May 23, 2019

Officials to explain revaluation details

DOVER-FOXCROFT – Municipal officials voted Monday to hold a public meeting to explain how and why a revaluation is being conducted in town.

Lou Durgin, tax assessor, told selectmen Monday that there has been so much “misinformation” distributed on the street that cooperation among residents has dropped. He said about 600 home visits have been made since August. But in the past few weeks, Durgin said, his assistant, Debbie Pettigrew of Willimantic, has been spending the majority of her time explaining the process to homeowners, who are reluctant to allow her on their properties.

The revaluation, or equalization project, as Durgin calls it, prompted the formation of a concerned citizens group. Organizers have been quite vocal about what they say is unfair taxation.

The meeting date will depend upon when state revenue service officials can attend to answer questions raised by taxpayers, Durgin said.

Selectmen on Monday also learned of a problem with the disposal of white goods at the regional solid-waste facility and voted to hold a public hearing on the matter next month.

Joe Sands, solid-waste director, told the board that the facility was getting an “overabundance” of white goods, which include refrigerators, stoves, freezers, air conditioners, washers and dryers, from other communities that shouldn’t be using the facility.

Jayne Sharrow of Dave’s World, which sells new appliances, told the board that as part of her business, she offers free delivery of appliances and free removal of old appliances regardless of their origin, which are disposed of at the facility.

Rather than charge for the disposal of white goods, Sands said items from outside the member towns should be prohibited since the disposal cost is about $50 a load.

The solid-waste committee is considering options that include a fee paid for white goods purchased to offset the disposal cost.

In an unrelated matter, the board expressed interest in Guilford becoming a seventh partner in the regional solid-waste facility, but agreed more information was needed before any commitment could be made.

Improvements to the solid-waste facility are on tap as selectmen voted to pave the section of dirt road in front of the transfer station. The $7,750 cost will be paid from the landfill closeout account. The town public works crew will do the grading for the project.

Selectmen referred requests for further repair work to the fire station to accommodate the new ladder truck, for paving the Notch Road and Merrills Mills Road, and road improvements to the Bryant Road to the public works and protection committees.

Concern was expressed by resident Richard Dyer about the private use of the town’s new ladder truck. He said town officials assured him last month that the use of the firetruck at private homes would cease, yet he offered photographs Monday of the truck in use again for the renovation of a home. The matter was referred to the protection committee.

An executive session was held by the board and the town’s attorney, David Gray, regarding an appeal that resident Bob Berta has announced will be filed in Superior Court.

Berta said after the meeting that his attorney is appealing the planning board’s approval of the renovation of a former private home the town purchased for the Police Department. He cites procedural irregularities that arose in the processing of the application.

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