicles that are allowed in a yard before a permit is required, to which Mr. Mitnik answered “two”. Melrose further asked how many situations in town are there where there are more than two unlicensed vehicles. Paul stated that he is not aware of any other properties, and that he dealt with many of them his first time employed with the town over 10 years ago. Resident and Hobbyist Permit applicant Robert Dore asked from the audience why he is required to get a permit when there are 12-15 others he could name that are not required. He stated that the Town should get everyone in compliance, or scrap the system. Mitnik said he doesn’t know of any other non-compliant property owners but he would deal with the situation if he were to be made aware of it. There being no further public comment, Chair Melrose closed the public hearing at 7:05 pm. Selectman Redmond asked about the fee for these permits, to which Mitnik answered $50 for the Graveyard permit; $25 for the Hobbyist permit. R. Browne moved to approve the list of applicants as presented with the exception of Richard Jose which should be removed. The motion was seconded by B. Redmond and voted unanimously by the Board. Chairman Melrose asked Robert Dore and Sabins to sit with CEO Mitnik to talk about the list of violators that Mr. Dore has knowledge of. CEO Mitnik stated he was willing to do that but preferred to wait until the winter months when his CEO work slows down and it is easier to identify unused and unregistered vehicles by the mounds of undisturbed snow on the tops of vehicles. The list of approved permits is listed below.

Automobile Graveyard / Junkyard 2020

a.) James Cogley, 510 Main St., Ron’s Parts Inc., Map 12/Lot 3
b.) Dale Clement, 471 Taber Hill Rd., Bondo’s Garage, Map 8/ Lot 13
c.) Bill Pullen, 163 S. Stanley Hill Rd., Freddie’s Service Center, Map 12/Lot 22 & 1
d.) Stanley Garnett, 1616 N. Belfast Ave., Garnett’s Motors, Map 9/Lot 90
e.) Olin Charette, 1499 Riverside Dr., Week’s Mills Garage, Map 2/Lot 86
f.) Voit Ritch, Rt.3, Autowerkes, Map 9/Lot 105
g.) Roger Pomerleau, 1702 Riverside Dr., RAP, Map 2/ Lot 18

Hobbyist

h.) Keith Lemieux, 79 Priest Hill Rd., Map 8/Lot 151
i.) James Jurdak, 7 Baker Rd., Map 19/Lot 18
j.) Robert Dore, 919 Church Hill Rd., Map 1/Lot 174
k.) Mathew Farrington, 321 Holman Day Rd., Map 2/Lot 36-1

5. Streetlight request – Main Street resident Susan Little was in attendance at the meeting and explained her request for a streetlight in front of her home located at 349 Main Street near the East Vassalboro Village Post Office. She said it is very dark there and she feels the need to accompany her guests who leave her house after dark to be sure they are safe to get to their vehicle unharmed. Ms. Little stated that there used to be a streetlight in front of her house in the past, but no longer. Sabins explained that she had provided the pole numbers of the telephone poles in the area to Central Maine Power (CMP), some with streetlights and some without. She is awaiting information from CMP as to whether increasing the wattage on some of the existing lights would cure the problem without having to add another light for a 15-year agreement. Because of the severe wind weather event that occurred within the last few days, CMP has not been able to provide an answer. The Board agreed to revisit this topic again at the next meeting when possibly more information will be available.

6. Other (taken out of agenda order) – 1.) FD Member Mike Vashon explained to the Board that the department’s communications repeater located on the Nelson Road is in need of repair or replacement. The repeater is used to set off pagers and portables to notify firefighters of a fire emergency and to allow radio communication between members at incidents. The 20-year-old system is shared with the Town of China. Both towns needing to fill the void left by the disabled repeater, China is experimenting on using a separate repeater at their town office on a separate frequency. Vassalboro may be on its own to get our own repeater replacement at an anticipated cost of $12K-$15K for both an analog and digital system. For now, we are using a borrowed system. Chairman Melrose asked M. Vashon for more information on this topic and the new fire truck lease at the next Select Board Meeting. 2.) The continuation of the Vassalboro Conservation Commission (VCC) was discussed. Chairman Melrose stated that, at the moment, there is no Chair and the VCC seems to be in limbo. VCC Member Holly Weidner gave a brief background on the VCC membership and history of those who have chaired the Commission. She stated that there was no August meeting because there was no Chair to call the meeting, yet at their previous meeting there was enthusiasm among members for upcoming potential projects. Chairman Melrose suggested the VCC get together first to decide the fate of VCC, then come to the Board with their recommendation.

7. MRC Board of Directors nomination form – After brief discussion and on a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to nominate Sophia Wilson, Town Manager of Orono, to serve another three-year term on the MRC Board of Directors. Sabins will submit this nomination to the MRC Executive Director. The actual ballot with all nominees’ names will be available after the nomination period has ended.

8. Select Board meeting dates – After discussion, the Board decided by consensus to move the October 29th meeting date to Wednesday, October 28th at 2:30 p.m., since they already have an appointment on October 28th with the fire chief for fire station tours at 4:00 p.m. The Board also agreed to cancel the November 26th and December 24th meetings, as both conflict with holidays. The Board agreed to call special meetings in November and December if the Manager determines a meeting is required to conduct town business.

9. Reports – 1. Road Report - On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Road Report as presented. Chairman Melrose provided an update on the Cross Hill Road culvert replacement project. 2. Financial Report – After a brief question and answer period, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Financial Report as presented on a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by B. Redmond.

10. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by B Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #20 and #21.

11. Other – 1. Sabins shared the results of the Assessing team’s quarterly review with the Board. 2. Sabins stated she had applied for and received a $5,000 election grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life Team. 3. Sabins suggested the Board members review and provide feedback on the Gray Road culvert bid specifications recently provided by Calderwood Engineering. The Board agreed to do that at either the October 15th or October 28th meetings. 4. Sabins informed the Board that the Vassalboro Recreation programs have been shut down for the season due to a positive COVID-19 case involving a child in the Town of Windsor who plays on the Dirigo travel soccer team. Vassalboro’s Dirigo travel soccer team has interacted with this team. Those people with possible virus exposure have been notified by the Maine Center for Disease Control. 5. A ribbon cutting event for the opening of the Solar Array in Skowhegan where the Town and School have signed a power purchase agreement will be held on Thursday, November 12th. Several Board members and Sabins have expressed an interest in attending.

12. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

/mss

These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 10/15/20 with the following amendments: None.