Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
September 29, 2022

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

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Mike Poulin, Lisa & Burton Miller, Ginny Brackett, Doug Phillips, Ray Breton, Amy Davidoff, Walker Thompson, Mark Brown, John Melrose, Alison Thompson, Robert Williams, George Hamar, Curt Ferland, Jennifer Reed, Kevin Reed, Ann White, Harlan White, Jerry Hill, Suzanne Putman, Thomas Richards, Holly Weidner, Melissa Olson, Pamela Lemieux, Bernard Lemieux, Matthew Freytag, Daniel Mayotte, and at least two others.

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chair Barb Redmond at 6:30 pm.

2. Minutes – On a motion made by R. Denico, seconded by C. French, the Board voted to accept the minutes of the 9/15/22 and the 9/26/22 meetings as written. B. Redmond abstained from the vote on the 9/15/22 meeting minutes as she was not present at that meeting.

3. Public Hearing on the proposed “Town of Vassalboro Moratorium Ordinance on Commercial Arrays” – Chair B. Redmond called the public hearing to order at 6:31 and she explained that the reason for presenting the moratorium ordinance was that 80% of votes cast at the June 2022 town meeting straw poll question on this topic favored solar array regulation. She announced that the Select Board will meet with the Planning Board (PB) next week at their regular monthly meeting to request that the PB prepare revisions to the Site Review Ordinance to include regulations for commercial solar arrays to be presented to the voters for acceptance at the June 2023 town meeting. Many members of the public in the audience tonight expressed concern about a commercial solar array that is being planned and staked out for installation along Main Street in the vicinity of Duratherm Window. PB members Ginny Brackett (chair) and Doug Phillips indicated that the owner of that particular project has only presented a project design to the PB, not a complete application. The PB must accept the application as complete before it can move forward. The PB will further review the project owner’s application at their November meeting. The majority of the members of the public in attendance at this public hearing supported the concept of the Moratorium Ordinance to provide time to draft rules to regulate commercial solar arrays, and many members also expressed interest in attending the PB meeting in November to share their concerns about this new solar array on Main Street. Chair Redmond closed the public hearing at 7:22 p.m. It was also noted by Chair Redmond that resident David Jenney had provided the Board with his written comments on the proposed Moratorium Ordinance as he was unable to attend the public hearing in person.

4. Public Hearing on General Assistance (GA) Ordinance Appendices A-G – The hearing was opened at 7:27 pm and closed at 7:28 pm with limited discussion on the changes from one year to the next in the appendices provided by the State for adoption. On a motion made by R. Denico, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to adopt the proposed appendices A-G as provided by the State.

5. Capital needs at the Historical Society Building – As Treasurer of the Historical Society who houses their collection in the town-owned old school house building on Main Street in the East Village area next to Memorial Park, John Melrose indicated the building has several physical needs that need to be assessed and addressed. John recommended that the Select Board appoint a committee to identify the capital needs of the building to make a recommendation to the Select Board for budgeting purposes. Chair Redmond supported the idea and asked John to recruit members for the committee and report them to the town manager for Board appointment at a future meeting.

6. Trash compactor covering – Transfer Station Manager George Hamar was present at the meeting but explained to the Board that he had nothing new to share since he appeared at a previous meeting. He still desires to have a boardwalk and also a covering over the compactor controls made before snow flies this winter. After discussion, the Board encouraged George to talk with PW Director Gene Field to see if his team could help build these items before winter.

7. Delta Ambulance letter – C. French stated that he was opposed to a separate committee to discuss future arrangements with Delta, and that he wanted a Delta Ambulance Representative to come to the next meeting to talk about their proposal to charge a per-capita fee to the town in the next budget cycle. Police Chief Mark Brown stated that he had spoken with Augusta officials who said they would respond with an ambulance to Vassalboro in a mutual aid capacity, but were not interested in a contract agreement for regular emergency response. Sabins will attempt to arrange to have Delta representatives come to the next Board meeting.

8. Reschedule 11/24 meeting – After discussion, the Board tentatively rescheduled the 11/24 meeting that would have fallen on Thanksgiving to Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at 6:30 pm. This 11/22 meeting may be cancelled if it is not needed.

9. Budget timeline – The Board briefly reviewed the annual budget timeline schedule and agreed by consensus that it is okay for now and subject to change as needed as per usual.

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

11. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by C. French, seconded by R. Denico, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrant #22.

12. Other1. On a motion made by B. Redmond, seconded by C. French, the Board voted unanimously to vote the ballot as presented for the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. 2. The Board took no action on the request for nominees to serve on the MRC Board of Directors. 3. The Board agreed by consensus to eliminate the goal setting meeting previously scheduled for October 6th. 4. After discussion, the Board agreed by consensus to not invest the $156K Capital Equipment Reserve funds into the town investment portfolio at this time due to investment market instability. Sabins informed the board that currently there is insufficient funds in the plow truck reserve fund to cover that portion of the purchase of the town truck recently ordered. More research will need to be done to see if the invested surplus funds can be used to cover the shortfall if the investment market does not rebound before the funds are needed. 5. Upon inquiry from Sabins, the Board expressed a desire to update the Personnel Handbook prior to Sabins’ retirement. Sabins has sought and received the town attorney’s support in helping with the revision. The topic will be placed on the next Board meeting agenda. 6. The Board approved Steve Jones’ offer to plant two new trees at Memorial Park. 7. Chair Redmond stated that Mike Vashon had approached her about the use of ARPA funds to purchase more Scott air packs. The topic will be placed on the Oct. 27 agenda. 8. Chair Redmond stated she had emailed with Peggy to tell her the Board plans to delay any action on the Resiliency Grant program due to the ongoing Executive Search. 9. On a motion made by C. French, seconded by R. Denico, the Board voted unanimously at 8:35 pm to enter into an Executive Session pursuant to 1 MRSA 405 (6)(A) to discuss a personnel matter. The Board returned to open session at 9:25 pm.

13. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.


These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 10/13/22 with the following amendments: None.