Vassalboro Select Board
Minutes of the Meeting
February 11, 2020

Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and John Melrose

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Mike Poulin, Steve Jones, Bob Milano, Holly Weidner, abatement applicant #1, abatement applicant #2, Keltie Beaudoin from Avangrid and unknown coworker, Nate Gray, Matt Streeter, and Gene Field.

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Titus at 12:31 p.m.

2. Minutes – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 1/23/20 meeting as written.

3. TIF fund distribution public hearing – Chairman Titus declared the public hearing open at 12:32 p.m. Maine Rivers Executive Director Landis Hudson was unable to attend the meeting due to illness, but Matt Streeter and Nate Gray attended to provide information and answer any questions about the request for $43K in TIF funding for the Alewife Restoration Initiative project. Matt explained that they are seeking funding for the Box Mill Dam fishway; next will be the China Lake Outlet Stream fishway. Matt stated the project will be delayed a year if the grant money is not received, and receipt of the requested funds will be a big help to them. Fundraising is underway by asking $43K now and a plan to ask for $100K more in the spring, depending on bid prices received. Fishways are expensive and he stated that they have tapped every private source of funding for these projects that they can think of. Nate is concerned about project price creep if the project is delayed longer. Steve Jones asked about the use of TIF funds to help new users hook up to the new sewer line. Chairman Titus provided background information on DECD approval several years ago of the TIF Development Plan and the projects approved in the plan for the use of the funds. Chairman Titus explained that the Selectmen have attempted to divvy up the TIF funds between the fish and sewer projects. Matt stated that the TIF funds asked for today would be used this summer up until late September. They could wait until after a new fiscal year starts on July 1st to receive the requested funds. J. Melrose asked if the Town of China had contributed to this project financially as they will benefit from improvements made to China Lake. Matt stated China has contributed $65K so far. Holly Weidner asked about the cost of fishways as opposed to breaching a dam, to which both Matt and Nate agreed the cost of building a fishway far exceeded the cost of a dam breach. Two fishways remain to be built. The projected alewife harvest revenue once the alewife run into China Lake is established was discussed. J. Melrose expressed reservation about making TIF grant awards piecemeal without seeing the whole picture of how much is needed for both the sewer and the fish projects. Chairman Titus stated that a plan has been requested from the Vassalboro Sanitary District in the past but no commitment has been received on a plan of action from them. The Select Board would like to make a plan so as to commit a certain dollar amount of TIF funds for each entity per year, so that other town projects could potentially be funded as well. J. Melrose suggested that instead of using TIF funds for the fishway project, a Revenue Bond could be sought using anticipated alewife harvest revenue funds to make the bond payment. After discussion and by unanimous consent, the Board agreed to not approve the request for TIF funding at this time. Sabins was instructed to ask the Vassalboro Sanitary District to submit within 4-6 weeks a concrete plan of how much TIF money going forward will be needed for new customer hookups and/or debt payoff, along with a report of how the last TIF grant of $100K was spent. This topic and a decision on the requested funds will be revisited at a later time.

4. Keltie Beaudoin, Representative of Avangrid and contractor for Central Maine Power, advised that an error was made in the parcel size named in the previous easement agreement the Board had agreed to and authorized Sabins to sign on behalf of the Board. The error was found after her colleagues researched the property deeds. The acreage size has now been reduced to .06 acres with an agreed price of $1,250 for the power line easement. The Town has already received the $1,250 in earnest money upon the signing of the original easement agreement. After explanation, and on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to authorize Sabins to sign on behalf of the Board, the amended easement agreement between Central Maine Power Company and the Town of Vassalboro. Sabins will need to sign the document before a notary. Keltie agreed to come back at a later time for document completion.

5. Credit Card Resolution – The Credit Union has requested a revision to the Resolution signed at the last meeting. The revised version would authorize Mary Sabins as a user of the credit card. Without discussion, on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve and sign the revised Resolution.

6. Reports – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Road, Police and Transfer Station Reports as presented. Before accepting the Treasurer’s report, J. Melrose inquired about the leftover funds from the grader repair. Sabins and Gene Field confirmed the remaining funds would be used for paving at the PW garage as authorized by the town meeting warrant article. On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Treasurer’s report as presented.

7. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #44 and #45.

8. Other1. Sabins advised the Board that she will be placing the topic of the upcoming town report theme and dedication on the next agenda for discussion. Given this time for contemplation, ideas and suggestions will be welcomed at the next meeting. 2. Sabins explained that the water heater proposals recently received are much higher than anticipated. The Board supported Sabins decision not to replace the 20-year-old water heater at this time since it functions. 3. J. Melrose reminded the Board that the mandatory Solar RFP pre-bid meeting will be held tomorrow at 9:30 am. Five companies have expressed an interest in participating. Melrose sought and received consensus approval from the other Board Members to seek prices from three logging contractors to clear the land behind the town office for the solar array, should that site be selected by the solar project bidders for placement of the solar array.

9. Executive sessions (2) – On a motion made by L. Titus, seconded by J. Melrose, the Board voted unanimously at 1:30 p.m. to enter into an executive session pursuant to 36 MRSA 841 to discuss two separate abatement requests. Chairman Titus declared the Board out of executive session at 1:45 p.m. On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to abate the 2018 and 2019 taxes, interest, and costs on account #2386; and to abate the 2017 taxes, interest, and costs on account #2384. Also, on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to abate the 2017 taxes, interest and costs on account #1153.

10. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 1:49 pm. Immediately following the meeting, the Board conducted a budget work session with Town Manager Mary Sabins, and PW Director Gene Field.


These minutes were read and accepted by the Select Board on 2/20/20 with the following amendments: The man listed in the “others present” paragraph as an unknown coworker was identified by John Melrose as a man named Randall Berry.