TOWN OF TOPSHAM
BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2008
A regular meeting of the Town of Topsham Board of Selectmen was held on Thursday, February 7, 2008
at the Topsham Public Library. Chair, Michelle Jones, called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – All present stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
ROLL CALL OF BOARD MEMBERS – All Selectmen were present. (James Trusiani, Ron Riendeau,
Michelle Jones, Sandra Consolini and Steve Edmondson).
TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT –
The Town received a letter from the Lisbon Fire Department thanking us for lending fire Engine 3 while
their own engine is being refurbished.
Mr. Ashe presented two possible schedules for developing the 2008-2009 Budget. The Board agreed
upon option A. The Draft Budget will be presented at the regular meeting February 21st. Department
reviews will occur at three subsequent meetings, February 23rd, February 25th and the regularly
scheduled workshop on February 28th. Later discussion revised the February 28 meeting times to
accommodate a request from Dick Snow of the Topsham Charter Commission to speak with the
Selectmen that evening. Mr. Ashe will provide a revised schedule. Formal meeting(s) with the Finance
Committee will be scheduled with Mr. Whitney for March. The public may attend these meetings in the
downstairs meeting room of the Municipal Offices. A Public Hearing will be held May 1st in preparation
for the Town Meeting May 21st.
Reminder read by Consolini of a talk February 21 Re: Tax Incremental Funding (TIF) to be presented
by Dan Stevenson.
The Town received correspondence from Topsham that the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority
(MRRA) is available to give info on issues such as the base closing. Selectmen agreed the information
may be useful but they need a month or two for the budget process.
Postponement of Valentine’s dance to next Saturday may occur for a snowstorm. Decision will be made
by tomorrow noon.
George Ball is making a presentation March 24th to the Brunswick Town Council. Topsham will try to
televise on the local cable TV channel.
- Expenditures are on track with the exception that the Public Works overtime budget is
exhausted and funds for salt are low because of the frequent snowstorms.
- An issue with cash flow may occur if expected income does not arrive before February 18th
when large expenditures are due. The Board of Selectmen has authorized funds to cover the
expenses through a TAN if needed.
Selectmen meetings may continue at the Library through March or later because of delays obtaining
and installing the necessary equipment at the Municipal Offices.
Chair Jones items:
When will MDOT repair Black Bridge? – Usually spring, but Wes Thames will check
Can video of the Selectmen meetings be mailed out Fridays and can final form of the agenda be
available for Thursday workshops? – Staff will try to work that out.
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Residents have complained about the condition of Prospect Street – Wes Thames, Public Works,
says that two springs under the road and unusual rains this winter contribute to road movement
and frost heaves. This also includes North Street and A Street. Work to rebuild drainage with
overlay is budgeted for earliest possible work in the spring.
Boards and Committee Goals and Updates (as scheduled) -
Jim Trusiani gave reports of two committees.
The SAD 75 Consolidation Committee met January 30. They meet again February 13 and February 27 to
develop a tentative agreement available to the public March 1st. Two public hearings will take place in
March 15 at 10 am in Lisbon and in Topsham. The Committee will meet following the hearings the same
day to draft a final plan for submission. SAD 75 is not required to consolidate and is waiting for a written
statement that it will not pay any financial penalty if it decides not to consolidate with Lisbon.
Public Comment – No public comment.
Correspondence – None
Additions to the Agenda – None
The Board reviewed and revised the minutes for 1/17/08 and for 1/24/08.
Motion was made by Selectman Trusiani, seconded by Selectman Edmondson and it was unanimously
To approve both minutes of the regular Selectmen meeting 1/17/2008 and minutes of the Special
Selectmen meeting 1/24/08 as revised.
Public Hearing –
Unfinished Business – None
New Business -
05-08 – Action request on property code violations.
Todd Rosenberg, Code Enforcement Officer (CEO), presented a memo asking the Board of Selectmen
to “authorize additional enforcement actions” against two properties with a long history of violations and
complaints filed against them. Chair Jones read the descriptions for the public.
