Turner board seeks plan for delinquent taxpayers

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TURNER — Selectmen expressed reluctance to take possession of property acquired by tax liens on delinquent 2010 taxes. Board members sought to consider payment plans so that residents can reclaim their properties.

Town Manager Eva Leavitt said that traditionally the town has required the former owners to sign repurchase agreements if they want to enter into payment schedules for back taxes.

Selectman Kurt Youland suggested that Leavitt send the former owners certified letters stating that they must enter into the repurchase agreement by Feb. 29 or vacate their properties.

Leavitt said her policy for the past 20 years has been to send courtesy letters to delinquent taxpayers in October with formal foreclosure notices going out in mid-November. Delinquent property owners are foreclosed on at the end of December.

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Selectman Ralph Caldwell was unhappy that the town’s 2006 GMC with only 43,000 miles was not protected by a warranty. Selectmen reviewed an estimate showing that the truck required more than $5,500 in replacement parts.

The selectmen were displeased with the county tax assessment of $491,568.99. Board Chairman Angelo Terreri pointed out that they would “all go to jail” if they did not approve payment. They reluctantly approved payment of the county tax bill with the stipulation that it not be paid before the September due date.

Caldwell expressed concern about the proposed replacement to the Center Bridge across the Androscoggin River that connects Turner with Leeds and Greene. The Maine Department of Transportation has sent a request to determine companies interested in bidding on the project. MDOT has said it will accept the lowest bid rather than the one that provides the best value.

Caldwell stated that the selectmen should have input on the specifications for the bridge project. He was particularly interested in how long residents would have to detour around the project.

Selectmen considered revised ordinances proposed by the Planning Board on zoning and peddlers. The zoning ordinance change permits adding “in-law” apartments to single family residences. Terreri said the “Peddlers” addition to the District Uses Ordinance is the same as was rejected overwhelmingly by voters at the last annual town meeting. They agreed that voters should not have to consider the same measure again this year.

At their next regular meeting the selectmen will formally vote on their recommended budget that they have developed in recent workshops.

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