PARIS — Selectmen unanimously voted Monday night to put two properties out to bid after their former owners failed to strike a payment plan with the town.
In all, the town issued final payment notices to nine property owners, some of whom have owed taxes for years. Six of those notified responded to schedule payment plans and another couldn’t be reached, Town Manager Amy Bernard said.
The two properties to be sold received the notices via certified mail, but apparently did not contact town officials with plans to pay the back taxes. They include a residential trailer on leased land at 803 Ryerson Hill Road for which $1846.84 is owed, and an 8.5 acres on Moody Brook Road for which the back taxes amounted to $2,637.89.
Bernard initially recommended starting bids at values below the amount owed in taxes. She told selectmen they weren’t obligated to accept the highest if it failed to cover the amount.
“It’s not our intent to get more than the taxes owed,” Bernard said.
Selectwoman Janet Jamison said it was more likely the town would receive a higher bid for the lot than the trailer. She supported Bernard’s recommendation to open bidding at $250, but raise the lot bidding to start at $1,500.
However, Bernard advised otherwise, noting that the parcel was landlocked, had no road access and was likely only of value to abutters.
Selectman Sam Elliot said if selectmen are planning on automatically rejecting low bids, they should simply start at a higher amount.
“We’re offering eight acres. I imagine the timber on it alone is worth something,” Elliot said.
Elliot’s motion to start bidding for the lot at $2,500 eventually passed.