Vassalboro Select Board
Minutes of the Meeting
July 18, 2019

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

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Mike Poulin, Mark Brown, Alan Johnston, Becky Goodrich (6:38), Ray Breton (6:38), Richard Green (6:39), Paul Mitnik (6:39), Al Roy (6:40), and Howard and Joanne Crosby (6:45).

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Titus at 6:30 p.m.

2. Minutes – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted two in favor, one abstention (Browne who was not present at the meeting) to accept the minutes of the 6/27/19 meeting with two minor typos corrected by Sabins prior to the meeting but after initial distribution.

3. Other (taken out of agenda order) – Priest Hill Road Resident Alan Johnston expressed concern about the junk in the yard of his neighbor, Howard Crosby, who lives across the street. Junk cars and trailers are stored in the yard and he wants something done about it. Mr. Johnston stated he had advised the town code officer about the problem a few years ago. Sabins stated she had asked the CEO today to visit the site, but she had not yet received an update from the CEO because he had left early for an appointment.

4. Cruiser purchase – Chief Mark Brown reported the research he had performed on cruiser purchase options, and the best price he had found was at Quirk Ford in Augusta for $36,398. After discussion, and on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to authorize Police Chief Mark Browne to order the cruiser from Quirk in Augusta. Financing the vehicle was also briefly discussed, using the information Sabins had collected from three differences sources. No decision on financing was made at this time, as the cruiser needs to be ordered and will not be delivered for several months.

5. TIF Funding request from Vassalboro Sanitary District (revisited from 6/13/19) – The Sanitary District Trustees and Engineer Richard Green attended the meeting to explain their budget and funding report that was prepared by Mr. Green on behalf of the District at the request of the Selectmen at the June 13th public hearing on the request for TIF grant funding from the Project Development Fund. Included in his presentation, Mr. Green also explained that the average cost is $5K per household to hook into the new system, and the district wants to help as many homeowners as possible to hook into the system. J. Melrose prefers a comprehensive understanding as to TIF funding assistance that will be requested from the town going forward. He wants a long term plan, rather than a year-by-year decision to be made by the Board. He wants to focus on the District’s debt service payment for the sewer project, rather than subsidizing operations and maintenance costs going forward. Based on his interpretation of the information in the budget report, J. Melrose suggested funding the Sanitary District’s request at $84K, stating he could not support the full request of $120K. Both Chairman Titus and Selectman Browne stated they could support the request for $120K. Selectman Browne stated he would prefer to consider the funding requests each year individually, rather than locking into a plan, because circumstances change. Mr. Green offered that the District could come back next year with a better, more defined business plan. Selectman Browne suggested splitting the difference and awarding $100K to the district. Chairman Titus stated that he agrees conceptually with Selectman Melrose, but he wants relief now to district customers. On a motion made by Chairman Titus, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted two in favor, one opposed (Melrose) to award $100K from the TIF District Funds to the Sanitary District.

6. Other (taken out of agenda order again) – Residents Howard and Joanne Crosby stopped by the meeting to state that they had heard their neighbor Mr. Johnston was going to register a complaint about the stuff in their dooryard. Chairman Titus confirmed that the neighbor had come to the meeting earlier in the evening, but had left the meeting already. Chairman Titus informed Mr. Crosby that the neighbor is concerned about the vehicles and trailers. Mr. Crosby asked how long he had to get the property cleaned up, stating that he needed some time. Chairman Titus offered that the code officer would visit and make a plan with Mr. Crosby. Both Mr. & Mrs. Crosby vowed they would get the property cleaned up.

7. Conservation Commission Appointment – Without discussion and on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to appoint Patricia King to the Conservation Commission for a three year term.

8. Solar Energy Project – The Board briefly discussed the process by which to study the solar energy project that was approved by the voters at town meeting. After discussion, the Board agreed appointing a small study committee would be the best approach. On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to appoint the following committee members for a one-year term: Barbara Redmond, Clough Toppan, John Reuthe, Don Breton, and Arthur Kingdon.

9. Review Energy Audit Report – The Energy Audit prepared by Siemens Industry, Inc. was reviewed by the Board. No large energy improvements were recommended by Siemens at this time, but the Board discussed a possible upgrade of T8 florescent light bulbs to LED fixtures for future budget considerations.

10. MMA Executive Committee ballot – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to approve the list of nominees as recommended by the MMA Nominating Committee and cast our ballot for the same.

11. Reports – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Road and Police Reports as presented. After discussion, and on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Treasurer’s report. There was no Transfer Station report to accept at this meeting.

12. Treasurer’s Warrants – There were no Treasurer’s warrants to be signed at this meeting.

13. Other1. Resident Mike Poulin distributed a handout further describing the warrant article he would like the Selectmen to present at the next town meeting to amend the TIF Development Program. The Board took it under advisement. 2. Sabins announced that Paul Mitnik has agreed to return to town employment as the CEO/LPI, effective mid-August when current CEO/LPI Dick Dolby plans to leave to resume full-time employment at the State Fire Marshal’s office. 3. Parking congestion at Memorial Park during bass tournaments on the weekends was discussed.

14. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.


These minutes were read and accepted by the Select Board on 8/15/19 with the following amendments: None.