Town of Vassalboro
Select Board Meeting
6:30 P.M. Vassalboro Town Office
Thursday, July 13, 2023

Members Present: Chris French, Rick Denico and Michael Poulin

Others Present: Aaron Miller, Brian Lajoie, Anna Karlsson, Sarah Deslandes, Al Roy, Carol Roy, Becky Goodrich, John Goodrich, Bernard Lemieux, Karen Howard, Ray Breton, Jim Killiam, Bill Poulin, Roxanne Poulin, Denise Gidney, Ben Gidney, Melissa Olson, Tim Madison, Raymond Adams, Kris Stewart, Michelle Stewart, John Fortin

1. Call the Meeting to order – The meeting was called to order by Chair Chris French at 6:30 p.m.

2. Minutes: Review and approve the minutes of the June 22 & June 26, 2023 meetings

On a motion by R. Denico, seconded by M. Poulin the board unanimously approved both meeting minutes.

3. Maine DOT Project Manger Brian Nichols: RE: Meadow Brook Bridge

Brian Nichols met with the board to formerly submit a request to allow the state to detour traffic on Bog Rd. The state is planning to replace the Meadow Brook bridge which carries Bog Rd. over Meadow brook about a half mile outside of East Vassalboro village. DOT is currently in the design phase of the project and looking to complete final design in September of 2024 with construction likely to occur in the summer of 2025. Construction will likely take about 45 days, Nichols said.

Due to the existing structure type and site conditions, a temporary bridge or staged construction would be problematic, so DOT is requesting to close Bog Rd. during construction and detour traffic over Hussey Hill, Tabor Hill and Gray Rd. As these are town roads, the state needs permission from the Town to use those roads during construction.

Nichols reported the bridge was built in 1960 with abutments constructed in 1911 and is in poor condition. He added that a representative of the town will be able to meet with DOT to examine the condition of the roads prior to the bridge construction and any damages to town roads would be paid for at the state’s expense.

C. French asked Nichols if he was asking the board’s permission tonight. Nichols said that ideally over the next few months the state would like to know. M. Poulin asked if a contractor has been lined up. Nichols said that around September next year the state will put the project out to bid. The Chair asked for a copy of a proposed contract for the board to review at their next meeting.

4. Discuss Vassalboro Sanitary District

The Town Manager reported he has been in contact with Rep. Dick Bradstreet regarding some of the challenges faced by the sanitary district. The State Representative contacted Kennebec Sanitary Treatment District’s Nick Champagne for guidance. A. Miller reported that Champagne was not aware of any current program other than State Revolving Loan funds to supplement capital projects, however there is help available for people to assist with water utility payments through the Maine House Authority. The Town Manager will meet with the Winslow Town Manager.

Resident Ben Gidney told the board when he moved to Vassalboro about 10 years ago the cost was about $150. Since that time, his bill has increased five times that amount, adding that 200 people isn’t enough to fund the district’s expenses. C. French said that board is trying to figure out what they can do.

5. Discuss Recreation Committee/Snack Shack

The Town Manager reported he met with the Recreation Committee Monday due to concerns about how committee bylaws conflict with the Community Program Director’s job description. He said that they had a productive meeting that resulted in the following discussions:

After the selectboard appoints the recreation committee, the Town Manager said he would expect to work with that committee on a revised set of bylaws for the selectboard’s approval.

C. French motioned to solicit applications for recreation committee positions to include commissioners for Fundraising, Baseball, Basketball, Softball, Soccer, Snack Shack, Senior Programs and Events and vote on those appointments August 17, seconded by R. Denico; 3-0.

6. Discuss stop sign proposal at Route 32 and Bog Rd. intersection

The Town Manager reported a Raymond Adams, a resident from East Vassalboro, wishes to establish an all way stop sign at the intersection of Route 32 and Bog Road. This is on the agenda based on DOT’s David Allen’s request to have this discussion. If upon hearing this gentleman’s thoughts the town should support this idea, the Town Manager would then send in a request to DOT’s safety office to consider an all way stop sign at the intersection. They would review traffic flow and crashes to make the determination on the request.

According to Allen, stop signs should not be used to slow the speed of traffic. He did pull the crash records for this intersection and there was one crash at the intersection within the last three years. Mr. Adams said he purchased his home in February of 2021 and the intersection has steadily gotten worse since that time.

Resident Ben Gidney said he agrees that the intersection is a major problem. The board agreed to hold a public hearing in September.

Bought in February 2021 wasn’t that bad, but now it’s steadily gotten worse. I have them pull up as close as me and you and look at you like get out of my way.

7. Discuss/Sign Delta Ambulance Contract

The Town Manager reported Preti Flaherty Attorney Ron Schnieder reviewed the contract. Delta made all changes as requested by the attorney, except for language about providing immediate notice to the fire department when it is unable to respond and when it must dispatch a mutual aid servicer. The Town Manger also spoke with Chief Dan Mayotte about this and he is fine with not having that language in the contract and recommended approval.

M. Poulin motioned to accept and sign the contract, seconded by R. Denico; 3-0.

8. Discuss meeting in October for brainstorming session

The Selectboard will return to its normal schedule starting the seventh of September. They will also meet Nov. 30 to hold a brainstorming session, with no other business.

9. Discuss setting up foreclosed property escrow account with The First

M. Poulin motioned to have the Town Manager and Bookkeeper set up the account as signers, seconded by R. Denico; 3-0.

10. Sign BYOB Permits

R. Denico motioned to sign four BYOB permits second by M. Poulin; 3-0.

11. Reports – Town Manager; Road and Police

R. Denico motioned to accept the reports, seconded by M. Poulin.

15. Other items as may be presented by the Town Manger or Selectboard

R. Breton noted that Central Maine Power has replaced utility poles in the north village, however phone companies have not removed their lines off the old poles on Route 32. The Town Manager will work on this.

C. French asked that the marijuana fees be discussed at the next meeting on August 17. He also suggested whether the board wishes to explore expanding the selectboard from three to five members. M. Poulin and R. Denico were not in favor of that proposal.

C. French would like to explore electronic signatures in relation to warrants. The Town Manger will look into that.

The Town Manger would like to have a discussion at the next meeting regarding inserting a survey in the tax bills.

He added that the Conservation Commission is asking Peter Soule be appointed as an alternate member for 2023 to 2026. In 2024, the commission will recommend to the town a change in the VCC ordinance increasing the ceiling of members.
M. Poulin motioned to appoint Mr. Soule as an alternate member for 2023 to 2026, seconded by R. Denico.

16. Sign Warrants motion?

R. Denico motioned to approve Warrants 75; 1&2, seconded by M. Poulin; 3-0.

17. Adjournment

R. Denico motioned to adjourn, seconded by M. Poulin; 3-0.