Relations among town departments seem to be running smoothly

by Mary Grow

VASSALBORO — Relations among major Vassalboro town departments seem to be running smoothly, according to an Oct. 4 discussion of public safety and law enforcement issues and communication between town and school officials.

The exception, perhaps a minor one, is a potential change in the services that dispatch emergency personnel.

Currently, Vassalboro firefighters, rescue unit members and the town’s one policeman depend on the state’s Regional Communications Center in Augusta and the Kennebec Sheriff’s Office. Town Manager Mary Sabins said a recent letter suggested potential rearrangements that might take effect in July 2019.

Firefighter Michael Vashon said the Vassalboro volunteer fire department is unlikely to be affected, and is satisfied with the Regional Communications Center. Police Chief Mark Brown expects the Sheriff’s Office will continue to dispatch Vassalboro law enforcement, which is shared among him, sheriff’s deputies and state police.

First Responders Chief Dan Mayotte said his service is less satisfied with the Regional Communications Center than the firefighters are, and gave an example of an error that delayed an emergency response – not the first, he said.

Mayotte advised selectmen to look into alternatives for dispatching service, including Somerset and Waldo counties. Selectmen assigned the job to Sabins, with local emergency personnel to give her names of people with whom to talk.

New Vassalboro School Superintendent Alan Pfeiffer immediately accepted the selectmen’s suggestion that he provide them with monthly reports on school issues affecting the town, especially the budget, like numbers of students and the condition of the school building.

Pfeiffer commended custodial staff at Vassalboro Community School for conscientious maintenance that he said seems to have kept the building in good shape. Perhaps, suggested Selectmen Chairman Lauchlin Titus, there would be occasional projects on which the town crew could help.

Pfeiffer also commended Police Chief Brown for his frequent visits to the school, and Vashon praised his cooperation with the fire department. Selectmen and Brown agreed that given Brown’s limited time – he is paid for 15 hours a week – he should focus on community policing.

Vashon mentioned the lack of road access to the back of the school building for emergency vehicles, a situation Pfeiffer promised to look into.

Sabins reported on ongoing efforts to get a grant for a generator that would let the school building serve as an emergency shelter. Mayotte offered as matching funds the money voters approved for rescue unit grant matches, saying he had not yet made any applications this year, and Vashon and Pfeiffer suggested additional possible grant sources. In other business Oct. 4:

  • Selectmen voted unanimously to pay the Town of China $100 so Vassalboro residents can bring confidential papers to the shredder that will be at the China town garage on Alder Park Road from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 27.
  • They accepted the only bid on a tax-acquired lot on Harmony Lane, $10,010 from Gerard and Elaine Grenier.
  • After a brief public hearing, which drew no comments, on amendments to the appendices to the General Assistance Ordinance, they unanimously accepted the amendments.
  • The meeting began with selectmen and town office staff presenting Sabins with a congratulatory potted plant in recognition of her election as president of the Maine Municipal Association.

The next regular Vassalboro selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for Thursday evening, Oct. 18.


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