Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
March 17, 2022

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

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Mike Poulin, Becky & John Goodrich, Al Roy, Ryan Page, Tom Richards, Richard Green, Rick Denico, Ray & Candy Manocchio, Amy Davidoff, Tina Wood, Ray Breton, Attorney Kristin Collins via zoom, and a few other members of the public.

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Rob Browne at 6:00 pm. Chairman Browne decided to take some agenda items out of order, since the town attorney was waiting via zoom to discuss her proposed amendments to the Marijuana Business Ordinance.

2. Amendments to Marijuana Ordinance - Attorney Kristin Collins reviewed with the Board and the Code Officer the amendments (underlined text) she is proposing to clarify the Marijuana Business Ordinance Section D as follows:

An application for licensure of an existing Marijuana Business shall be submitted to the Town within 60 days following the adoption of this Ordinance. License applications shall be submitted and approved prior to the establishment of any new tenancy, ownership or occupancy of an existing Marijuana Business permitted by this Section.

Additionally, Attorney Collins recommended clarification amendments to the Ordinance within the definition paragraph of a Marijuana Cultivation Facility as follows:

…It shall not include a facility used for cultivation of marijuana for personal use pursuant to 28-B M.R.S. 1502, a facility used for cultivation of medical marijuana by a Qualifying Patient pursuant to 22 M.R.S. 2423-A, or an area of less a building or lot containing less than 1,000 square feet of area in the aggregate that is used for cultivation of medical marijuana by a Caregiver or Qualifying Patient one or more Registered Caregivers pursuant to 22 M.R.S. 2423-A. …

After discussion with a question and answer period that included the process to raise the license fees, the Board agreed to propose these amendments on the floor of the open June 6th town meeting. Attorney Collins will prepare the warrant article(s) needed to propose these amendments and forward them to Sabins for inclusion on the town meeting warrant.

3. Minutes – On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 3/2/22 and the 3/3/22 meetings as written.

4. Mileage reimbursement policy – After brief discussion and on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to adopt the Employee Mileage Reimbursement Policy as presented. Reimbursement for the operating expenses of the vehicle will be calculated by multiplying the number of miles traveled by the most recent updated Standard Mileage Reimbursement Rate published by the IRS that is in effect when the mileage expense is incurred by the town representative.

5. Quitclaim Deeds – Sabins explained that all back taxes have been paid on the three remaining tax-acquired properties and that Quitclaim deeds need to be signed to return the properties back to the prior owners. Those prior owners are as follows: David Wentworth, Jr. (heirs of); Craig Conary (heirs of); and D&E Realty. On a motion made by C. French, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to sign the deeds as recommended by the Town Manager.

6. Reports and Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by C. French, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Road and Treasurer’s Reports and to sign Treasurer’s Warrants #53, #54, and #55.

7. Other1. On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to approve and sign a liquor license for a bridal shower to be held at St. Bridget’s Center this coming weekend. 2. Sabins requested approval to close the town office early at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 30th so that the bookkeeper can close the books at fiscal year-end. This request was approved unanimously by the Board on a motion made by C. French, seconded by B. Redmond. 3. C. French stated that the transfer station was a hot-button issue for him and he wants the Board to consider forming a Transfer Station Committee like the Town of China has to consider matters and future needs related to the Transfer Station. Chairman Browne stated he would need to think about that suggestion. Rick Denico offered that he would have two names of potential committee members if the Board decided to form a committee. 4. Tom Richards asked for a status update on the declared dangerous building on Priest Hill Road. Chairman Browne indicated we need to approve some funding for the demolition at town meeting. Tom said he we need to get it down now before someone gets hurt and before fire strikes the building.

8. Richard Ferris did not attend the meeting as anticipated and as stated on the agenda. Chairman Browne explained to the public that it was understood that Mr. Ferris had planned to ask the Select Board to propose an amendment to the Marijuana Business Ordinance to allow more growing facilities than what was approved in the Ordinance when it was adopted. Since Mr. Ferris did not appear, the Board passed over this agenda item without any action.

9. American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding Usage – Chairman Browne announced that, after review of the Final Rule for ARPA fund usage, we have learned that the money cannot be used to pay volunteers. That would eliminate hazard pay for the fire department members and the First Responders. With those departments eliminated, the Board agreed by consensus that it wouldn’t be fair to give hazard pay to the other full time employees, which is allowed as specified in the Final Rule. Other possible additional uses for the funds such as website improvements and the purchase of video equipment were named by C. French, but Chairman Browne stated he would like to see the Board spend money on the list of requests that are before the Board now. After lengthy discussion, and on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to spend most of the first round of ARPA funds as follows: Fire Department – up to $100K for SCBA packs and related equipment; First Responders – up to $41K for replacement AED’s, N95 Masks and a related mask fitting/testing devise; and Vassalboro Sanitary District - $75K for manhole repair.

Resident Amy Davidoff asked for a few moments of the Board’s time to talk about using some of the ARPA funds for matching grants for Broadband expansion. She distributed a handout on the Broadband topic to the Board. Ms. Davidoff encouraged the Board to consider surveying the townspeople to determine if the current broadband offerings in town are adequate. She believes they are not and wants the situation studied more and improved; maybe even have a committee formed. Chairman Browne stated that he thinks Ms. Davidoff should take the lead on the assessment. He encouraged Ms. Davidoff to provide related literature to the town manager and she will distribute info to the Board.

10. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 7:27 p.m.

/mss

These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 4/14/22 with the following amendments:

Selectman Chris French stated that on page 3, the last sentence of the top paragraph should be revised as follows (underlined text is added, struck through text is deleted):

After lengthy discussion, and on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to spend most of the first round of ARPA funds as follows: Fire Department – up to $100K for SCBA packs and related equipment; First Responders – up to $41K for replacement AED’s, N95 Masks, Personal Protective Equipment, and training; and a related mask fitting/testing devise; and Vassalboro Sanitary District - $75K for manhole repair.

A motion was then made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French and voted unanimously by the Board to accept the minutes of the 3/17/21 meeting as amended.