Vassalboro Select Board
Minutes of the Meeting
October 15, 2020

Members Present: Rob Browne, John Melrose, and Barbara Redmond

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Mike Vashon, Sue Little, Mike Poulin, Walker Thompson, Melissa & Zack Olson, Ed ­­­­­­­­­­­­Piscapo, and Charlie Plourde.

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

2. Minutes – On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 10/1/20 meeting as written.

3. Streetlight request (continued from last meeting) – Sabins explained research results that she had received from CMP representative Tammy Pierce. Tammy indicated that putting a higher wattage fixture on the existing nearby streetlights would not help to illuminate Ms. Little’s yard. Tammy suggested adding a 26 watt LED streetlight. If a new streetlight is added, a 15-year lease would need to be signed with CMP. The monthly lease cost would be $9.10, plus the energy charge. Resident Susan Little who had requested the light, stated that she had polled her neighbors and all support the addition of a new streetlight in their neighborhood on Main Street in the East Village Area. Selectman Rob Browne expressed concern about setting a precedent for future requests for streetlight additions. Ms. Little offered to pay for the streetlight expense, but Rob rejected the idea saying it wasn’t right for a resident to pay for a streetlight. Ms. Little said that she had tried to add an outside light to her house several times but it keeps going out and doesn’t last. Members of the audience offered the name of a local electrician that may be able to assist to install a light that will last. Board Member B. Redmond stated that possibly the light could be discussed during the upcoming budget cycle in the spring and funded in next year’s budget. After discussion and on a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to not approve the request for a streetlight today, but to have it as a topic of discussion at Budget Committee deliberations in the spring.

4. Fire Department repeater repair and new truck purchase update (continued from last meeting) – Mike Vashon stated that the fire department has collected three estimates for repair of the repeater. The estimates range from $12K-$16K. The estimates have been forwarded to the Maine Emergency Management Agency through the Kennebec EMA office to see if funding can be found through those agencies. Vashon will provide an update in a couple of weeks. Chief Walker Thompson stated that he has learned that the Town of China is going on their own in finding repeater service.

Funding for the new fire truck was discussed and a proposed lease/purchase agreement with Tax-Exempt Leasing Corp. for $334K payable over five years was available for Board review. After brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously to approve the fire truck purchase agreement as approved at town meeting.

5. Conservation Commission – No action taken on this agenda item. Chairman Melrose stated that the Conservation Commission is scheduled to meet on 10/20/20 to discuss the future of the Commission. Possibly more information will be available at the next meeting.

6. Other (taken out of agenda order) – Residents Melissa and Zack Olson inquired when the recreation fields were going to be reopened to the public. The Rec programs were shut down and the fields were closed recently after some Vassalboro Recreation travel team members were exposed to the COVID virus from a player in another town. Since it has been 14 days since the exposure, it was agreed to open the fields back up to public use but the Town Recreation soccer programs remain closed for the season.

7. Reports –On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Road and Police Reports as presented.

8. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #23 and #24.

9. Other1. The Board reviewed the Chamber of Commerce ballot for their Board of Directors. Since none of the nominees were known by the Select Board Members, the Board agreed by consensus to take no action on the ballot. 2. On a motion made by R. Browne, seconded by B. Redmond, the Board voted unanimously to approve the personal property tax abatement for Willard & Patricia Slaemaker as recommended by Assessor Ellery Bane. 3. Chairman Melrose provided an update to the other Board members concerning the Cross Hill Road culvert replacement project and the recent request from abutters to restore the plunge pool that provided habitat for natural brook trout. The plunge pool was not in the project plans but is now being reconsidered by the regulating departments overseeing and permitting the project. 4. Chairman Melrose inquired about the release of the bid specifications for the Gray Road culvert project for bid purposes. Sabins indicated the Select Board will review and possibly edit the bid specs prepared by Calderwood Engineering at their next meeting. The project will go out to bid in November for construction next summer.

10. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 7:25 p.m.


These minutes were read and accepted by the Select Board on 10/28/20 with the following amendments: None.