Canton administrator grilled over foreclosure letters

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CANTON — Selectmen grilled Town Administrator Scotty Kilbreth on Thursday evening about why they had two copies of a foreclosure letter — one with a payment date and another without, but both signed by Kilbreth.

Kilbreth said he couldn’t explain why there were two letters.

Selectman Russell Adams said he had spoken with Kilbreth about the foreclosed property on River Road earlier in the week.

“When I came in on Tuesday and spoke with you about (the sale of the foreclosed River Road property) and putting it on the agenda for (Thursday) you never mentioned a word to me about it being paid for,” Adams said.

Kilbreth said he “just didn’t think that it was relevant,” because they were having a “general conversation.”

Referring to two other properties, Chairman Brian Keene told Kilbreth and the board that he had “a problem with two lots because the payment agreements for both (were not made) by the Board of Selectmen and were both made after the dates that were written in the letter that was specifically sent to the property owners.”

Adams added that it was his understanding that property with foreclosure liens on them are given 45 days to pay and then the town owns it.

“Is that not correct?” Adams asked Kilbreth.

Kilbreth asked if the problem was the dates on the letters and not the fact that taxes were collected.

“The problem is the date that we were told, it was not paid by that date so we were all under the assumption that we were going ahead to foreclose the property,” Keene said.

Adams asked Kilbreth if there were any agreements for payments on any of their list of foreclosed properties.

“No,” Kilbreth said.

Keene asked why they have a foreclosure property that is set up for payments.

“We’re trying to give it back to the owner, that’s all I’m trying to do, give it back to the taxpayer,” Kilbreth said.

Following more discussion about the two letters with differences in a payment date request, selectmen decided to draft a standard property foreclosure letter at a later workshop meeting. The letter will include a “hard date” of payment and will be signed by the selectmen.

In other business, selectmen voted to post the Canton end of the Alden Hill Road with a 30 mile per hour sign at the request of resident Mark Densmore.

Densmore told selectmen that the all-terrain vehicle access road has seen seven accidents over the years and the ATV club had removed the speed limit and dead-end sign posted there.

“You know what that road is like, I mean it’s the Wild West out there at times, it’s really ridiculous,” Densmore said. “We had a nice quiet neighborhood (before).”

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Canton Board of Selectmen Chairman Brian Keene, center, on Thursday evening examines two copies of a property foreclosure letter sent to a resident and signed by Town Administrator Scotty Kilbreth. At left is Selectman Carole Robbins and at right is Selectman Russell Adams. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times)

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