Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
October 14, 2010
Members Present: Rob Browne and Lauchlin Titus
Members Absent: Phil Haines
Others Present: Mary Sabins, George Gould, Julie Lyon, Tom Richards, Jim Ashton, David Jenney, Town Attorney Alton Stevens, and Mr. & Mrs. Lance Cloutier.
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 R. Browne, seconded by Lauchlin Titus, the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the 9/16/10 meeting as written.
3.New Business (taken out of agenda order) –
a. Cemetery Rules – The proposed new cemetery rules to govern the North Cemetery were discussed as presented by the Cemetery Committee. Resident David Jenney, who is also the Caretaker of the Cross Hill Cemetery, was present for the discussion. David made several recommendations for changes in the wording of the proposed rules. The Committee Members took the suggestions under advisement and will consider the recommendations for changes at their next meeting.
b. Webber Pond Road tax sale – Town Attorney Alton Stevens was present for the discussion. Attorney Stevens stated that he felt the town’s tax lien took a higher legal position over the old Writ of Execution recorded by Sears Roebuck in the early 1990’s, and that he felt the town had properly foreclosed on the property owned by Richard & Joyce Chenette. Mr. Stevens felt the matter could be successfully argued in the Court system. On September 20th, the Town received a check from Sears’ attorney Stanley Greenberg for $500 to pay the outstanding 2007 taxes, but the tax collector/treasurer has not yet receipted the money until a decision is made by the Selectmen which direction the town would take on the matter. Attorney Stevens also stated that Mr. Greenberg offered a suggestion that the Town accept the high bidders’ offer of $20,100 to purchase the property, and then pay Sears $17,000 to settle the Writ to obtain clear title, and the town would still have a profit of $3,000. Questions ensued whether the town could legally pay Sears $17,000 without a vote of town meeting. Lance Cloutier stated he might still be interested in the property if the transfer could happen within the next two weeks, otherwise he was not really interested any longer because the ground will freeze soon and he will not be able to break ground for development. Everyone agreed it was not likely that a transfer would happen that quickly. After discussion concerning the options, and on a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by L. Titus, the Selectmen voted unanimously to give the deposits back to the three bidders who had participated in the bid process. Discussion was then given about whether to accept the tax money and issue a Quit-Claim Deed back to the former owner so Sears could pursue legal action with the former owner over settling the Writ. Another option was to not receipt the tax money but instead pursue legal action to prove the foreclosure was legitimate. After discussion and on a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the tax money from Sears and to move on.
c. Public Hearing on Automobile Junkyard and Hobbyist Permit Renewals – The public hearing was opened by Chairman Titus at 8:20 p.m. There was no public comment. The hearing was closed and on a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to approve the list of permit renewals as presented and recommended by the Code Enforcement Officer.
d. Spirit of America Award – Chairman Titus suggested that Victor Esposito be chosen as the recipient of this year’s award in light of his work with the children at the school and his volunteerism on many projects throughout the town. The suggestion was received well by all in attendance and plans were quickly made for a daytime presentation at the school in front of the children if it can be arranged. Sabins will work on finalizing the presentation plans.
e. Town Meeting Warrant – On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to sign the amended town meeting warrant calling for the special election on November 2, 2010. This amended version of the Warrant included an article for the election of a Kennebec Water District Trustee, which was previously omitted.
4.Reports – a. Status Report – Earlier in the meeting when Attorney Stevens was present, he provided a brief update on the Leo Barnett appeals case. Sabins informed the Board that Jonathan Blumberg’s appeal of the Code Officer’s issuance of a building permit to Mr. Blumberg’s neighbor for a hoop greenhouse will be heard by the Town Appeals Board on October 26, 2010. b. Road Report – On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Road Report as presented. c. Police Report - On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Police Report as presented.
5.Other – 1. A thank you letter from School Committee Chairman Kevin Levasseur thanking the town public works department for their assistance with the school curbing repair project this summer was read. 2. The Selectmen set November 18th as the only meeting date in November. The regular meeting dates of November 11th and 25th both fell on holidays and needed to be rescheduled. 3. It was noted that the Registrar of Voters will have extended hours on October 28th until 7:00 p.m. as required by law prior to the election. 4. The Board acknowledged receipt of a $500 Recycling Grant from the State Planning Office to purchase some new signs for the transfer station facility and a recycling brochure to promote recycling. The grant requires a town match. 5. It was noted that the AOS #92 Budget Meeting will be held at Winslow High School on Thursday, December 9th. The Selectmen will adjust the time of their meeting that evening accordingly when the time of the AOS meeting is announced. 6. The energy grant bids for furnace installations at the two fire stations and the town garage were discussed. Two bids were received. At the earlier recommendation of the Energy Committee and on a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to reject all bids. The specifications will be re-written by the Energy Committee with a longer time frame for submission, and re-sent to all sixteen potential bidders that received the first set of specifications. Several vendors registered concerns that insufficient time was given to prepare a bid. 7. On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to sign the Fairpoint Location Permits to allow them to affix equipment to selected CMP poles in town. 8. It was noted that the Town received second place again this year in the annual Town Report Competition. A framed certificate was on display at the meeting, along with a congratulatory letter from the Maine Municipal Association. 9. It was noted that the Conservation Commission received notice that they had been successful in writing a $3,400 Project Canopy Grant for the purchase and planting of eight trees in town. Six of the trees will be planted along the driveway at the town office. The grant requires a town match. 10. Brief discussion was given about Central Maine Power Company’s plan to install Smart Meters on all town facilities and informational brochures were distributed.
6.Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #22 and #23.
7.A Quit-Claim Deed was signed by the Selectmen for Richard and Joyce Chenette as a result of the decisions made and votes taken earlier in the meeting.
8. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m.
These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 10/28/10 with the following amendments: None.