OTISFIELD — Selectmen say the new holder of a Heniger Park lease and others may have been given bad advice by one of their own that cost them the opportunity to extend their leases to 99 years.

John P. Sullivan, a Florida resident, appeared before the board at Wednesday night’s meeting to request reconsideration to sign a 99-year lease on Lot No. 3 after he failed to meet the May 22 deadline set by selectmen to notarize and return the document.

He apologized, saying he had been given “bad information” about the 99-year lease and, in fact, did want to sign it.

Selectman Rick Micklon said he believes other people who failed to sign the 99-year lease were also victims of misinformation.

“Others may have heard bad advice from their own organization,” Micklon said. “Some good people are going to be hurt from this.” 

Only eight of the 37 leaseholders signed the new 99-year leases by the April 30 deadline. The agreement gave tenants the opportunity to continue the arrangement with the town for the next 99 years at 10-year increments or let their leases run out.

Advertisement

If they all had signed, property taxes were expected to increase from $9,528 to $100,551 annually, based on the current tax rate.

In April, Richard and Doris Bolduc of Greene asked the board to reassign their Lot No. 3 lease, which expires in 2018, to his niece, Mary Lynne Sullivan and her husband, John. Because the owners were in Florida, they asked for an extension to review the termination agreement and 99-year lease.

Sullivan said he wanted to sign a new 99-year lease and was given several weeks’ extension on the April 30 deadline because of the new transaction. But he failed to meet that deadline, saying he was told by the previous owner to simply ride out the lease, which expires in 2018.

Although Micklon leaned toward granting the 99-year lease to Sullivan and others who failed to meet the April 30 deadline, on a 2-to-1 vote, his fellow board members Len Adler and Hal Ferguson said they would not agree to it.

Micklon said that as tax collector, he is in favor of still extending the 99-year lease offer to anyone who would sign as a way to solidify expected town revenues for years to come because it is “in the best interest of the town.”

Selectmen Chairman Hal Ferguson said he had mixed feelings about it, but felt it was unfair to extend the amnesty only to Sullivan.

Advertisement

“Enough is enough,” Adler said of the longtime discussion and debate over the 99-year leases.

In other Heniger Park news, the winner of the bid for the Lot No. 4 has been to the site to look it over and is expected to deliver a check for $57,500 within the 30-day limit.

The board also agreed to spend $4,990 to spruce up the two Heniger Park beaches that are open to lot leaseholders, but not the general public.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: