Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
November 10, 2022

Members Present: Barbara Redmond, Chris French, and Rick Denico

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Mike Poulin, Don Gerrish, Cornell Knight, Scott Pierz, Brian Lajoie, John Reuthe, 7 other unknown members of the public, Karen Hatch, Tom Richards, Vivian Flamm, and Nate Gray.

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chair Barb Redmond at 6:30 pm. She thanked Town Clerk Cathy Coyne, Deputy Clerk Stacy Redmond, and the election crew for the wonderful job they did during the recent 11/8/22 election.

2. Minutes – On a motion made by R. Denico, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 10/27/22 meeting as written.

3. Dog park request – Resident Vivian Flamm requested that the Board consider creating a dog park in town. As she displayed a petition of signatures she had collected, she described the support she had heard from residents she had spoken with for this dog park and the need for a designated place for dogs to run free without a leash. Vivian suggested possible sites for the park might be on Vassalboro Sanitary District land formerly used as a sand bed filter system on Main Street in the North Village area, or a portion of the town recreation fields. A piece of land is needed with a fence and park benches. She stated that dogs are an important part of people’s lives, especially since COVID. Discussion ensued with the Board on how to proceed with this request, and whether to bring it to town meeting to request additional funding. Recreation Program Director Karen Hatch stated that access to the back land at the recreation fields would prove difficult as there is a locked security gate preventing access. Sabins suggested that Vivian reach out to the Trustees of the Vassalboro Sanitary District to see if they would approve use of their old sand bed filter property for this purpose, and then start developing a plan for funding for the fence. Vivian said she would pursue those ideas and report back at a later time.

4. Webber Pond Water Quality issues – Resident and Webber Pond Lake Association President John Reuthe spoke about the water quality issues in Webber Pond that is of concern to his Lake Association Members. He provided a handout describing the worst algae bloom in 30 years that occurred in the lake in early September that is now known to be caused by cyanobacteria (blue green algae) generated microcystin toxins that were deemed harmful to pets and people by the Maine DEP. John asked the Select Board to call a meeting of the stakeholders to discuss the matter, and he requested the town provide financial support for testing equipment, and a dam house to be built to cover the controls for the dam gates. China Region Lakes Alliance President Scott Pierz spoke on behalf of his organization and the programs that they offer to promote the health of the lake. Resident and Marine Biologist Nate Gray was asked by Selectman Chris French to speak about the toxins in the water. Nate explained that the virus attacked the bigger large-mouth bass and it was a substantial fish kill. He provided a scientific explanation for the toxin growth. After explanation of the problem, Chair B. Redmond stated that the Select Board’s priority right now is hiring a new town manager and that she didn’t really want to take on new projects right now. Board Member R. Denico stated he was dumfounded that the State of Maine hasn’t taken a lead on fixing the problem. C. French stated that the Board depends on the town manager to provide guidance in these matters. He, too, doesn’t want to proceed until a new manager is on Board. Chair B. Redmond then offered that a meeting of the stakeholders could possibly be called in January before budget season starts in full swing, to which John Reuthe agreed.

5. Alewife Harvester contract renewal – Sabins explained that the current Alewife Harvest Contract with Ron Weeks of Jefferson expired at the end of the 2022 harvest in May. The contract offers that the contract could be renewed by mutual agreement. Ron Weeks has requested a five-year contract extension. After discussion and on a motion made by R. Denico, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to renew and extend the Alewife Harvest Contract with Ron Weeks for another five harvest seasons at Webber Pond. The Board then signed the prepared contract. It was noted that the China Lake alewife run is not yet ready for harvest and it may be a few more years before approval for harvest is given by the federal department that provides such approval.

6. Reports – On a motion made by C. French, seconded by R. Denico, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Road and Police Reports as presented.

7. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by R. Denico, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #27 and #28.

8. Other – 1. Sabins read a request for a speed limit evaluation to be conducted by MaineDOT on Quaker Lane. On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by R. Denico, the Board voted unanimously to add Quaker Lane to the previously submitted speed limit evaluation request for Hussey Hill Road. 2. Sabins explained that due to the recent unexpected vacancy in the bookkeeping office and her acceptance of those duties until a new bookkeeper was found, she has been unable to use vacation time. She will soon reach the vacation time accrual cap of 240 hours and asked the Board to lift the cap until she retires on January 2, 2023. After brief discussion and on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by R. Denico, the Board voted unanimously to approve Sabins’ request to remove the cap on her vacation time accrual. 3. R. Denico stated he knows someone who will donate camera equipment to stream the Board meetings if the Board was interested. The Board agreed to accept the donation. 4. The tentatively set November 22nd Select Board meeting was cancelled by mutual agreement of the Board Members as they have other personal commitments to attend to prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

9. Executive Session – On a motion made by C. French, seconded by R. Denico, the Board voted at 7:42 pm to enter into an executive session with Eaton Peabody Consulting Group representatives to discuss applications for the Town Manager position pursuant to 1 MRSA, section 405 (6)(A). The Board returned to open session at 8:45 pm.

10. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.


These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 12/8/22 with the following amendments: None.