First, Guy Nowlan of 64 Ivanhoe Drive continues to violate the State junkyard ordinance with farm
implements, tractors and a bulldozer on the property. Mr. Rosenberg recommends a final notice to
remove the items within 15 days, Town removal of the items at Mr. Nowlan’s expense if he fails to take
action, and placing a lien on the property if he fails to pay the removal bill.
The Board posed several questions as follows:
- Selectman Riendeau asked if an additional 15 days is needed. Mr. Rosenberg stated that the
notice would establish a final date for compliance and state the authorized consequence for
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- Selectman Consolini asked about the history of contacts with Mr. Nowlan. Mr. Rosenberg
indicated that his contacts about the violations occurred between 7/27/07 and 10/3/07
indicating sufficient warnings without gaining compliance.
- Selectman Edmondson asked for removal details on who would haul and how, where the
items would be stored, and did the owner have a choice on the storage site. Wes Thames
stated that the Town would hire one of several available haulers. The CEO will resolve the
storage site and whether the owner has a choice in that matter.
- Chair Jones asked for and received clarification that the CEO is asking for authorization to
hire removal equipment and other expenses .
Motion was made by Selectman Edmondson, seconded by Selectman Riendeau and it was unanimously
To accept the CEO’s recommendations to send a letter to Guy Nowlan, 64 Ivanhoe Drive, giving a
15-day notice to comply with the State junkyard ordinance and stating the consequences for
Second, Grimmell Industries Pejepscot Village has had a long history of complaints from abutters. CEO
Rosenberg presented a list of complaints dating from December 2006 to the present of truck traffic
outside the allowed hours of 7am to 7pm Monday through Friday. The State licensing agency has
warned that it will revoke Grimmell Industries recyclers’ license if noncompliance continues. Mr.
Rosenberg recommends that the Town notify the State if a violation occurs after February 15, 2008 and
recommend revocation of their license.
In response to questions from several Selectmen he noted that the February 15th date gives the
property owner final opportunity to comply, that abutters will be notified, and that he works closely with
neighbors tracking the issues. Independent truckers as well as Grimmell trucks haul loads to and from
the site. The business site plan sets the hours of truck travel and allows for “incidental traffic”. The CEO
has defined that to Mr. Grimmell as no more than one trip per week outside the agreed travel times.
Two members of the public addressed the Board. John Houston, 683 River Road, reports that he and
other neighbors have complained over a 10-12 year period. Trucks also use their engine brake and travel
with uncovered loads spreading debris on the roadway. His recollection is that the hours originally set for
truck travel were from 7am to 6pm. He attended a meeting for renewing Grimmell Industries license in
April where complaints were aired and Mr. Grimmell agreed to comply with the regulations, but did not
follow through. He believes that there should be no allowance for “emergency” or for incidental traffic
and that the stop time should be changed to the original 6pm. He requested a copy of any agreement
that may be made with Mr. Grimmell.
Mr. Mulrooney of Jones Avenue agreed. He added that trucks frequently speed posing a safety hazard.
The business seems to have an attitude that it can do as it wants including making noisy repairs in the
early morning hours and working on holidays.
Selectman Riendeau asked Police Chief Young what laws cover the other issues brought up in public
comment and whether the Town enforces these. Chief Young replied that State law mandates a covered
load and MDOT posts signs prohibiting engine brakes. The Town monitors River Road for speeding and
would enforce other infractions if found, but could not afford to enforce them all. He favors revoking the
In response to public concerns that the infractions will continue if the license is reinstated, CEO
Rosenberg indicated that the State requires a reinstatement fee and a written agreement from the Town
before granting a new license if the recyclers’ license is revoked. He does not favor reinstating the
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license. Mr. Grimmell would have to take substantial, concrete steps to prohibit all truck traffic except as
allowed. Mr. Mulrooney also asks that the initial site plan be re-assessed.
Motion was made by Selectman Consolini, seconded by Selectman Riendeau and it was unanimously
To send a letter to Grimmell Industries Pejepscot Village notify them that any truck traffic
infractions after 2/15/08 will result in notification of the State and recommendation that their
recyclers’ license be revoked.
