Vassalboro Select Board
Minutes of the Meeting
August 12, 2021

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

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Mike Poulin, Paul Mitnik, Kayla Krause, Billy & Roxanne Pullen, Melissa Olson, Ray Breton, Becky Goodrich, Al Roy, George Hamar, Richard Green, Joe Presti, Gene Field, John Fortin and his wife, Chad Caron and his mother (8:09), and several other unknown members of the public.

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

2. Minutes – On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 6/24/21 and 7/14/21 meetings as written.

3. Executive Session – On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously at 6:32 pm to enter into an executive session virtually with legal counsel via Zoom pursuant to 1 MRSA, Section 405, subsection 6 (E) to discuss possible legal action to be taken concerning land use violations on property located at 14 Priest Hill Road. The Board returned to open session at 7:01 pm. Then, on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to pursue legal action on the owner of 14 Priest Hill Road based on the advice of the town attorney. The Board chose option #2 from the list of action options provided by the attorney.

4. Mass Gathering Ordinance – B. Redmond provided an update on the changes she had made to the previous draft of the Mass Gathering Ordinance, based on the suggestions made by the Board at their previous meeting. C. French offered further amendments to the proposed Ordinance to include the Chief of the First Responders to the list of those town officials to be consulted in the permitting process. Sabins also suggested the indentation of subparagraphs for ease in reading the document. The Board agreed to these changes by consensus and authorized Sabins to send this latest revised draft to the Town Attorney for her review. Sabins will research the timeline needed to conduct a public hearing on this ordinance in a timely manner for presentation to the voters on a secret ballot in November.

5. Use of American Recovery Plan (ARP) funds – On a motion made by C. French, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted to table discussion on this topic tonight due to the length of the agenda. Sabins suggested to Chairman Brown that members of the Sanitary District Board of Trustees and their Engineer were present in the audience to share ideas with the Board on this topic. Chairman Brown then recognized Engineer Richard Green and allowed him to speak. Richard stated that he could provide a list of projects that the sewer district could use the ARP funds for as provided in the Federal guidelines. Richard will provide the list of projects to Sabins for discussion at a future meeting. Chairman Browne agreed to that plan, stating the goal is to keep the Vassalboro Sanitary District in a sound position so they can stand on their own. The topic will be placed on the September 2nd and/or 16th meeting agenda.

6. Tax mil rate for 2021 taxes – The Board reviewed the four mil rate options as provided by Assessor Ellery Bane. After discussion, and on a motion made by C. French, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to set the 2021 tax mil rate at $14.48 per thousand.

7. Overdraft in FY 2021 – Sabins explained that the Transfer Station, the Fire Department, and the Street Light budgets were overdraft at the end of last fiscal year on June 30, 2021 and there may be other overdrafts in other departments if the auditor chooses to make an adjusting entry to the labor expense lines for payroll incurred the last two weeks in June 2021, but not expended until July 2nd, 2021 in the new fiscal year. Town voter approval has been given at town meeting for the Select Board to transfer funds from other under-expended departments to cover overdrafts. On a motion made by C. French, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to authorize the Treasurer, in conjunction with the auditor, to transfer available funds from the Public Works Department (#02) budget expense lines and the Police and Animal Control Department (#08 a/k/a Public Safety Department) budget expense lines to cover overdrafts in other department budgets at the end of fiscal year 2021.

8. Trash Compactor prices – Discussion was given as to the compactors being proposed by the different vendors and how those machines compare to the existing compactor. C. French stated that he had called one of the vendors to help him understand the electrical components that will be required, and to clarify the horse power of the machines being proposed. It was determined that some of the proposals have a smaller horse power machine than the existing machine. Transfer Station Manager George Hamar recommends a bigger horse power motor with a bigger hopper. Chairman Browne agreed. The Board asked Sabins to contact the vendors to seek updated proposals with 15 and 20 horse power compactors, to be reviewed at a future meeting. PW Director Gene Field stated that he and contractor Ray Breton had looked at the retaining wall where the new compactor will be located. Ray Breton stated that he recommends putting a rail on the existing retaining wall to prevent further damage to the wall. Gene said he has also asked Dave Bernhardt to look at the wall to get his opinion as well. George also mentioned that he is concerned about frost lifting the rails in the ground that the compactor bin slides on. No action was taken on this topic tonight by the Board. All agreed more information is needed.

9. Other (taken out of agenda order) – PW Director Gene Field stated that paving is being done in town now and that he believes he may have more money left in the paving budget that might allow him to get one or more roads paved such as: the Dam Road, Sherwood Lane, and a portion of the Cook Hill Road. Gene sought permission from the Board to allow him to make the decision where to use the extra paving funds. On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to allow Gene and Sabins to determine what roads need pavement with the extra paving money this year.

10. MMA Ballot for Executive Committee Members – With little discussion and on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to vote the MMA ballot as presented.

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

12. Treasurer’s Warrants – No warrants needed approval at this meeting.

13. Other1. Sabins reminded the Board that our former bookkeeper Jean Poulin has been nominated and selected by the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce as the Municipal Employee of the Year. The Award Banquet is to be held in Oakland on November 4th. Sabins asked the Select Board if they would be willing to pay the $55 ticket for co-workers to attend if interested. Sabins stated she would pay for her own ticket; Selectwoman Redmond stated she would pay for her own ticket as well. After discussion, and on a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to take care of the fee for those coworkers interested in attending the event to support Jean. 2. Sabins informed the Board that she had received notification from the Maine Town and City Clerk’s Association that new employee Melanie Alexander has been awarded her Town Clerk recertification. 3. Sabins inquired if the Board was interested in having a goal setting session. The Board expressed interest in such a meeting and agreed October would be a good time for that discussion as it is just before budget season begins for another year. 4. John Fortin spoke up from the audience and stated that he has been trying to volunteer to be a head coach on the soccer team for a few years, but was denied because he has an arrest record for assault from almost 10 years ago on his background check. He was denied participation by a joint decision of the Town Manager and the Police Chief because the violence charge. After discussion, both R. Browne and B. Redmond stated they were inclined to let him coach since there have been no convictions since. The Board then voted 2 in favor, one abstention (French) to allow John Fortin to coach. After more discussion, the Board revisited the vote and Barbara Redmond made a new motion for John Fortin to be allowed to coach and if any offense occurs in the next year, permission will be denied. The vote on this new motion revealed two in favor, one abstention (French). 5. Chad Caron, owner of property located at 14 Priest Hill Road, introduced himself and his mother who was with him. He extended an apology that he was not able to fulfill his obligation and that he is not able to satisfy the Town Code Officer’s concerns about his property. He stated he would donate the building to someone who could fix the building to preserve it. He knows the building looks awful and he needs help. He wants a chance to prove the building is sound. The Select Board listened to Mr. Caron’s statements, but took no formal action tonight and thanked Mr. Caron for coming.

14. 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 9/2/21 with the following amendments: None.