VASSALBORO: Selectmen OK talks with potential subdivision buyer

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro selectmen are close to getting rid of a tax-acquired subdivision they tried unsuccessfully to sell earlier, after the town foreclosed on the property early in 2014. Joe Presti attended the Nov. 16 selectmen’s meeting to talk about buying 12 subdivision lots on Ilona Drive, off Crowell Hill Road. Presti already owns a house on another of the subdivision lots.

Presti offered $15,000 for the approximately nine-acre property, the figure selectmen set as the minimum when they offered it for sale by bid. Town Manager Mary Sabins said the sum would cover back taxes and town costs.

Selectmen unanimously authorized Sabins and Presti to work out details and report back.

Resident David Jenney gave selectmen a progress report on the Cross Hill Cemetery. Selectmen approved spending to repair broken stones.

Jenney also proposed additional publicity for the annual town meeting, specifically a postcard notification to each voter, and asked whether board members are satisfied with the town website that he maintains under Sabins’ direction.

Selectmen are content with the website; no one had suggestions for improving it. Newly re-elected board Chairman Lauchlin Titus doubted postcards would increase town meeting attendance, but asked Sabins to get a cost estimate for a mailing.

Sabins reported work has already started on implementing the Window Dressers program in Vassalboro. More than 30 residents have signed up, two volunteer measuring teams are at work and the community build, when the draft-stopping window inserts are constructed, is scheduled for Dec. 16 and 17, and if necessary Dec. 18 and 19, at the former mill in North Vassalboro.

Titus reported the recent windstorm damaged sections of the mill roof. Local fund-raisers will be held to help with repair costs, he said.

Selectmen authorized Sabins to talk with Vassalboro’s two waste haulers in preparation for the April 1, 2018, change from the Penobscot Energy Recovery Company facility to the new Fiberight plant (or a temporary substitute if the plant does not open on schedule). The manager said one of Vassalboro’s current hauling contracts expires in mid-January, the other two in mid-June.

The next regular selectmen’s meeting would be Thursday evening, Nov. 30, but the time conflicts with a workshop for elected officials all three board members plan to attend. They decided they will meet if necessary early in the afternoon of Nov. 30. Selectmen’s meetings are announced on the Vassalboro website.

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