Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
September 12, 2013
Members Present: Lauchlin Titus and Phil Haines
Members Absent: Rob Browne
Others Present: Mary Sabins, Forest Ranger Aaron Bailey, Eileen Rowe, Fire Chief Eric Rowe, David Jenney, Tom Richards, Gene Field, Sam Lavallee and Bill Behrens (7:30) of Revision Energy.
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 L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 8/15/13 meeting as written.
3. Eileen Rowe explained to the Board that she has asthma and cannot tolerate the smoke from campfires in her neighborhood. She has kept a log book and has 128 recorded instances of smoke on her property. Ranger Bailey stated that he has investigated complaints from Ms. Rowe in the past. He stated he has to witness the fire and must see respiratory distress or injury. If he finds a valid nuisance fire, he can request that the fire be extinguished. Chief Rowe responded twice to Ms. Rowe’s residence. During those instances, he could smell smoke but not see it and he had a hard time finding the fire. Ms. Rowe stated she feels like a third class citizen with no rights. She wants to be able to leave her windows open. Chairman Titus stated that her recourse could be to seek an ordinance to prohibit outdoor burning, but it is likely the ordinance would not be supported by the townspeople at town meeting. It was suggested to test with a CO2 detector the next time Ms. Rowe can smell smoke to determine the health hazard level. Chairman Titus suggested the smell of smoke may not be as hazardous as Ms. Rowe fears it is. The test results may alleviate those fears. Ranger Bailey and Chief Rowe agreed to do the testing and Ms. Rowe will call them next time she experiences a smoke problem in her neighborhood. David Jenney suggested to Ms. Rowe that she contact the offending neighbors; Ms. Rowe stated she has tried that. Ms. Rowe thanked the Board, Ranger Bailey, and the Fire Chief for the assistance.
4. Revision Energy presentation – Postponed until later in the meeting when another representative from Revision Energy arrives.
5. Capital Expenses Committee – After discussion, and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to adopt the mission for the Capital Expenses Committee as proposed by Sabins with a grammar correction. The statement is as follows: “The Capital Expenses Committee will be an advisory committee to the Board of Selectmen and the Town Manager which will research the anticipated future capital needs and resulting expenses for the sustainability of the operations of the Town of Vassalboro. The committee will meet as necessary during the months of September 2013 through December 2013 to prepare a report for distribution to assist with budget and capital investment reserve planning.” As for committee membership, P. Haines motioned to appoint Rick Denico, Jr. and Kevin Reed. L. Titus seconded the motion, which was voted unanimously by the Board. Additional committee members will be appointed at a future meeting. Resident Tom Richards stated that he had served on a similar town committee back in the 1980’s and he described the planning process used at that time.
6. Revision Energy representatives Sam Lavallee and Bill Behrens stated they have identified the town garage lawn property as the best site for installation of the solar collector panels. A for-profit entity would be set up and would own the equipment for six years to get the tax benefits. The entity would sell the energy to the town for one penny per kilowatt less than current costs. After six years, the town would be required to buy the equipment at a price of $85,000, with a life expectancy of 30-40 years. David Jenney asked several questions; extended discussion was given about this proposal. David has a solar system at his home that was installed by Revision Energy several years ago. The Board made no decision on this matter this evening and will discuss it again at the next meeting when Selectman Browne is present.
7. Other (taken out of agenda order) – 1. Gene Field asked the Board about spending the money approved at town meeting to restore the backhoe. He expressed concern about putting an estimated $15,000 into such old equipment. After discussion, the Board suggested doing the restoration work in the spring if no support was received from the Budget Committee during the winter budget talks to invest the funds raised for restoration work into a new piece of equipment next year. 2. Gene informed the Board that he and his team planned to trim and clear trees around the perimeter of the North Cemetery at the Cemetery Committee’s request. As a result, he estimated he would have 3-5 cords of wood he would need to dispose of. He asked the Board for suggestions of how to dispose of it. After discussion, the Board agreed to allow Gene to give the wood to anyone Gene wanted to. 3. Tom Richards informed the Board of a safety issue located at the Rt. #32 and Bog Road intersection by the Country Store. Vehicles go around the corner too fast and too tight, cutting off anyone who might be standing or parked near the store entrance. Tom plans to talk with David Bernhardt and David Allen from MDOT about it.
8. MMA Business Meeting – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to appoint Mary Sabins as the town’s delegate for voting purposes at the annual business meeting to be held during the MMA Convention on October 2nd and 3rd.
9. MRC Board of Directors – Due to lack of ideas of names to submit as nominees to serve on the Board of Directors, the Board took no action on this item.
10. Reports – a. Status Report – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. 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.
11. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #13 and #14.
12. Other – 1. On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to sign the Constitution Week Proclamation requested and submitted by Evelyn Dutil.
13. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.
These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 9/26/13 with the following amendments: None.