VASSALBORO: Voters have two written ballots on June 13

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro’s annual town meeting did not end after voters acted on 38 articles Monday evening, June 5. They have two written ballots on Tuesday, June 13, with polls open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the town office.

One ballot is for local elections, for one member of the select board and two members of the school board.

For select board, there are only blank lines. Michael C. Poulin, of Vassalboro, is a declared write-in candidate. Incumbent Barbara Redmond is retiring.

For school board, incumbents Erin L. Loiko (“Libby”) and Zachary Smith seek re-election. There are two blank lines if a voter wants to write in someone else instead of one or both of those listed.

Instructions for write-ins are printed on the ballot.

The other ballot contains warrant Articles 39 and 40.

Art. 39 asks if voters want to approve the 2023-24 school budget that was adopted June 5. This school budget validation referendum has been standard in many Maine municipalities for years.

Art. 40 asks if voters want to amend Vassalboro’s Site Review Ordinance. If a majority approve, they will add to the ordinance a new Chapter XI titled “Performance Standards for Commercial Solar Energy Systems.”

The ordinance with proposed amendments is on the Town of Vassalboro website, under “What’s New in Vassalboro,” after several other items; it immediately follows the announcement of new Facebook and Instagram pages.

In the draft, the new section covers pages 18 through the top of 22. It sets out standards for building, operating, maintaining and decommissioning commercial solar farms.

Approval of the amended ordinance includes numerous lesser changes outside Chapter XI. Some complement the provisions dealing with solar farms – for example, chapters after XI are renumbered, and new definitions of “commercial solar energy system” and “solar energy system” are proposed.

Other changes clarify procedures or correct past omissions. For example, voter approval would add a requirement that a site plan application include the names of abutting property-owners. It would add definitions of multiple terms not specific to Chapter XI, like “buffer,” “property line,” “residential structure” and “setback.”


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