VASSALBORO: Only two select board members at meeting; make minor comments on warrant draft

by Mary Grow

The two Vassalboro select board members present at the May 11 board meeting offered a few minor comments on Town Manager Aaron Miller’s draft town meeting warrant. The manager planned to have a final copy ready for their signatures after the meeting.

The first part of the town meeting is an open meeting that begins at 6:30 p.m., Monday, June 5, at Vassalboro Community School. Voters present will elect a moderator; elect five budget committee members; act on municipal and school expenditure requests for the 2023-24 fiscal year that begins July 1; and act on policy and procedural questions.

There are a total of 38 articles to be decided June 5. On Tuesday, June 13, Articles 39 through 41 will be on a written ballot. They ask voters to approve or reject the school budget adopted June 5; approve or reject amendments to the Site Review Ordinance (in the form of a new section governing commercial solar energy systems); and elect town officials (see box with this story).

The other document that select board members reviewed May 11 was titled “Vassalboro Recreation Committee Bylaws.” Recreation Director Karen Hatch explained that because the board and voters have created her position, the committee’s role has changed.

After half an hour’s discussion, select board chairman Barbara Redmond proposed committee members be invited to a workshop session with the select board. Miller said he would schedule the workshop.

In other business, Vassalboro Historical Society spokesman John Melrose said the heat pumps to be installed at the former East Vassalboro schoolhouse (now the society’s headquarters and museum) will cost $32,019.06, because the plan has been amended to make the boiler that presently heats the building unnecessary.

The Efficiency Maine program will provide $14,000, Melrose said, leaving $18,019.06 as the town’s share. Select board members had approved using $15,000 in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds for the project. They increased the appropriation to $18,019.06 and authorized Miller to sign the Efficiency Maine contract.

Miller asked for permission to look into seeking bids for legal work for the town. Vassalboro has had the same attorney since 2018, he said. Select board members approved.

The manager said the tax-acquired property at 83 South Stanley Hill Road has been advertised for sale; there is considerable interest. The town website,, has instructions for submitting bids; they are due at the town office by 4 p.m., Wednesday, June 7, and the minimum bid is $10,000.

Board members briefly discussed application and other fees the town charges for permits and licenses. They adopted the planning board’s recommendation that site review application fees for commercial projects be increased to $100 for a minor project and $400 for a major; they might consider other fees at future meetings.

No candidates on June 13 ballot

Vassalboro voters have no candidate on the June 13 ballot to fill the select board seat being vacated by Barbara Redmond.

Town Manager Aaron Miller said May 11 that David McCarthy, Jr., the only nominee, has withdrawn his candidacy.

Voters will see a blank line on which to write in the candidate of their choice. Write-in rules will be publicized on the town website, Facebook and elsewhere.

The person with the most correct written-in votes will become a select board member for a three-year term, assuming he or she accepts the position.

Vassalboro’s other June 13 elections are for two seats on the school board. Incumbents Erin “Libby” Loiko and Zachary Smith are unopposed for re-election.

Polls will be open at the town office from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Tuesday, June 13. Absentee ballots were scheduled to be available at the town office Monday, May 15.

The next regular Vassalboro select board meeting will be Thursday evening, May 25.


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