Vassalboro Select Board
Minutes of the Meeting
January 23, 2020

Members Present: Rob Browne, Lauchlin Titus, and John Melrose

Others Present: Mary Sabins, Mary Grow, Mike Vashon, Tom and Linda Richards, and Mike Poulin

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

2. Minutes – J. Melrose noted that in Section #6 of the 1/9/20 minutes a correction is needed. He noted that the motion to approve the Treasurer’s warrants was seconded by Chairman Titus, not R. Browne (who was not in attendance at the meeting). On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted to accept the minutes of the 1/9/20 meeting as amended.

3. Revised Alcohol and Controlled Substances Testing Policy – After brief discussion and on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to adopt and sign the Alcohol and Controlled Substances Testing Policy (as revised January 2020). The updated policy reflects the changes in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations concerning the new Clearinghouse for test results.

4. Mike Vashon requested that the Board match from surplus the $30K donation he had solicited and received from the Sukeforth Foundation for a fire truck. Mike made reference to the article that appears in the town meeting warrant each year since he created it when he was the town manager that states the town will match grant funds received. In this year’s article, the Town voted to appropriate the sum not to exceed $45K from surplus to be used as local match dollars for new Fire Department equipment, with the funds to be expended only in the event of a Fire Department grant award. Mike stated that he had informed the Sukeforth donor at the time of solicitation that the town would match the funds. Chairman Titus stated that he thought the intent of the article was a government grant that required a match. Vashon insisted the Sukeforth money was a grant, and should not be considered a donation, and he has told other entities that their funds would be matched. An additional $15K has been promised to the Fire Department from the Pella Window Company to be used toward portable radio replacements; Vashon requested $15K to match those funds as well. Selectman Browne asked Vashon if he felt the match will pass the straight face test with the Town’s financial auditors. The Town is still paying for a fire truck, and there is only so much money. Many upcoming projects including two recent grant awards for large culvert replacements and a pending grant application for the generator at the school all will require funds from surplus. Selectman Melrose stated that the $45K amount in this year’s warrant article was increased to that amount at Vashon’s request last year to show good faith in a FEMA grant application for a fire truck that was unsuccessful. Melrose stated that he thought the match would be done only if the FEMA truck grant was awarded. Vashon stated that the FEMA truck award was given to Waterville because they have over 3,000 calls in a year. Vassalboro has far fewer fire calls. After lengthy discussion, and on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to set aside $30K from Surplus as a match for the Sukeforth grant to be invested in the fire truck reserve fund, with the balance of the $45K specified in the warrant article not already spent this fiscal year as a match for MMA Safety Grants and other grant awards, to be set aside as the grant match for the purchase of portable radios for the fire department.

5. Other (taken out of agenda order) – Tom Richards stated that he is the current Commander of American Legion Post #6. He and the Post members have an interest in doing something to commemorate Memorial Day in Town, but are uncertain what to do. He inquired what has been done in the past with the budget town funds for Memorial Day. Chairman Titus explained the funds have been used in recent past years to purchase a wreath that has been placed at the war monument, and that the Town has reimbursed Ray Breton for flowers he has purchased and planted around that memorial stone on his property. Also in the past, a parade has been done, with American flags handed out to the children. Upon inquiry from Tom, the Board agreed to assist the Legion Post with some funding if they make a Memorial Day event plan.

6. Solar Project RFP – Selectmen Melrose explained that the Solar Committee has prepared and edited multiple version of the RFP, and the final version was reviewed by the Town Attorney who made additional minor adjustments. After brief discussion and on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board moved to approve for distribution the Solar Project RFP as amended by the Town Attorney Kristin Collins. Melrose inquired how the bids will be reviewed. The Board agreed by consensus to have the Solar Committee Members and Sabins review the bids received and make a recommendation for award to the Selectmen.

7. Share Certificate renewal – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to reinvest the funds from the 18-month share certificate that will mature on 2/7/20 into a new 18-month share certificate at a rate of 2.3% as offered by the Maine Savings Federal Credit Union.

8. Credit Card Resolution – At the January 9, 2020 Board meeting, the Board authorized Sabins to apply for a town credit card at the Maine Savings Federal Credit Union, but it was not known at that time that the Credit Union requires a Board resolution to that effect along with the submission of the card application and the minutes of the meeting. Without discussion, and on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to sign as presented the resolution prepared by Sabins and prior-approved by the Credit Union.

9. Liquor License renewal – Sabins reported that she had placed the annual call to the Bureau of Liquor Licensing to determine if there is any reason known that we should not renew the Liquor License for Natanis Golf Course and Club House. The Bureau supervisor reported that there was none. Therefore, on a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by L. Titus, the Board voted two in favor, one abstained (R. Browne, co-owner of Natanis) to approve and sign the liquor license renewal.

10. Scheduling conflict with March 19th meeting – Selectman Browne stated he will be unable to attend the March 19th meetings of the Select Board and the Budget Committee. The Budget Committee is slated to talk with outside agency representatives during that meeting. The Board agreed by consensus to move forward with the planned meetings and will fill Selectman Browne in on the meeting activities after-the-fact.

11. Reports – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Road, First Responder, and the Transfer Station Reports as presented.

12. Treasurer’s Warrants – On a motion made by J. Melrose, seconded by R. Browne, the Board voted unanimously to approve warrants #42 and #43.

13. Other1. Sabins stated that she had not been able to get back to the transfer station compactor replacement project issue that had been discussed a few months ago, and asked the Board for a refresher on what was needed next in order to get that project moving forward. The Board reminded Sabins that she was to contact one of the engineers to request an additional proposal to reconfigure the layout of the station. A review of the November 14th meeting minutes when this topic was last discussed was suggested. 2. Chairman Titus signed the boundary survey for the 2020 Census. No town line boundary disputes with abutting communities are noted. 3. Sabins gave the Board an update on the flood repair work that is underway after a boiler malfunction in late December 2019. The Board viewed the existing conditions in the utility room. Discussion was given whether to replace the current 20-year-old water heater containing plumbing that does not meet current code requirements. The Board suggested Sabins contact the plumbing company for a price for an on-demand water heater instead of replacing the current 20-gallon water heater. 4. Sabins informed the Board that the new cemetery software will be ordered soon now that the server has been updated, and an intern will be applied for to help collect the data to be entered into the software. 5. Brief discussion was given after it was noted that two grants have recently been awarded to the Town by the State for two large culvert replacements on the Gray Road and the Cross Hill Road. The exact dollar amount the town will need to contribute toward those projects is not yet known.

14. Adjourn – There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.


These minutes were read and accepted by the Select Board on 2/11/20 with the following amendments: None.