Town of Vassalboro
Select Board Meeting
6:30 P.M. Vassalboro Town Office
Thursday, February 16, 2023

Members Present: Barbara Redmond, Chris French, Rick Denico

Others Present: Aaron Miller, Melissa Olson, Tim Dutton, Mike Poulin, Brian Lajoie, Doug Phillips, David McCarthy, Tom Richards, Mary Grow and Holly Weidner

1, Call the Select Board meeting to order – The meeting was called to order by Chair B. Redmond at 6:30 p.m.

2. Minutes – C. French noted a name correction - Doug Phillips. R. Denico motioned to approve the minutes with the amendment, seconded by C. French; 3-0.

3. Senator Matt Pouliot – Sen. Pouliot, who has served as a senator for the past five years, attended the meeting to see what is happening locally and asked for feedback. He said Vassalboro has a lot to offer, with access to good schools with proximity to amenities. B. Redmond asked if the senator is supporting municipal revenue sharing. The senator said that he is and submitted a bill that would allow municipalities to put in zero percent of the homestead exemption. He said the $25,000 homestead exemption could increase if the state was paying for that.
C. French said he sent out an email a couple months regarding Code Enforcement Officers positions and the trouble the town experienced finding someone to fill the slot.
Senator Pouliot said right now there are no proposals about creation of more CEOs, but it is something that should be looked into, such as training at the community college system. He asked what are some of Vassalboro’s needs.
A. Miller suggested funding for costly projects in town. R. Denico expressed concerns about retaining staff, after recently hiring a new town manager, bookkeeper and Code Enforcement Officer. C. French noted the town is working on a solar ordinance. Pouliot currently has a bill that requires the State to hold a public hearing in a municipality where a solar energy project on property owned by the State is planned to be located prior to commencing construction on the project. Although a supporter of private property rights, he said there must be prioritization for solar array sites. B. Redmond expressed concern about a lack of emergency medical services. Senator Pouliot reiterated that revenue sharing is not enough to aid with these challenges.

4. Discuss Transfer Station Taskforce - C. French suggested appointing a taskforce to review the transfer station and present a proposal for next year’s budget session. The plan is to meet once a month, no more than 75 minutes. He will serve as member as well. The Town Manager and Transfer Station Supervisor will serve as advisory members. He said his priority is to review safety and to wee what grants might be available to offset the taxbase. On a motion by R. Denico, seconded by B. Redmond the board unanimously approved the taskforce.
On a motion by C. French motioned, seconded by R. Denico the board unanimously agreed to appoint the following people to the taskforce: Christopher French, Amy Davidoff, Maggie Stickle, Jim Webb, Zach Smith, Dan Bradstreet and Doug Phillips.

5. Discuss Trash hauling - A. Miller reported that the contract with Bolster’s Rubbish Removal will expire on August 14, 2023. G. Hamar said that he is happy with the services and has proposed a $5,000 a year increase in next year’s budget.
G. Hammar noted there is a limited pool of trash haulers in the area and will make some phone calls, following up at the Mar. 16 meeting.

6. Review generator bids – A Miller presented bids from Mid-Maine Generator and Generators of Maine. C. French said that he is apprehensive to move forward at this point until find what what the doors cost.

7. Discuss Handicap Accessible Doors - A. Miller reported that it appears as if the automatic door openers can be installed without any changes to the vestibule at the town office. ADA and building code requires 48 inches between the doors when open 90 degrees in vestibules, according to Jill Johanning, a licensed architect from Alpha One, a South Portland organization with a focus on disability and aging solutions. The Town Manager has asked her to visit the Town Office to take a look before asking for approval from the board to use American Rescue Plan Act funds.

8. Marijuana Ordinance update - The board would like to meet with the Town Attorney on a teleconference or Zoom call March 16 regarding a proposal that would require licensure for marijuana grow operations at 500 square feet rather than the 1,000 square feet as the current ordinance is written.

9. No Parking Ordinance - Chris would like Aaron to reach out to DOT give an opinion about the Bog Road, Route 32 intersection. Rick said he believes crosswalks would help. Aaron will follow up at the March 16 meeting.

10. Budget follow up - G. Field reported he has found a rotary head for $9,500. He was hoping to find a flail head for roadside mowing, but hasn’t been able to get one. He added there aren’t many contractors who provide this service. He is asking for an additional $9,500 for this year’s budget for a flail head. He explained this equipment does a better job with cutting grass. The board approved the purchase for a rotary head.
G. Field said he would like to add $35,000 for a 50x50 pole barn that would cover materials for a total of $75,000 under capital expenditures. Equipment, aside from the grader, is currently stored in the sand and salt shed. He would also like the board to consider a family plan for insurance. A. Miller will check on numbers.

11. Reports:
Town Manager Report
Police Report
Road Report
C. French motioned to approve, seconded by R. Denico; 3-0.

12. Approve Treasurer’s Warrants - C. motioned to approve, seconded by Rick; 3-0.

13. Other items as may be presented by the Town Manager or Board of Selectmen

14. Executive Session if needed.

a. Discussion of confidential records 1 M.R.S.A. §405(6)(F)
B. Redmond motioned to enter executive session, seconded by C. French; 3-0.
C. French motioned to exit executive session, seconded by R. Denico; 3-0.
C. French motioned to approve Poverty Abatement # 2023-1 in amount of 413.77, seconded by R. Denico; 3-0.

b. Personnel Matters 1 M.R.S.A. §405(6)(A)
C. French motioned to enter executive session, seconded by R. Denico; 3-0.
C. French motioned to exit executive session, seconded by R. Denico; 3-0.
No action taken by the board.

15. Adjourn
B. Redmond motioned to adjourn at 9:20 p.m., seconded by R. Denico; 3-0.
The next meeting will be March 9 at 6 p.m. to discuss the budget only.