Andover’s revaluation drops tax rate for 2018-19

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ANDOVER — The property tax rate for 2018-19 has dropped more than 31 percent from last year, thanks to the recent townwide revaluation, selectmen announced Tuesday.

The new rate is $15.70 per $1,000 of property valuation, a decline of $7.10 from last year’s $22.80.

“When we did the (revaluation) we gained about $20 million valuation to bring it up where it should be; it needed to be done,” Chairman Mark Thurston said at Tuesday night’s board meeting.

The revaluation began in the summer of 2017 and was completed by April, town secretary Martha O’Leary said.

In other business, Road Commissioner Mark Farrington told selectmen that a Maine Department of Transportation employee told him guardrails are needed on Stony Brook Bridge on East B Hill Road.

The state is responsible for 25 feet on either side of the bridge and wants to know if Andover wants to pay for the rest, which would cost for about $2,000, Farrington said.

Selectmen voted against paying for the guardrails until they research state laws on the town’s responsibility for payment.

In other news, Planning Board member Peggy Madigan told selectmen the clock in the Town Hall on Elm Street is broken.

“The striker bell is broken; it’s the bell that completely blew off,” Madigan said. The damage occurred last spring.

Madigan said Harry Hepburn, an antique clock repair specialist, gave her some options to fix the clock. One option is removing the damaged piece through the cupola, another is to not have a bell, and the third is putting another kind of movement in the clock.

Estimates for the repair ranged from $20,000 to $30,000, she said.

Selectman Wendy Closson said she would call the clock specialist this week to get more details.

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Andover selectmen meet Tuesday night with, from left, Road Commissioner Mark Farrington, Planning Board members Donna Libby and Peggy Madigan, and town secretary Martha O’Leary. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times) 

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