Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
December 9, 2021

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

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Mike Poulin, Tom Richards, Paul Mitnik, Ryan Page, several volunteer members of the First Responder team, Brian Stanley, Walker Thompson, Sue Taylor and another Library Trustee, two Sherwood Lane residents, and Dan Mayotte (7:20).

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 11/18/21 meeting as written.

3. Public Hearing on Marijuana Business Licenses – Chairman Browne opened the public hearing at 6:32 pm. Code Officer Paul Mitnik read the list of business license applicants and stated that he was recommending approval of all applicants except Leo Barnett who had denied access to his building for an inspection as required by the Ordinance. Paul state that he has issued a cease and desist order for Mr. Barnett, and has consulted with the Town Attorney about taking further action. Paul and his Alternate Code Officer Ryan Page described a few other Marijuana Businesses in town that are under the size cap of 1,000 square feet, and another business that is not yet ready for inspection. Paul stated that he interprets the 1,000 square feet parameter to mean the entire building or leased area to be used for the business, not just the growing space, as interpreted by the town attorney. Paul is concerned about the ordinance wording. Chairman Browne asked if the applications being considered tonight would be affected to which Paul answered no. Members of the public asked about Mr. Barnett’s proposed marijuana business on Sherwood Lane. Paul responded that Mr. Barnett has a permit from the Planning Board to build the building. He can build the building, but the business will need to go through the licensing process. Further questions were asked about the steps in the licensing process and if they were followed for this round of applicants. Paul stated that licensing marijuana businesses in town is a new process which has been very time consuming. The decision was made to make the business licenses effective 2022 to allow time for the code office to process applications and to conduct inspections. The public hearing was closed at 6:47 pm. A motion was then made by C. French, seconded by B. Redmond, and voted unanimously by the Board to accept CEO Paul Mitnik’s recommendation and to approve the following Marijuana Business Licenses:
Applicant                                    Physical Location

a) Daniel Charest (Owner)              8 Cushnoc Rd (Map 1 Lot 72-3)
b) Joseph Fucci (Unit 1A)               8 Cushnoc Rd (Map 1 Lot 72-3)
(Grown Men LLC)
c) Ryan Sutherburg (Unit 1B)         8 Cushnoc Rd (Map 1 Lot 72-3)
d) Robert Rosso (Unit 2)                 8 Cushnoc Rd (Map 1 Lot 72-3)
(Kennebec Healing LLC)

4. J.R. Garritt to discuss concert event – Mr. Garritt requested time on the meeting agenda to request use of the town ball fields for a concert in July 2022, but he did not appear at the meeting. Chairman Browne stated that he was not interested in allowing this potentially large private event to be held on town property. B. Redmond stated she would prefer to hear the proposal before denying the request. Chairman Browne explained to spectator Tom Richards that there are currently no rules in place for a large event like the concert being proposed. The Select Board had proposed a Mass Gathering Ordinance that was voted down by the residents at the polls in November that would have set some rules for the concert producers to abide by.

5. Library Director to discuss the addition of Program Director duties - Librarian Brian Stanley read a prepared statement in which he indicated that the Library would be interested in taking on the Program Director portion of the combined Rec Director/Activities Director position that Manager Sabins has proposed at previous budget meetings for two or three years. Brian has already begun the planning for programs to be offered to Vassalboro residents. The Library is not, however, interested in taking on the Recreation Director work. Brian read a list of his recommendations to improve the function of the recreation committee by paying stipends to volunteers and coaches, for a total recommended expense of $18,500. Chairman Browne expressed concern about the request for $18K to pay rec volunteers and he gave the example of 15 years ago when a man named Bill Pulver, a talented leader, successfully directed the recreation department with all volunteers. Board Members B. Redmond and C. French both expressed interest and support to learn more about the recreation budget and that department’s leadership.

6. Banking options – This item was passed over as office staff no longer recommended consideration of a change in banking.

7. Transfer station equipment update – Sabins explained that the new compactor containers when they arrive will be unloaded by Bolsters Rubbish Removal (our haulers) at their location. A roll-off truck is needed to unload the containers off the flatbed trailer they will be arriving on. The containers will be lettered and marked with the Town’s name by Bolsters’ staff.

8. Background check policy – While referring to sample background check policies that Sabins had provided, Chairman Browne stated he liked the simplicity of options two and three. C. French stated he feels that volunteers for committee work are often vetted by other committee members. Chris has some trepidation about committing to a policy that affects all committees. Chris questioned if a policy for just the recreation volunteers would suffice? Chairman Browne offered that the Board would need to consider and the policy would need to address how long ago the criminal offense took place and if there was a repeat offense. Current Rec Director Brian Stanley said the rec committee applicants also complain about the frequency of the background check. When asked, C. French stated he had read the sample policies, but B. Redmond stated that she only scanned them. After discussion, the Board agreed to put this topic on the 12/22/21 agenda for further discussion.

9. Vehicle replacement schedule – The Board briefly reviewed the replacement schedule spreadsheet as prepared by department heads and presented by Sabins. Fire Chief Walker Thompson stated that his department is fortunate to have the great list of equipment they have now to work with. Chief Thompson offered an error correction on the cost to replace the SCBA listed on the spreadsheet. He also offered that he could provide hour meter readings and odometer readings on the trucks and equipment, which the Board agreed would be helpful information. Sabins will provide the most updated version of the spreadsheet to Chief Thompson for that purpose.

10. First Responder Chief Dan Mayotte to make request for uses of ARPA funds – Prior to the meeting, Dan had provided a written summary of funding requests for his department from the ARPA funds that included replacing obsolete AEDs, purchasing a supply of ENVO N95 masks for emergency responders in his department as well as the fire department and the town office, and N95 testing computer, additional EMT training, funding for public safety workers’ mental health therapy, 4 sets of equipment and PPE for new members, and a cardiac monitor. The list of requests total over $75K. Discussion ensued on how and when we can spend the ARPA funds to support some of these requests. The fact that a generic warrant article to spend the ARPA funds was voted at the June 2021 annual town meeting was discussed, but questions remain if the article is sufficient. Sabins will email with MMA Legal Services for their advice. Discussion was also given about possible issuance of Premium Hazard Pay for staff and volunteers who continue to have contact with the public during the pandemic. This topic will be discussed again at the next meeting. Questions arose if the ARPA funds could be used for a lighted roadside sign beside the town office driveway similar to the sign the school just installed. Sabins will query MMA Legal about that topic as well for discussion at the next meeting.

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 – On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #33 and #34.

13. Other1. Sabins said she will have two quit claim deeds that will need to be signed at the next meeting to clear up two old tax liens that were never discharged from the 1990s. 2. B. Redmond stated that she has been asked by a county commissioner to fill the vacancy on the Kennebec County Budget Committee left by John Melrose when he chose not to run for a seat on the Select Board last year. 3. B. Redmond reported that she has not received a response from the State concerning possible cleanup funds for the abandoned Tree Free Fiber quarry.

14. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:12 p.m.


These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 1/6/22 with the following amendments: None.