Mechanic Falls tax rate up 25 cents

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MECHANIC FALLS — The Town Council on Monday set the property tax rate for the 2015-16 fiscal year at $21.45 per thousand in property valuation, a 25 cent increase.

The move means taxes on a property assessed at $100,000 will increase $25.

Town Manager John Hawley told the council that it had authority to set the rate at between $22 and $21.33.

Initially, Hawley recommended $21.60, explaining it should adequately cover possible tax abatements in the ensuing year.

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Councilmen Wayne Hackett and Nicholas Konstantoulakis said the town could get by with a smaller overlay for abatements.

“I would love to be able to send out tax bills that are actually lower than the past year, even if it were just a penny,” Hackett said.

The council voted unanimously for the $21.45 rate.

In other business, the council awarded the contract for a new Public Works Department pickup truck to Rowe Ford in Auburn for $17,763 in a deal that allows trading in a 2010 Ford pickup for $16,500. The award is contingent on verifying the new truck is the equivalent of a Ford F-350.

The council also formally voted to sign the $500,000 bond for this year’s road paving program. The money is through the Androscoggin Bank at an interest rate of 2.94 percent.

Hawley said it appears the paving being done by Pike Industries will take place in September after Josh Pratt has completed work on Lane Road.

Pratt will install a box culvert and catch basin, and will be responsible for providing the base paving.

Construction on Third Avenue began a week ago and is progressing with relatively few problems, the town manager said.

Regarding the concerts proposed at Harvest Hill Farm on Route 26, Hawley said the town mass gathering ordinance needs tweaking. He has been gathering similar ordinances from other towns and the Planning Board has scheduled a workshop for Aug. 17 to review them.

Hawley said it appears the concert scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 8, has been postponed, but the Great White concert Aug. 15 is still on.

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