Selectmen need more info on emergency dispatching


by Mary Grow

Vassalboro selectmen spent the first third of their Dec. 20 meeting again discussing options and future costs for dispatching services for the town’s policeman, fire departments and first responders. They concluded they still lack enough information about county and state intentions to make a decision.

“We’ve all been at meetings all week long,” Town Manager Mary Sabins said, summarizing efforts to get more information from county commissioners, other town managers at an area meeting and the Regional Communications Center in Augusta.

Board Chairman Lauchlin Titus repeated that Vassalboro is looking at a significant increase in dispatch fees with the current proposed changes. First Responders are concerned about life-threatening delays if connecting different parts of the system is not simplified.

The other major topic Dec. 20 was whether to convert to LED (light-emitting diode) streetlights. Selectmen have considered a proposal from one of several companies offering LED lights; Central Maine Power Company recently joined the list, and Sabins likes their plan because it does not transfer maintenance responsibility to the town.

Selectmen authorized her to sign an agreement with CMP, after an inventory to find out how many lights Vassalboro has, whether all are necessary and whether any more are needed.

Vassalboro is supposed to have 113 streetlights, Titus said. However, board member John Melrose said, CMP’s lists have been found not to be entirely accurate in other towns. He and Titus suggested a GIS map showing the lights and creation of a small committee to locate them and advise on additions or subtractions.

In other business, Sabins said the Vassalboro Historical Society’s representative signed the proposed lease with the town for the former East Vassalboro schoolhouse. Selectmen also signed.

Selectmen unanimously reappointed Catherine Coyne as registrar of voters for another two-year term.

The next regular Vassalboro selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for Thursday evening, Jan. 10, 2019.


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