06-08 – Discussion and any appropriate action relative to Traffic and Pedestrian issues related to Bridge
Street, Mallett Drive and Winter Street.
Selectman Jones explained that a report by Gorrill Palmer a year ago had made several
recommendations that she would like to revisit. Some had been approved by the Board but subsequently
removed from the budget. Town Manager Ashe provided a memo giving the comments of the Police
Chief and Public Works Director for each item and a copy of the relevant pages of Title 30-A showing the
“authority of municipal officers to enact ordinances”.
1. The report recommended repositioning the crosswalk at the Swinging Bridge. Wes Thames
presented a map of the location and suggests relocating the crosswalk to the front end of the
parking lot and putting signage at the east end of Union Street directing pedestrians to the new
crosswalk. He feels this can be done in the current budget. Following discussion of curbing and
other possible requirements,
Motion was made by Selectman Riendeau, seconded by Selectman Jones and it was unanimously
To reposition the crosswalk at the front end of the parking lot as per map with recommended
2. Another recommendation was to re-designate Union Street one way from Bridge Street to Prospect
Street. This could also be done in the current budget year. Selectman Edmondson noted that the
change could have a secondary effect of pushing more traffic up Prospect Street. Selectman
Trusiani noted in Mr. Ashe’s memo a requirement to give 7 days notice of the meeting when
ordinances will be proposed. Bill Morin, a resident of the neighborhood, felt that few people in the
area would attend the meeting. Selectman Consolini argued that Chapter 6 of the municipal roads
document states that the only item requiring public notice is a crosswalk. Following discussion,
Motion was made by Selectman Consolini, seconded by Selectman Riendeau and it was
VOTED 4 in favor, 1 opposed (Selectman Trusiani)
To designate Union Street as one-way from Bridge Street to Prospect.
3. A recommendation was also made to place raised speed table(s) on Bridge Street between Oak and
Maple and/or additional stop signs at the intersection of Bridge and Maple. Speed tables had been
approved and subsequently removed from the budget. There is currently a stop sign on Maple at the
intersection with Bridge Street. The Board discussed using additional stop signs vs. allocating funds
in the budget for speed tables in the new fiscal year beginning in July. Selectmen Jones and
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Consolini favored using additional stop signs for safe entry onto Bridge Street. Selectmen
Edmondson, Trusiani and Riendeau opposed using stop signs to control speed. Police Chief Young
also opposed adding stop signs. Following the discussion 2 motions were made as follows:
Motion was made by Selectman Consolini, seconded by Selectman Jones and
FAILED BY VOTE of 2 in favor, 3 opposed (Selectmen Edmondson, Trusiani, and Riendeau)
To put in one raised speed table and a three-way stop sign for public safety.
Motion was then made by Selectman Edmondson, seconded by Selectman Jones and it was
VOTED 4 in favor, 1 opposed (Selectman Trusiani)
To advise the Road Commissioner to put in his budget funds for 2 raised speed tables as
designated by the Gorrill Palmer report.
4. Mallett Drive and Monument Place: The Board discussed putting in stop signs vs. asking for a flashing
light in next year’s budget. Wes Thames, Public Works, expressed concern that a stop on Monument
Way would be hazardous in slippery weather because of the road’s grade change approaching the
Motion was made by Selectman Consolini, seconded by Selectman Jones and it was
VOTED 4 in favor, 1 opposed (Selectman Trusiani)
To include in the new budget installation of a blinking yellow light at the intersection of Mallett
Drive and Monument Place.
07-08 – Opening of Bids on Westwind property.
The Board received and opened one bid for the tax acquired property at Lot 26 Westwind Drive.
Motion was made by Selectman Trusiani, seconded by Selectman Riendeau and it was unanimously
To accept a bid of $200 from Wayne Zazeski for the Westwind property.
Executive Session –
92-07 – Real Estate matter MRSA 405 (6) (D)
Postponed due to the lengthy discussion of earlier matters.
Other Business – None
Motion was made by Selectman Riendeau, seconded by Selectman Consolini and it was unanimously
To adjourn the meeting at 10 pm.
Marie Murray, Recording Secretary
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