Dixfield board gets revaluation process update

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DIXFIELD — The initial field visits and picture-taking for the town’s property revaluation have been completed, according to Town Manager Carlo Puiia.

Puiia, referring to an Oct. 10 report from O’Donnell & Associates of New Gloucester, told selectmen Oct. 16 that the business is turning its attention to “laying out the framework for the updated status of the work plan and billing.”

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The contract included both inside and outside site visits.

Puiia said O’Donnell & Associates will return to Dixfield in the spring to revisit all the neighborhoods for all the homes that they missed. The homes that were missed received a blue card with contact information for the homeowners.

“Ultimately, everyone will receive a letter next spring with the new value that’s been placed on them. They’ll have an opportunity to discuss that, and if they’re displeased with that, they’ll have an opportunity to appeal that value,” he said.

Selectman Gene Skibitsky asked how many homes O’Donnell & Associates visited and what percentage they were granted permission to gain entry.

Puiia said that would be a good statistic to have.

“For the next time we have to make that kind of decision, it would be nice to know that,” Skibitsky said.

O’Donnell & Associates also did the last Dixfield revaluation in 2008.

Puiia estimated there are about 1,600 parcels in town that need to be assessed or reviewed.

In other business, Puiia said the town has received information from Charter Communications regarding a franchise fee agreement.

“It’s informational only at this point, but the Spectrum contract proposes a 10-year agreement, which is what has been done in the past,” he said.

The franchise fee amount has been 3 percent of the annual gross revenue, which is based of the fees that subscribers are paying.

Puiia said the cable franchise fees totaled $13,521.61. The town has an agreement to provide two-thirds of those fees ($9,014.41) to the Western Valley Access Channel, which tapes selectmen meetings. The remaining $4,507 goes into the town’s surplus, unless the town chooses to spend it otherwise.

He advised the board to have an understanding of what they want to do before holding a public hearing prior to approval of a contract.

Asked if this contract was going to expand their service area at all, Puiia said they’re going to cover the same area.

Selectman Aaron Jamison asked that if the cable franchise fee monies were turned back to Spectrum, would they consider expanding the area of service in Dixfield.

Puiia said the company would be asked that question.

bfarrin@sunmediagroup.net

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