Government at a glance

Board: Auburn City Council

Met: Monday night

Building codes

Issue: Most cities use standardized codes to determine building safety standards. Auburn relies on codes maintained and updated by the Building Officials and Code Administrators group, while Lewiston uses International Building Codes and the International Residential Codes.

The scoop: Auburn officials hosted a conference with local contractors last spring and one complaint officials heard was having different codes. Now Auburn’s planning and permitting staff are recommending Auburn adopt the IBC and IRC codes, matching Lewiston. It will let permitting staff work between the cities.

Up next: Councilors are scheduled to vote on both building codes later this summer.

Property tax abatement

Issue: The city has rules governing when taxpayers can qualify to have their property taxes abated, but those rules have rarely been used. That changed last winter when a resident asked to have their tax bill expunged. Councilors declined to abate the tax bill, but decided they needed a set of policies to guide future abatement hearings. 

The Scoop: Social Services Director Dot Meagher presented a formal set of steps, policies and an outline of purpose the city should follow when considering future abatement requests. It allows the city to grant abatements as long as the applicant and all members of the household meet the criteria for poverty, their annual expenses exceed their income and the property is the applicant’s primary residence.

They can apply through the city’s General Assistance office, according to the policy. 

Up next: Councilors approved the new policy.

September schedule

Issue: Councilors normally schedule their regular meetings for the first Monday of the month. 

The Scoop: This September, that first Monday is shared with the Labor Day holiday.

Up next: Councilors decided to postpone their regular meeting for one week, until Sept. 8.

Contact government reporter Scott Taylor via phone at 689-2846 or via e-mail at [email protected]

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