Vassalboro Select Board
Minutes of the Meeting
July 14, 2021

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

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Mike Poulin, CEO Paul Mitnik, PW Director Gene Field, Fire Chief Walker Thompson, and Mike Vashon.

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Rob Browne at 6:31 pm.

2. Minutes – On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to table action on this item until the next meeting. The incorrect meeting minutes file was provided to the Board for review prior to the meeting.

3. CEO Paul Mitnik provided an update on the conditions at 14 Priest Hill Road – Paul stated that he did not have good news and that the situation had worsened. Junk is still all over the yard and the old church building is still in an unsafe and unstable condition. Mr. Caron has moved in more stuff onto the property since he was evicted from his apartment at the mill. The deadline for cleanup is tomorrow, and Paul predicts we will need to go to court on this matter to declare the building a dangerous building and have it demolished. The town would likely need to pay demolition costs, which have not been budgeted for. Extended discussion was given. When asked, CEO Paul Mitnik confirmed that he verbally warned Mr. Caron that Paul planned to ask the Select Board at tonight’s meeting to authorize Paul to take legal action to demolish the building because of the unsafe condition. After discussion and on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to authorize CEO Paul Mitnik to take legal action on this Chad Caron dangerous building case as he deems necessary.

4. Other (taken out of agenda order)1. PW Director Gene Field asked the Board for a decision on spending the paving carry forward money from FY 2021 that was approved at the last meeting for paving the town office parking lot, as well as paving the North Fire Station and Food Pantry parking lots. Chairman Browne inquired if sufficient funding will be available for the projects. Gene stated that the paving bid price was lower than anticipated in the budget process, so sufficient funds will be available. On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to authorize the paving of the town office, the North Fire Station and the Food Pantry parking lots. 2. Fire Chief Walker Thompson explained that engine #13 broke down alongside the highway recently. It was towed back to the North Station, and later towed to Quirk Ford in Hallowell. Originally, it was feared the engine was expired, however, the final diagnosis is a failed low pressure oil pump which is estimated to cost $3,500 to repair. The part is backordered until August 5th. Until then, the department will depend on other engines in their fleet, and upon mutual aid to respond to calls. Hopefully no damage to the engine will be found after the low pressure oil pump is repaired. Walker and Mike Vashon also stated that the new fire truck should be delivered within the next two weeks or so.

5. Marijuana Business Ordinance fees – The Board discussed fees charged in other towns that they were aware of. Consideration of a $250 fee similar to that charged in Winslow was given; Chairman Browne stated he felt $250 was too low. He felt more comfortable with a $500 annual fee. C. French state he is pro-business and doesn’t want to set fees too high but he also thinks there is plenty of cash in the industry. After discussion, and on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to charge $500 annually each for the Marijuana Cultivation Facility permit, the Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facility permit, and the Marijuana Business facility owner’s permit.

6. Draft Mass Gathering Ordinance review – Sabins explained that the document they were about to review is a PDF document converted to a word file so that it could be edited, but the conversion is not a clean one with a lot of spaces between words missing, despite her efforts to correct that. She recommended retyping the document in a clean word file for ease in editing by the town attorney. Chairman Browne asked B. Redmond to take the lead on the discussion on this topic. Selectman Redmond explained that she and Sabins had prepared tonight’s draft, based on an existing ordinance enacted in the Town of Readfield. She explained the revisions she and Sabins had made and why, and she also explained that input has been received from Police Chief Mark Brown and portable toilet vendor CMD on the portions of the ordinance that pertain to them. The Board reviewed each section, making suggestions for additional changes along the way. B. Redmond offered to retype the ordinance (or a portion thereof) into a word version that could be easily edited by the Town Attorney when we feel the document is prepared sufficiently for the attorney’s review and critique. The Board agreed by consensus to pursue the format of this detailed version of a mass gathering ordinance from Readfield as opposed to a more condensed version from Manchester and Rangeley that was also briefly reviewed at this meeting. Tonight’s revisions will be made in the draft and further reviewed at another upcoming meeting(s) as needed before presentation to the voters in November for possible adoption.

7. Transfer Station Compactor1. Selectman French stated that resident Mike Poulin had asked him about the process the Board will undertake and when the second compactor will be obtained at the Transfer Station as approved at town meeting. Chairman Browne stated that delivery of the compactor may be hindered due to COVID-19 related delays in production. Chairman Browne stated that he recollected the plan is to install a new compactor and electrical center, then update the old equipment. Mike Poulin said he wants to know what the plan of action is. Chairman Browne stated that he will work with Sabins on the project. Sabins offered to contact the two or three vendors that had provided a price previously to get their prices updated for consideration. 2. Selectman Chris French mentioned that he is a customer of trash hauler John Green. Chris said he wanted to bring up the topic of a key to the transfer station for John Green to allow him to have access to the transfer station when the station is closed to the public. After brief discussion, both Selectmen Browne and Redmond stated they felt we would be asking for trouble if we give a key to the transfer station to non-employees. No further action taken.

8. Conservation Commission appointment – On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to appoint Helen Devoe to serve on the Conservation Commission. Her term will expire June 2024.

9. Treasurer’s disbursement policies – On a motion made by C. French, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to approve renewal of all three policies as presented. The policies outline protocols on the Treasurer’s disbursement warrants for Employee Wages and Benefits; for Education Related Expenses; and for State Fees.

10. 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.

11. Treasurer’s Warrants – There were no warrants to sign at this meeting.

12. Other – 1. The Board briefly reviewed the Maine Municipal Association American Rescue Plan Act Priorities Assessment survey questions. By consensus, the Board members agreed to submit their own answers to the survey questions individually before the submission deadline at noon on July 15th. 2. Sabins warned the Board that the transfer station budget was overdraft at the end of the fiscal year on 6/30/21. Transfer of funds from another department budget to cover the overdraft will need to be approved at the next meeting. 3. Summer Intern Savannah Clark has agreed to serve on the Cemetery Committee after being asked by Committee Member David Jenney. On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to appoint Savannah Clark to a one-year term on the Cemetery Committee. 4. Sabins reminded the Board that she plans to take the next two weeks for vacation but can be reached by cell phone if needed. 5. C. French stated that he had been notified that the school athletic director is willing to work with the town recreation volunteers in scheduling the use of the school gym.

13. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.


These minutes were read and accepted by the Select Board on 8/12/21 with the following amendments: None.