Back taxes, property foreclosures prompt special town meeting in Wilton

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WILTON — Selectmen unanimously voted to hold a special town meeting on March 6 for voters to consider adopting a waiver of foreclosure on the Forster Mill property.

The meeting will be held prior to the selectmen’s meeting at 7 p.m. at the Town Office.

While warning notices and foreclosure letters were recently sent to property owners who have not paid their 2009 taxes, the waiver would mean the town would not automatically foreclose on the Depot Street mill property, Town Manager Rhonda Irish told the board.

The town doesn’t want to take the property and the waiver would help protect the town from the liability of the Forster property, she said.

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Taxes would still be due on the property but the town gives up the right to “automatically foreclose,” she said.

Of the 70 warning notices of foreclosure sent out in January, 23 property owners have since paid their 2009 taxes and 21 have contacted Assistant Town Manager Barbara Vining to arrange a payment plan and avoid foreclosure.

A total of 22 foreclosure notices have since been sent, a number smaller than last year, she said.

The last date for payment prior to foreclosure is March 20, she said.

The total amount still owed on the 2009 taxes is $88,074.86. This includes principal, interest and costs, both for lien costs and certified mailings, Irish said.

In other business, the board approved a liquor license for Harris Golf/Wilson Lake Country Club, although Selectman Scott Taylor voiced concerns about a lack of tax payments on the Weld Road property.

The owners of Harris Golf Course on the Weld Road have questioned their tax assessment, but before a review can take place they must pay some of their taxes. No taxes have been paid for 2009 through 2011 or since they’ve owned the course, Irish previously told the board.

The golf course owes the town a total of $27,503 in back taxes. Of that amount, $10,129 is owed for 2009.

Taylor was hesitant to approve the liquor license in light of the taxes owed but a check with the Maine Municipal Association showed that the town could not withhold approval of the license because of the tax issue.

Selectmen also approved hiring Brian Lynch as a full-time officer with Wilton Police Department. Lynch has served as a reserve officer with the town and was the top candidate during interviews with a citizens committee, the police chief and town manager.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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