Vassalboro residents learn about sewer expansion project

by Mary Grow

Ten people showed up for the Vassalboro selectmen’s June 28 public hearing on a Community Development Block Grant for the sewer extension project, not all of them members of the Vassalboro Sanitary District Board of Trustees.

Despite the audience being larger than usual for a local hearing, no one had questions, so the hearing lasted the typical two minutes.

Engineer Richard Green of Hoyle, Tanner and Associates, of Brunswick, distributed a summary of the project. The goal is to connect Vassalboro’s sewer system to Winslow’s and thence to the regional treatment plant in Waterville.

Work includes installing new sewer pipes along Route 32 from East Vassalboro to Winslow and major changes – replacements, upgrades and demolitions – at the existing treatment facilities in Vassalboro. Total project cost is estimated at more than $7 million. The Community Development Block Grant is $975,000; Vassalboro Tax Increment Finance (TIF) money and state and federal grants and loans are expected to cover the rest of the cost, with the Sanitary District borrowing what Green called “quite a bit.”

The public hearing was followed by a selectmen’s meeting at which selectmen returned to two issues raised earlier in June. They unanimously authorized Town Manager Mary Sabins to negotiate with state officials to end Vassalboro’s lease of the Three Mile Pond former rest area and boat landing.

They took no action on a possible request to voters to approve an ordinance limiting medical marijuana storefronts in town. Board Chairman Lauchlin Titus said so far residents have expressed little interest in the issue.

They also took no action on Selectman John Melrose’s suggestion that Vassalboro needs a Budget Committee Ordinance to codify the responsibilities of the committee, which has existed for decades without written authority. The issue might be on the agenda for their July 12 meeting.

The board had two bids on a tax-acquired property in North Vassalboro. They unanimously accepted the higher, from Thomas Harville, of Skowhegan.

As the fiscal year ended, selectmen appointed, or in most cases reappointed, members of town boards and committees. They asked Sabins to continue discussion with two residents who had expressed interest in joining boards.

 
 

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