CANTON – More than 15 years have elapsed since the values of properties have been re-assessed, prompting selectmen to call for a townwide revaluation.

Starting sometime in 2004, the town’s hundreds of new and improved properties will be counted and valued, then reassessed for tax purposes. The thought is that this work should be done before the state demands that it be done, Selectman Susan Gammon said.

Besides, said Administrative Assistant Kathy Hutchins, “The town has grown in population and property.”

Canton was one of the few towns in the River Valley area to see a jump in population during the last two censuses – from 831 people in 1980 to 1,121 in 2000.

Ads are now appearing in local newspapers looking for bids to conduct the revaluation.

So far, the town has set aside about $5,000 for the project, but more will be needed. Gammon said a money article will appear on the annual town meeting warrant in March 2004, specifying just how much more is needed to be raised. She said properties are valued at about 77 percent right now. The selling prices for homes are now substantially higher than their assessed value.

Once an assessor is hired, which is expected to be soon after the March town meeting, the entire revaluation is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Selectmen continue to try to get federal money for the construction of a new fire house.

The Grant Committee, under the direction of the selectmen, are in the process of applying again for a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant. The town would also be responsible for about 20 percent of the total cost if the grant is given. Gammon said the town should know by the end of the year whether it will receive the funds.

Townspeople have set aside about $30,000 for the municipal building fund. The fire station, rescue squad and municipal offices are all located in the same building next to the Canton Elementary School.

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