Tare E. Buck
Town residents here are bracing for a tax increase,
however whether that be .273 per every $100 of assessed property value or .298
per every $100, has yet to be decided.
The town will hold a public hearing on the constant yield tax rate May 25, but
leaders decided Tuesday to advertise the highest possible rate, which is .298
per $100 of assessed property value.
The 2004 rate for residents is .248 per $100 of assessed value.
Residents will also see large increases in fees for water and sewer service.
The sewer fee is currently charged at .375 per $1,000 of assessed property
value. That could be raised to as high as .635 per $1,000.
Water rates currently charged at .225 per $1,000 could increase to .415 per
Mayor Martin Burns said he is surprised at the lack of public feedback during
the town’s ongoing budget workshops, and he pleaded with residents to have
their say before it’s too late.
Commissioner William Blakeslee also sought to remind residents that a public
forum with himself and Commissioner Glenn Muth will take place on Friday from 7
p.m. to 9 p.m. Mr. Blakeslee said it will be a golden opportunity for town
residents to ask questions of the commissioners without the public access
cameras and other distractions.
Other upcoming public meetings on the budget are: June 1, preliminary budget
hearing and June 8, adoption of the budget.
Mr. Blakeslee also pointed out that, as the town’s leaders discuss higher taxes
and fees, public assistance is available to pay other utilities like electric
or heating oil or gas.
“These programs are based on income,” Mr. Blakeslee said. “Those on social
security and with fixed incomes will likely qualify. You need to get the ball
rolling now, however, before it’s too late. The money is out there, and if you
don’t get it, someone else will. So I urge people to do it now.”
In other business, the commissioners also discussed ongoing problems with too
much grease heading into the sewer lines and treatment plant.
“Apparently it’s been an ongoing problem at the sewage plant,” Mr. Muth said.
While the source of the excess grease is unknown, Mr. Muth asked residents to
please use caution when disposing of grease and to try to keep it out of the
public system as much as possible.
The town commissioners will meet again at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
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