Vassalboro Select Board
Minutes of the Special Selectmen’s Meeting
September 26, 2019

Members Present: Lauchlin Titus, John Melrose, and Rob Browne (9:30)

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Gene Field, James Wentworth, Nate Gray, Esther Bizier, and Jim Foster.

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Titus at 9:05 a.m.

2. Minutes – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 9/5/19 meeting as written.

The Board chatted with PW Director Gene Field about work accomplished in his department while they waited for one of the guest speakers, Eric Labelle from Main-Land Development Consultants, to arrive. It was reported that Mr. Labelle experienced a flat tire on the way to the meeting. Selectman Browne was also delayed in arriving at the meeting, due to work commitments. At 9:30, Chairman Titus began discussion on the culvert issue without one of the guest speakers. Selectman Browne arrived just after the culvert conversation began.

3. Stream Crossing Grant application – The Board discussed the three different culverts that are being considered for this stream crossing grant application, and contemplated which one might qualify the best and score the highest in this application round. The three culverts being considered are located on the Gray Road, the Cross Hill Road, and the Whitehouse Road. Esther Bizier, an engineer from Main-Land Development Consultants, stated that she had performed research on all three culverts utilizing the available on-line information about fish and wildlife population and habitat at the stream crossings, and she feels that the Gray Road culvert is the best eligible fit for the stream crossing grant. Her company’s fee to gather, compile and submit a grant application on the town’s behalf is $4,500. Municipalities can submit two applications per grant round, and if the town chose to have her firm complete a second application, the fee would be an additional $4,000. Resident and Engineer Jim Foster was also in the audience and stated that he and PW Director Gene Field had been evaluating the Cross Hill Road culvert and that he would like to offer to put together a grant application for replacement of that culvert free of charge. Resident and Marine Resources Biologist Nate Gray described the concerns with the Whitehouse Road culvert in that the water is too fast flowing out of the culvert, which may be a detriment to fish passage. Structurally, there is no fault with the Whitehouse Road culvert, but the other two culverts have some degree of structural failure which would score higher on the grant application. After lengthy discussion, and on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to retain Main-Land Development Consultants to prepare a stream crossing grant application for Gray Road for $4,500; and to take Jim Foster up on his offer to prepare a free grant application for the Cross Hill Road culvert.

4. Future meeting dates – By consensus, the Board agreed to move or cancel several meetings in the next three months because they fall on, or near, the holidays. The following changes were made: the October 31st meeting was moved to Tuesday, October 29th; the Nov 28th meeting was moved to Tuesday, November 26th; and the last meeting in December on the 26th was cancelled and not rescheduled.

5. Other1. Chairman Titus requested that Sabins invite the Director of the Central Maine Growth Council and the Planning Board Members to come to the October 17th meeting to meet each other and learn what services the Growth Council can provide to the Town.

6. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 10:30 a.m. Immediately after the meeting adjourned, Main-Land Development Consultant Eric Labelle arrived at the meeting. He introduced himself and apologized for his late arrival due to a mechanical issue. The Board members informed Eric that the Board had voted during the meeting to award the contract to his firm to prepare a grant application for the Gray Road culvert. Brief casual conversation with Eric ensued before the Board departed from the building.


These minutes were read and accepted by the Select Board on 10/17/19 with the following amendments: None.