Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
April 14, 2022

Members Present: Rob Browne, Barbara Redmond, and Chris French

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Mike Poulin, CEO Ryan Page, Attorney Kristin Collins, John Melrose, Ray Breton, Ben & Denise Gidney, Tom Richards, Melissa Olson, Kayla Krause, Gene Field, and a few other members of the public.

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Rob Browne at 6:30 pm.

2. Minutes – Selectman Chris French stated that on page 3, the last sentence of the top paragraph should be revised as follows (underlined text is added, struck through text is deleted):

After lengthy discussion, and on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to spend most of the first round of ARPA funds as follows: Fire Department – up to $100K for SCBA packs and related equipment; First Responders – up to $41K for replacement AED’s, N95 Masks, Personal Protective Equipment, and training; and a related mask fitting/testing devise; and Vassalboro Sanitary District - $75K for manhole repair.

A motion was then made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French and voted unanimously by the Board to accept the minutes of the 3/17/21 meeting as amended.

3. Executive Session – On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously at 6:33 p.m. to enter into an executive session with the Town Attorney pursuant to 1 MRSA section 405(6)(E) to discuss the dangerous building property located at 14 Priest Hill Road. The Board returned to open session at 7:33 pm on a motion made by C. French, seconded by B. Redmond and voted unanimously by the Board. No formal action was taken by the Board as a result of the Executive Session.

4. Permits fees – CEO Ryan Page distributed a handout to the Board containing a list of building permit fees charged by other towns that he had surveyed, and his recommendations for fee increases. Ryan addressed questions that arose. A suggestion was made by B. Redmond that a fee schedule needs to be set for permits for Adult Businesses that is not yet established after adoption of that Ordinance. No decision was made at this meeting as CEO Page stated he would like to present these permit fee increase recommendations to the Planning Board for their input at their May 3rd meeting. The Select Board stated they would like to have a public hearing on the proposed fee increases at the May 12th Select Board meeting.

5. Spectacle Pond Agreement – Trail Committee Chairman John Melrose was present at the meeting. He and other trail committee members have been working with Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) to formalize in writing the existing practice and use of trails at Spectacle Pond, which belongs to the State. After discussion and on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to approve and sign the Spectacle Pond Trail Agreement between the Town and IFW.

6. Compensation Administration Policy – Board Member C. French stated that he had requested this topic be placed on the agenda so the Board could decide whether to support the policy or not, leading up to the town meeting vote. Chairman Browne stated he was not comfortable adopting the policy prior to town meeting vote. C. French stated he sees adopting the policy as being different than raising the money to administer the policy. B. Redmond stated that she is not comfortable yet with the policy and needs to understand the steps versus the CPI and when they are applied. She doesn’t understand how many steps are involved. She felt the Board will adopt the policy after the town approves the funding. No formal action was taken by the Board on this topic this evening.

7. Background check policy – In the agenda packet, Sabins had provided a first draft of the policy for discussion purposes. She stressed the undesirable aspect of the draft policy that it does not address the appeal process for the applicant and that the policy included all volunteers, even those serving on Boards and Committees of the Town after decades of service. She questioned whether adopting a written policy is the best idea. Chairman Browne agreed that simpler is better. B. Redmond stated that she likes to have written policies. C. French suggested that the policy be narrowed down to include just the Recreation Department volunteers and the Fire Department and First Responder volunteers. Each of those departments have by-laws, which C. French suggested could be re-written to include the Background Check policy. This issue will be revisited at a later time. No formal action was taken by the Board on this topic this evening.

8. Recreation Director Job Description – In preparation for the possible passage of funding for the proposed part-time recreation director position at town meeting, the Board reviewed the draft job description prepared by Town Manager Sabins. Chairman Browne stated he would like to rename the position and not use the words Recreation Director, as the employee would be doing more than just youth recreation programming. B. Redmond stated she has issues with the words “Department Head”, since this person will not be supervising staff as there are no other town employees to make up the so-called recreation department. C. French stated that he has issues with the education requirement listed in the description. He prefers using the language “college degree preferred”, rather than specifying “a degree from a four-year college, preferably in a recreation or leisure related field.” R. Browne stated he preferred the name “Community Program Director” for the position, rather than Recreation Director.

9. Municipal Review Committee (MRC) request for credit assistance – Both R. Browne and B. Redmond stated that they are not in favor of providing financial support to the MRC project of acquiring the defunct recycling plant in Hampden. C. French agreed and felt we should make it known to the MRC by completing their online survey. After discussion the Board agreed that the MRC would get the message that we are not interested in participating financially if we do not complete the survey.

10. Solar Ordinance straw-poll question – C. French stated that he would like to include a straw poll question on the June ballot to determine the voters’ level of interest in adopting a Solar Ordinance. He is concerned about possible land grabs to build multiple solar arrays in town. After discussion, the Board agreed to put a non-binding straw vote question on the June 14th written ballot to determine the sentiment of the voters.

11. Town Meeting Warrant – A general discussion of the warrant articles on the draft town meeting warrant was given. It was noted that a few more articles still need to be added before the warrant is final and ready for signatures at the next meeting.

12. Election workers – On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to approve the list of election workers as prepared by the Town Clerk.

13. Reports – On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Road, Police, Financial and Transfer Station Reports as presented.

14. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #59 and #60.

15. Other1. A BYOB Permit for a baby shower to be hosted by Cynthia Foster in June at St. Bridget’s Center was approved and signed by the Board. 2. C. French asked for a status update on the arrival of the compactors at the transfer station. Sabins stated she had emailed an inquiry to the vendor earlier in the day but had not received a response. 3. Mike Poulin and Tom Richards both pressured the Board for an update on the plan for dealing with the dangerous building located at 14 Priest Hill Road, to which the Board responded that we are still working on it and the issue is being addressed.

16. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.


These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 4/28/22 with the following amendments: None.