Animal control officer appointed

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HARTFORD – Rick Houghton was appointed animal control officer at Tuesday night’s selectmen’s meeting.

Selectman Lee Holman, who has been handling the duties, said she was glad to have someone else take over. Last week she had to pick up five dogs, one of which had lost a bout with a porcupine and needed a veterinarian to remove the quills.

Houghton, who lives in the adjacent town of Turner, has hunted the hills of Hartford for nearly 40 years. “I know Hartford better than many folks know their own backyard,” he said. The state hired him for many years to hunt destructive animals. Houghton, who has killed hundreds of coyotes, said they are largely responsible for the scarcity of small game such as rabbits and grouse.

Jack Plumley will retain the licensed plumbing inspector title until the end of the fiscal year. He will continue to serve as code enforcement officer.

Selectmen’s Chairman David Bowen said he will take the licensed plumbing inspector training if another qualified candidate is not found to assume the duties. There would be no conflict of interest in the job since the pay is a state set percentage of fees and not a salary set by selectmen.

The town received a bill for $1,115.26 from Oxford Networks to cover the cost of repairing two cables on Perry Road that were broken while new culverts were being installed. The town will forward the bill to the contractor who cut the cables.

The Oxford County tax assessment for Hartford is $57,167, approximately 18 percent more than last year. Holman said most of the increase was due to the three new sheriff’s deputies hired in the middle of last year.

The meeting ended early so selectmen could join about 30 other residents for the annual pot luck dinner that preceded the annual town meeting.

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