Selectmen consider request from Kingfield Quad Runners

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KINGFIELD — Voters will have a chance to weigh in on a proposal to allow the Quad Runners ATV Club increased access to trails.

When voters go to the polls on Nov. 4, they will receive a separate ballot to complete outside the formal voting area, selectmen learned at their Monday evening meeting.

The questions ask, “Do you favor of the Kingfield Quad Runners’ request to build an ATV trail across town-owned property located on Stanley Avenue, with the possibility of multi-use in the future?” and “Do you want the municipal officials to approve a request from the Kingfield Quad Runners to build an ATV trail across town-owned property located on Stanley Avenue that can be for multi-use?”

Selectmen have heard from property owners in the neighborhood near the town-owned lot, but they agreed at their last meeting that they have not heard from a larger cross-section of voters. Selectmen will make a decision based on whether voters approve or reject the club’s request.

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In 2011, the ATV club received permission to access downtown Kingfield and connect to the Western Maine region’s Moose Loop trail system. This system connects ATV riders to the towns of Rangeley, Stratton, Eustis, Carrabassett Valley, Kingfield, Strong and Phillips and the Salem and Madrid townships.

The Maine Department of Transportation will not approve travel on a section of Route 16, because it has poor visibility and unsafe shoulders.

In other news, selectmen finalized a formal policy that provides property owners a detailed “Right To Cure” series of steps to avoid foreclosure. According to Administrative Assistant Leanna Targett, selectmen will announce the coming year’s tax rate in August. After eight months, and before the end of 12 months, delinquent taxpayers are sent a 30-day notice that a lien will be placed on their property.

“We usually do this in the 12th month,” Targett said.

The tax, interest and costs incurred by the town must be paid in full within the next 30 days. If the property owner does not respond within 10 days after the notice is sent out, Targett will record a lien against the property. After the lien is recorded, the taxpayer has another 18 months until the municipality takes ownership of the property. The property owner will receive a final notice at least a month before the formal foreclosure.

“So the taxpayer has 2½ years to pay taxes before the town owns it,” Targett said.

Selectmen have the option to allow the property owner an extra month to pay all back taxes and town costs, even though the municipality legally owns the property. All office employees will be trained to understand the tax collection time line document that will be sent to the delinquent taxpayers, according to Targett.

Wastewater system rates will increase $5 per unit as of Jan. 1, 2015. That’s an average of $1.66 per customer and will increase reserve funds needed to pay for repairs and upgrades to the system.

Selectmen also accepted a bid from Wilbur Heating of Madrid Township to continue heating system repairs and maintenance.

The Dead River Company received the bid for delivering fuel to town buildings at just under $3.10 per gallon.

Selectmen noted that the Recreation Committee membership has unofficially disbanded, because so few people were willing to volunteer their time to plan and run events and children’s activities in town, according to Targett. Selectmen hope to see the committee reorganize and continue many of the past recreational opportunities in town.

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