Vassalboro selectmen started the new calendar year with a short Jan. 9 meeting that left them satisfied with most items discussed.
The main dissatisfaction is with residents who ignore the state law requiring payment of personal property taxes on business equipment, from bulldozers to computers. Town Manager Mary Sabins is investigating the merits of taking scofflaws to small claims court.
Town Manager Mary Sabins is investigating the merits of taking scofflaws to small claims court.
She learned that claims must be filed within six years. On her recommendation, selectmen wrote off almost $6,000 in older unpaid taxes.
They made no decision on whether taking people to court would be worth the time and cost. A dozen people are on the overdue list, including two whose older taxes were written off as uncollectible.
Sabins said she reminds people who owe personal property tax at intervals. Some, she said, appreciate the reminder and pay the tax; others she suspects throw away her notices.
Selectmen met in a meeting room lined with file cabinets and supplies moved from the utility room, which was flooded by a boiler malfunction just before the Christmas holiday. Repairs are expected to take another month.
Sabins explained that plumbing and electrical work are needed, as well as replacement of an unknown area of sheetrock. The town office will be closed Friday, Jan. 17, for computer system maintenance and Monday, Jan. 20, for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; Sabins expects some of the work to be done those days.
In other business, the two selectmen present unanimously accepted Sabins’ suggestion that she apply for a bank credit card in the town’s name.
They unanimously approved two junkyard permits recommended by Codes Enforcement Officer Paul Mitnik, for Olin C. and Olin J. Charette, of Weeks Mills Garage, and Roger Pomerleau, of RAP, both on Riverside Drive.
Board Chairman Lauchlin Titus commented that with the new LED streetlights installed last fall, “We’ve got some nice savings.”
Board member John Melrose reported the Solar Array Committee plans to have a request for proposals for installing solar power in Vassalboro ready for selectmen’s review at their next meeting, scheduled for Thursday evening, Jan. 23.