FARMINGTON — Selectmen set the tax rate Tuesday at $15.95 per $1,000 of property valuation, a figure higher than last year’s $15.03 but less than the previously anticipated amount of $16.12.

With a decrease in state revenues and excise taxes, which has been down the last few years, property taxes are the only place to make it up, Town Manager Richard Davis told the board.

The rate was set with no funds taken from the undesignated fund balance.

The board eliminated road-frontage assessments last month from approximately 1,700 out of 3,300 properties that have been assessed on that basis. That action amounted to $3.1 million in property valuation or $47,000 in taxes, Tax Assessor Mark Caldwell told the board at the time.

From that action, Davis predicted the rate would rise to more than $16, which he felt was still a good rate. But in determining the revenue needs, the board found it could do better, he said.

In other business, the board approved hiring Jordan L. Norton, 22, of Strong as a probational, full-time patrolman for the Farmington Police Department. Norton is expected to start the position on Aug. 16 and train for six to eight weeks. He will then be sent to the police academy in January, said the newly appointed Police Chief Jack Peck.

The board also awarded the Tannery Brook sewer main replacement project to the lowest bidder, E.L. Vining and Son at $251,637, an amount below the $501,000 budgeted amount, Davis said. The Tannery Brook main runs from Perham to Middle Street and down behind the university. The town received a grant of $370,000 for the project and approved a loan of $131,000.

With the bid process over, Davis thought the work would begin within the next three weeks and be finished by this fall.

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