China town manager presents several proposals to selectmen

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by Mary Grow

China selectmen spent much of their July 23 meeting discussing the Tax Increment Finance Committee’s causeway project, which consists of replacing the bridge at the head of China Lake’s east basin and, as phase two, improving the boat landing and access to the lake.

Additional parking is a prerequisite for state improvements to the boat landing. Selectmen approved committee members’ plans to have a state Department of Environmental Protection staff member inspect Susan Bailey’s property to assess its suitability for parking, to ask other nearby landowners if they are interested in selling and to discuss an easement for use of part of the China Baptist Church parking area.

The Bailey property is on the market for $120,000.

In other business, new Town Manager Dennis Heath presented several proposals, none ready for immediate action.

He and transfer station employees are discussing ways to have the facility open five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday, without additional expense. The Transfer Station Committee was expected to continue the discussion at its July 25 meeting.

Heath and veteran road employee Gary Cummings talked about a long-term road repaving plan, which Heath said could create an eight-year cycle. That issue he intends to discuss next with China’s Road Committee.

A third issue, on which Heath said he spent most of his first three weeks in office, was town finances. The manager had a summary of revenue and expenses beginning in fiscal year 2015 which, among other things, illustrated the difference between accounting on a cash basis, as done by the town office system, and on an accrual basis, as used by the auditors.

Heath’s preliminary conclusion is that the annual tax rate has been slightly higher than necessary to cover annual expenses, resulting in a healthy surplus.

The China website says the next China selectmen’s meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6.


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