Vassalboro Select Board
Budget Committee Joint Meeting
Minutes of the Meeting
August 25, 2016

Selectmen Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and Phil Haines

Budget Committee Members Present: John Melrose, Bill Browne, Rick Denico, Jr., Doug Phillips, Lori Fowle, Dick Phippen, Don Breton, Elizabeth Reuthe, Peggy Schaffer, and Ed Scholz.

Others Present: Town Manager Mary Sabins, Conservation Commission Member Holly Weidner, and several members of the public.

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Titus at 7:00 p.m.

2. Approval of warrant article – A motion was made by P. Haines and seconded by L. Titus to accept and approve the warrant for the November 8th Referendum Election as presented. Discussion on this motion revealed that Selectman Brown was opposed to article #3 concerning the request for funding of $58,600 from surplus for sidewalks in the East Village area. Selectman Haines withdrew his original motion and offered a new motion to approve Articles #1, #2, and #4 on the warrant as presented. Selectman Rob Brown seconded the new motion, and the Board voted unanimously to pass this motion. Another motion was then made by P. Haines, seconded by L. Titus to accept Article #3 as presented. The vote on this motion revealed two in favor, one opposed (Brown).

3. Election of Budget Committee Chair – Selectman Titus stated that he did not think that an election of Chairman was necessary and that he felt that John Melrose should still be considered Chairman of the Budget Committee until the end of the calendar year. John Melrose stated that he felt a new election should occur since town meeting was in June and a new election for budget committee members was conducted at that meeting. John Melrose was then quickly nominated by a member of the Budget Committee to serve as Chairman, and the motion was seconded and voted unanimously almost immediately.

4. Discussion on the sidewalk article – Chairman Melrose asked about the scope of the proposed sidewalk project. Discussion ensued and the scope of the proposed sidewalk project was explained by L. Titus, P. Haines, and Holly Weidner. L. Titus also described past meetings and conversations with MDOT about the sidewalk project and funding models that have been considered in past years, as well as the current funding request of $58,600 from surplus. Holly explained that the sidewalks were needed for safety of pedestrians in the area who want to walk in the neighborhood. Selectman Brown stated that he was not in favor of the sidewalk proposal. After extended discussion, and on a motion made by Bill Browne to not recommend approval of this article, seconded by E. Sholz, the vote revealed 5 opposed, 3 in favor, and one abstained (Denico). The motion to not recommend the article failed. A new motion was made by L. Fowle, seconded by E. Reuthe, to accept the proposal with the end point of the sidewalk to be specified as to the Historical Society property. The vote on this new motion revealed seven in favor, three opposed (Brown, Sholz, Breton). The motion to recommend approval of the article passed in a split vote, and the Budget Committee vote will be stated as such on the warrant and the ballots.

The Budget Committee portion of the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m. The Selectmen continued their portion of the meeting as follows:

5. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve accounts payable warrants #13 and #14.

6. Warrant Article wording – The Board agreed by consensus to change the wording of the sidewalk warrant article to say “…north of the Grange Hall” to describe the anticipated ending point of the sidewalk along Route #32. The exact location of the sidewalks will not be determined until an engineered plan is designed. This change in wording of the article gives some leeway for the sidewalk ending point and coincides with the comments and the earlier vote taken by the Budget Committee.

7. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.


These minutes were read and accepted by the Select Board on 9/8/16 with the following amendments: None.