Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
February 24, 2022

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

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Mike Poulin, abatement applicants (case #22-03), and Gene Field (6:10).

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Rob Browne at 6:00 pm.

2. Executive Session – On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously at 6:00 pm to enter into an executive session pursuant to 36 MRSA Section 841 to discuss an abatement request. The Board returned to open session at 6:10 pm. On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to abate the 2019 taxes, interest and costs on Case #22-03.

3. Proposed budget discussion – R. Browne explained that he talked with Gene and Sabins about the roadside mowing issue and felt we needed to reconsider the matter. PW Director Gene Field defended the need for the $106K mowing attachment and $8,800 for fall roadside mowing that he feels should be accomplished. He has called three vendors for equipment prices and talked with vendors about lease-to-own agreements. The Board reviewed the changes Sabins had made in the proposed budget spreadsheets that reflect the addition of these two items. After discussion, the Board agreed by consensus to move the revised versions of the budget spreadsheets forward to the Budget Committee that included the costs for the roadside mowing attachment and the additional equipment rental funds. Research may be needed for an option to lease-to-own the mowing attachment, rather than raise the $106K needed to purchase outright. B. Redmond also stated that she has been reconsidering the proposed wage compensation program with the increases the plan proposes. She felt maybe a cap of a 10% increase should be considered for those employees who are slated for a higher market increase. R. Browne defended the Board’s earlier decision after talking with his constituents to keep the wage increase proposals in the proposed budget. C. French agreed saying once the Compensation Plan is in place, it should be like clockwork to determine wage expenses for future budgets going forward. He supported the Compensation Plan and stated we need to get in line with other communities. Gene Field asked B. Redmond for clarification on her proposal, stating that the Board had paid for a consultant to conduct the study and then she was proposing to not honor the results of the study for those found to be underpaid? After discussion, the Board agreed by consensus not to cap the wage increase but to proceed with the initial plan for wage increases for all staff and to move it forward to the Budget Committee as printed in the latest version of the proposed budget presented here tonight.

4. Other – C. French stated that he felt Transfer Station Manager George Hamar needed equipment at the transfer station to crush bulky waste. Chris distributed a handout of a G140 Pre Crush Static Compactor for discussion. He stated that he would like to have Sabins research to see if she could find an equivalent piece of equipment made in the USA. Chairman Browne stated that he was not interested in purchasing more equipment for the transfer station. Brief discussion ensued with no formal action taken by the Board.

5. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 6:55 p.m.


These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 3/3/22 with the following amendments: None.