Excise tax fees to increase; selectmen postpone decision on compactor replacement

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro selectmen dealt with a variety of issues and made several decisions at their Oct. 29 meeting, although they postponed the most expensive topic for further discussion.

By unanimous votes, the three board members:

  • Approved the state-allowed increase in motor vehicle registration fees, from $3 to $5 for a re-registration and $4 to $6 for a new registration. Town Manager Mary Sabins pointed out that the alternative method for renewing registrations is the on-line Rapid Renewal service.
  • Approved closing the north entrance onto Route 32 (Main Street) in East Vassalboro from the yard in front of the Historical Society building (formerly the East Vassalboro schoolhouse), in the interest of safety and to provide more parking.
  • Waived the purchasing policy’s bidding requirement and bought paving stones from Gagne and Son Concrete of Belgrade to create a new sidewalk around the Civil War statue in the park beside the Historical Society building. Selectman John Melrose, who first proposed park improvements, said staff from Fieldstone Gardens in Vassalboro will lay the stones and provide plantings.
  • Appointed Rebecca Lomey a member of the Board of Appeals through June 2020, finishing Gary Coull’s unexpired term. There is still a vacancy on the board, Sabins said; applications are welcome.
  • Approved annual renewals of junkyard and auto hobbyist permits presented by Codes Officer Paul Mitnik.

The item postponed was replacing the compactor at the transfer station. Sabins had quotes from two companies for different size compactors, with prices starting at over $25,000 She said the present compactor keeps getting repaired and continues to work, though she thinks it might be less efficient than in its younger days.

Sabins added that the tall building that protects trash from rain and snow needs repair.

There is a transfer station reserve fund, board Chairman Lauchlin Titus said, but its money keeps getting diverted for other purposes.

Selectmen postponed action to their next meeting to give themselves time to analyze the quotes. Melrose proposed adding possible building repairs to the discussion.

Melrose, a member of Vassalboro’s newly formed solar committee, said he is invited to the School Board’s Nov. 12 meeting to discuss the possibility of a solar project shared by the town and the school.

The next regular Vassalboro selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14. (The Oct. 29 meeting was moved from the usual Thursday evening because at least one board member had a conflicting Halloween obligation.)


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