Vassalboro Board of Selectmen
Minutes of the Meeting
April 20, 2017

Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and Phil Haines

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Hair Builder’s Owner Bethany Morse with her staff member named Brittany and her snowplow guy; Police Chief Mark Brown, MDOT Engineer Dave Allen and his son; and Public Works Director Gene Field.

1. Call to order – The meeting was called to order by Chairman Titus at 7:00 p.m. Sabins suggested to the Chairman that he might consider switching the order of some of the agenda items. Earl Vannah planned to come speak with the Board about the tax acquired property tax sale but would not be able to attend until at least 7:30. Other folks in the room from the Hair Builders business are not on the agenda, but request time to speak with the Board tonight about the lack of a handicap parking spot in front of their business, and their need to have one.

2. Minutes – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the 4/6/17 meeting as written.

3. Handicap parking issue on Oak Grove Road – Hair Builders Owner Bethany Morse explained to the Board that she has multiple disabled customers that need parking close to the front door of her business. She has put up a handicap parking sign on the left front side of her hair salon building located at 653 Oak Grove Road, but she has been unable to reserve the parking spot for handicap parking only. Other non-handicap motorists park there on a regular basis including tenants from the buildings on either side of hers, requiring her disabled customers to park a distance away and struggle with walking aids to get inside her business. She wants a marked space with an ordinance in place to allow enforcement for violators. Sabins distributed photographs of the Hair Builders building that she had taken that morning for reference. Sabins asked Bethany if she had considered designating the first diagonal parking space alongside the right side of her building as the handicap parking, and moving her ramp to the other side of the front door to get the disabled patrons out of the street. Bethany said her front door swings the wrong way, so the ramp has to be on the left side. Further discussion ensued about the challenges of plowing the area in the winter, and the current ordinance that prohibits parking on the north side of the street from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., which is not currently being enforced due to a lack of places for the tenants to park who park there. When asked by Selectmen, MDOT Engineer David Allen stated that it was up to the Selectmen, not the State, to establish or to revise the existing parking ordinance to include handicap parking. Once established, David encouraged the Town to let him know, and he would notify the State and County Law Enforcement Agencies that the ordinance exists in case enforcement is requested. David estimated the cost to paint the handicap parking spot as such to be around $200.00. The painting work would need to be contracted out as the Town does not have the proper stencils to do the work. Public Works Director Gene Field stated he was concerned how many other businesses would seek handicap parking designations in front of their businesses if we grant this request. After extended discussion, and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to start the process to rework the ordinance to include handicap parking space(s). This subject will be placed on the next Selectmen’s meeting agenda for discussion.

4. Review of Town Meeting Warrant Articles – The Board and Sabins reviewed each article on the draft version of the warrant. The school budget articles are still not finalized, pending receipt of information from the school’s finance director after this week of school vacation. Once the review was complete, Selectman Browne inquired of the other Selectmen to gauge their level of support for the continued request for a 3% wage increase for town staff if the Budget Committee is successful in convincing the school committee to reduce their proposed staff increase to 2%. Both Selectmen Haines and Titus stated they continue to support a 3% increase for town staff. Having completed this discussion, the Chairman then announced that he felt the Board had reached consensus of approval about the current draft of the town meeting warrant articles.

5. Shoreland Zone Ordinance certification – Without discussion, and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to sign the ordinance certification.

6. Municipal Clerk’s Week Proclamation – Without discussion, and on a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to sign the Proclamation to declare 5/7/17 – 5/13/17 as Municipal Clerk’s Week.

7. Reportsa. Road Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented. b. Financial Report - On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report as presented.

8. Tax-acquired property – It was determined that Earl Vannah was apparently not going to be able to attend the meeting. Sabins provided the latest information from Earl about his interest in purchasing the subdivision property on Ilona Drive. Earl stated to Sabins earlier in the day that his attorney has advised him that the former owner can contest the foreclosure process for up to a five year period after foreclosure. Earl stated that he would not plan to develop the property until after that waiting period, and he did not want to pay full taxes as individual house lots during the wait period. Sabins called the contracted tax assessor, and he indicated that unless the subdivision is undone, the property must be taxed as individual house lots. After discussion, the Selectmen decided to take no action on the sale of this tax acquired property at this time, and to revisit the matter at their July meeting.

9. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by P. Haines, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #59 and #60.

10. Other1. Receipt of a letter from KVCOG Planner Chris Huck who was looking for transportation planning suggestions was noted. No action taken at this time. 2. Chairman Titus suggested discussion was in order to consider this year’s recipient of the Spirit of America Award. After discussion, the Board agreed unanimously to give the award posthumously to Jim Mitchell. The sentiment will be presented at town meeting to his family.

11. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

/mss

These minutes were read and accepted by the Board of Selectmen on 5/4/17 with the following amendments: None.