PERU — Selectmen on Monday night met with the Planning Board for an hour, had their regular meeting and then held a public hearing.

At the public hearing, there was little objection to the concept of a property revaluation of the town. However, there were considerable differences on who should do the work and how it should be done.

Resident Peggy Gronewold objected to the open-ended form of the proposed warrant article. The article calls for $40,000 to be taken from the Municipal Referendum Reserve Account and “the remainder of the cost from surplus.” Gronewold thought it was important for residents to know that the cost could be $150,000.

Fire Chief Bill Hussey, who could not be at the meeting, wrote a letter urging residents to vote against the revaluation. He said he had taken severe cuts to the Fire Department budget request for next year since the selectmen told him the town needed to cut expenses. He said the Fire Department will need new equipment and a new fire station in the near future and a significant use of surplus for the revaluation will hamper meeting these needs.

Former Selectman Richard Powell, who took state assessing courses, objected to letting the current assessor do the revaluation. He said properties not next to Worthley Pond are valued at nearly 100 percent, while those on the pond are valued at a fraction of their worth.

He said the current assessor has let this discrepancy develop over the past 13 years.


Powell also suggested that the town could save money by having the professional assessors only value structures while selectmen value the extensive wild lands in  town.

In a meeting with the Planning Board, the board discussed the property of Daniel Allen, where brush had been improperly cut along the waterfront.

Code Enforcement Officer Jack Plumley reported on discussions with the Department of Environmental Protection on material that had washed into Worthley Pond from a road constructed to a cabin owned by Robert Richard. Plumley said enforcement action would be taken by the DEP.

Residents who wish to clean up their waterfront will need to file a permit by rule application with the DEP and should keep track of their expenses in case they can recover their cost.

The Board of Selectmen discussed parking problems in the lot shared by the Town Office and the former Peru Elementary School. Selectmen will meet with road commissioner Joe Roach at 4 p.m. Thursday in the parking lot to discuss painting lines and establishing rules.

Members of Peruvians for Honest Government received copies of invoices the town paid for the Recreation Committee. Board of Selectman Chairman Jim Pulsifer said has received no response from the committee on his request for a list of members.


The committee is partially funded by donations and town funds. The group has questioned the oversight of these funds.

Pastor Larry Hansen of the Speck Mountain Evangelistic Church and Outreach received permission to place a sign in front of the old Peru Elementary School. The church will begin holding services in the old school library on Sunday, Nov. 3. The nondenominational services will be at 10:30 a.m. Hanson said all are welcome.

The church is constructing a new building on Speck Mountain, which they hope to occupy next fall.

Hansen said the church is showing the film “My Hope America” by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, in the old Mexico High School recreation center. A five-piece band from Bangor will perform. All are welcome to the free show.

Pulsifer remarked that the food pantry in the old Peru Elementary School is serving over 200 families.

In response to questions from Powell on whether town crews worked on nontown roads, Roach said, “To the best of my knowledge, we are not using town equipment on private land.”

He said there is some ambiguity in the definition of town roads.

Pulsifer said the town has relied on the precedent of former years in determining which roads to plow. All agreed that the town should develop a road inventory.

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