FARMINGTON — Selectmen voted Tuesday to set the tax rate at $15.75 per $1,000 of valuation, which is 85 cents less than last year's rate, Town Manager Richard Davis said Wednesday.
The town underwent a revaluation and picked up $54 million in new valuation that enabled the board to lower the rate, he said.
The town's municipal budget and its share of the RSU 9 budget all rose this year, and the town and school system lost state revenue sharing. A road project helped push the municipal budget up, and paying a portion of teacher retirement boosted the school district's budget.
The new rate will give the town $62,000 in overlay that could be used for abatements, if any are approved.
The town normally runs with a $10,000 overlay, Davis said, but because of the revaluation, the board felt it best to have a higher amount in case they need to grant abatements.
Some people may see a higher valuation but with a lower tax rate, it may moderate it, he said.
Taxes are due on Nov. 1.
In other business, selectmen in their capacity as sewer commissioners voted to award the contract for a gas boiler for the wastewater treatment plant to ABT of Wilton, Davis said. The company's quote is $24,871 for a 410,000-BTU gas boiler and a 1,000-gallon propane tank, plus demolition and removal of the old chimney.
The budget for the project is $25,000, he said. It will come out of a reserve account.
ABT's proposal meets all of the requirements for sizing of the boiler, demolition and removal of the old chimney, as well as installation of the new unit and tank, Davis said in a recommendation to the board.
In another wastewater matter, selectmen voted to confirm Nicholas Mayhew of Wilton as the new wastewater superintendent, Davis said.
Mayhew works at the treatment plant at Verso Paper Corp.'s Androscoggin Mill in Jay, he said.
He met the town's required qualifications for the position.
Six of about applicants were interviewed for the job, Davis said.
Mayhew will be paid a salary of $55,000 and work with retiring Superintendent Steve Moore, who will work part time.