BUCKFIELD — Selectmen on Tuesday set the property tax rate at $21.30 per $1,000 of valuation for 2013-14. It’s a 90-cent increase from last year.

The new rate was recommended by Town Manager Danna Lee and Tax Clerk Cindy Dunn.

Dunn said 33.5 percent of the rate hike is due to municipal budget increases; 62.5 percent to a larger RSU 10 budget; and 4 percent to a higher county assessment.

The rate will provide a $9,447.60 surplus. This is the smallest overlay Lee felt would be sufficient to cover unbudgeted expenses, such as tax abatements.

Under Maine law, selectmen could have approved a 5 percent overlay that would have raised $116,593.84 and set a tax rate of $22.27, according to Dunn.

Architect Andrew Hyland of Port City Architecture in Portland discussed the $1.2 million fire-rescue station project with selectmen. Selectmen will appoint a building committee to make recommendations on major issues such as whether to hire a construction manager, whether to prequalify subcontractors and what preferences to give to local subcontractors.

Hyland presented a proposed schedule for the project which calls for soliciting bids in early January and occupancy in November 2014. He said this is a good schedule since contractors would be developing their bids after the Christmas season and before they had committed to projects for 2014.

Plans call for an 80- by 100-foot station to replace the 62-year-old one on Route 117.

Also Tuesday, selectmen discussed the need of new members on several committees. Lee said that unless more volunteers step up, the programs run by the Recreation Committee will shut down.

Selectmen established an Ordinance Development Committee and an Economic Development Committee. Both of these need members.

There are openings on other committees and more information can be obtained from the Town Office.

The Planning Board will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Municipal Center on the proposed Hallie Estates Subdivision off Hebron Road.

There will be a special town meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, to decide whether to purchase the second floor of the Municipal Center from RSU 10 for $1. Voters will also decide whether to accept a Community Development Block Grant for $350,000 for Saint Andre Home in Lewiston to buy a home in Buckfield for pregnant and homeless women. The town will act as fiduciary agent in overseeing the use of the money. If the town accepts the funds, there are no further barriers to the project.

A public hearing is set for 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at the Department of Public Safety Building in Augusta on Tilton’s Market’s application for an agency liquor license. Details may be obtained from the Town Office.


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