Selectmen set tax rate at 15.8 mils, down by 0.1 mils

by Mary Grow

China selectmen have set the 2018-19 tax rate at 15.8 mils ($15.80 for each $1,000 of valuation), a decrease of 0.1 mil (or 10 cents per $1,000) from the 2017-18 rate.

Town Clerk Rebecca Hapgood said after the decision at the Aug. 20 selectmen’s meeting she expects tax bills to be mailed by the end of August. By town meeting vote, the first half payment is due at the town office by the close of business Friday, Sept. 28.

Hapgood said as of Aug. 20 four people were circulating nomination papers for three seats on the board of selectmen; there were two candidates for the budget committee, three for the planning board and one for the Regional School Unit #18 board of directors. No one had taken out papers for the at-large planning board and budget committee positions, she said.

Signed nomination papers must be returned to the town office by 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, for candidates’ names to appear on the Nov. 6 local ballot.

In other business Aug. 20, selectmen approved Codes Officer Paul Mitnik’s revised permit fee schedule. Mitnik explained that fees are increased for many permits to allow for inflation since the schedule was developed 10 years ago; they are decreased in a few cases where circumstances make a decrease seem fair. Fees for pools are added, and applicants will be charged for sending notices to abutters when such notices are required.

Selectmen had bids on three foreclosed properties. They postponed a decision on two for legal reasons and sold a Pleasant View Ridge Road property to the highest bidder.

Town Manager Dennis Heath said requests for bids have been distributed for five projects: rebuilding the Neck Road fire pond, repairing the barn south of the town office, repairing the town office roof, adding a roof over the basement entrance to the old town office and adding a bathroom in the portable building behind the town office.

Two residents offered suggestions. Tax Increment Finance Committee co-chairman Tom Michaud suggested a ground-breaking ceremony when work begins on the bridge replacement at the head of China Lake’s east basin, and consideration of designating the bridge a memorial – recommendations for an honoree are welcome. Richard Dillenbeck proposed volunteer trash pick-up along Lakeview Drive and offered to organize a trial.

A discussion of upgrading electrical service at the transfer station, which was to be continued at the Aug. 21 Transfer Station Committee meeting, led Selectman Neil Farrington to suggest selectmen consider a special meeting before their next regular meeting to try to agree on a course of action.

Because the next regular selectmen’s meeting would have fallen on Labor Day Monday, board members rescheduled it to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4.


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