DURHAM – In a preliminary report to selectmen, Administrative Assistant John White calculates the new property tax rate will be $19.50 per $1,000 valuation, which is up 5 percent over the current rate of $18.60.

This is in the range predicted by Budget Committee Chairman Allan Purinton after the town meeting in March. He estimated the increase at 5 to 7 percent, depending on the new taxable property picked up by the assessors.

Selectmen are expected to formally set the rate at their next meeting on June 29.

Further action on Laurence Emerson’s junkyard license renewal application, which was tabled from the previous meeting, was again tabled by selectmen on June 15. The action was taken since Code Enforcement Officer Dan Feeney is expected to move ahead with action to enforce a consent agreement approved by the court last year.

Peter Lowe, owner of Pete’s Junkyard, provided selectmen with a new plan to remove tires at a rate of one load per year. He told selectmen that the remains of the original tire pile will be difficult to extricate since many of them still have rims and the tires are mixed with car parts and other debris.

He estimated there are between 2 million and 3 million tires left at his Brickyard Hill Road site. His permit was granted with the provision that a load of tires be removed each year, as proposed by Lowe.

The board also approved an application from Troy and Lisa Peterson of 1266 Hallowell Road for renewal of their junkyard license.

Bids for paving Cedar Pond and Swamp Roads were opened from three paving companies: Blue Rock, Pike Industries and Crooker Construction. The bids are now being analyzed. They are expected to be awarded at the next meeting.

Road Commissioner Cliff Larrabee said Mainline Fence will be installing new guardrails in three locations. Those are on Runaround Pond Road, Bowie Hill Road and next to the Androscoggin River on Cedar Pond Road. Work on the Shiloh Road is expected to begin around July 15, he said.

Approved was the annual Fourth of July week closing of the Town Office. The office will be closed July 5 to July 9 and reopen July 12. Tax Collector Pauline Paradis and White will be taking vacation while Town Clerk Shannon Plourde will work on her records. However, the office will be closed for all business.

Also approved, as proposed by the town clerk, was this allocation of the $25 late dog license fee: $15 will go to the animal control officer and $10 to the town’s animal control account.


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