Vassalboro selectmen give retiring Lauchlin Titus a send-off

Lauchlin Titus, center, outgoing Vassalboro selectman, was presented the Spirit of America award during the June 22 annual town meeting. Presenting the award were town selectmen Rob Browne, left, and John Melrose. (photo courtesy of Mary Sabins)

by Mary Grow

The centerpiece of the June 25 Vassalboro selectmen’s meeting was the going-away party for Board Chairman Lauchlin Titus, who is not a candidate for re-election on July 14. He has been a selectman for 12 years and previously served on other town committees.

Numerous town employees were present. Titus received gifts suited to his non-governmental interests and the audience shared – and praised – the trifle made by town office staffer Debbie Johnston-Nixon.

Town Manager Mary Sabins introduced Michael Levesque, summer intern whose task is to begin computerizing Vassalboro’s cemetery records to make them accessible to genealogists and other researchers. Levesque is studying environmental policy and planning at the University of Maine at Farmington, where he just finished – virtually – his second year.

Levesque said he started with the Cross Hill Cemetery and intends, time permitting, to move to the North Vassalboro one. Already, he said, he has made interesting discoveries, like locating the grave of someone who was almost certainly a veteran, but has not previously been recognized when veterans’ graves are marked with flags.

In other June 25 business, selectmen made the annual reappointments to town boards and committees for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Sabins commented that Vassalboro is lucky to have many residents willing to volunteer. There are a few vacancies; selectmen recommended they be listed on the town website.

Sabins reported alewife revenues for 2020 are lower than usual, at $16,410. The income from sale of the small fish as they migrate into Webber Pond has exceeded $20,000 in some recent years. Selectmen commented they had observed fewer eagles watching the migration up Outlet Stream, too.

The good news, Sabins reported, is that excise tax revenue has rebounded after dropping at the beginning of the Covid-19 shutdown.

Codes Officer Paul Mitnik informed selectmen of a North Vassalboro yard full of junk left by tenants who have moved out. The town might have to clean up the property and bill the former tenants, he said. He fears the yard is likely to attract rats and could become a health hazard.

Titus (doing his duty as a citizen, he said) passed on to Mitnik a complaint about another property in town that has not yet been cleaned up as the owner promised.

July 14 voting in Vassalboro will be at Vassalboro Community School (not at the town office as usual), with polls open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The town office will be closed July 14. In addition to state referenda and primary elections, Vassalboro voters have two local questions: a referendum on the school budget approved at the June 22 town meeting and uncontested local elections.

Information on July 14 voting and on obtaining absentee ballots is on the Vassalboro website.

The next regular Vassalboro selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 23.


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