POLAND — Selectmen on Tuesday were told the Ricker Memorial Library’s trust fund accounts to be solid.

Dan Laye, H.M. Payson representative, told the board that the Jane Ricker Trust and the A.B. Ricker Library Memorial Fund performed well during the first eight months of 2016 and their average return over the past four years has exceeded 8 percent.

This year, the return on the investments allowed the town to draw $65,000 from the accounts while still allowing the total amount remaining to increase at rates greater than the rate of inflation.

Selectmen noted that this means they are meeting the goal of creating a self-sustaining fund for continued support of the library.

The present value of the Ricker Memorial Library trust funds, according to Laye’s report, exceeds $1.6 million. That’s roughly double what it was when the town took control of the accounts from the banks and had H.M. Payson to manage them a few years ago.

Following a brief public hearing, selectmen formally approved the recommended new schedule that sets maximum amounts for General Assistance provided by the town. Nikki Pratt, administrative assistant, noted that last year the town spent a little under $5,000 on General Assistance.

Selectmen took no action following a second public hearing on proposed changes to town fee schedules. Included among the changes were:

• Lowering the fee for returned checks from $40 to $25;

• Increasing the fee for tax map books from $250 to $500;

• Increasing the fee for the replacement of audio books from $20 to $40;

• Removing the stated fee for photocopying medical records and replacing it with a note that the fee will be the same as that established by the state of Maine; and

• Increasing fees charged by the Code Enforcement Office for building permits for residential construction from $5 to $7 per $1,000 of construction cost and from $10 to $12 per $1,000 for commercial construction permits.

Resident Joseph Cimino said it might be in the town’s best interest if it reduced the cost for building permits rather than increasing them. He suggested it “would send a heck of a message, telling people that the town is open for business.”

In order to complete its work in setting the property tax rate, the board formally voted to use $240,000 from the TIF accounts to lower the rate. A total of $50,000 would come from TIF 1, $150,000 from TIF 2 and $40,000 from the downtown village TIF.

The board also appointed Susan Beaulieu and Irene Fecteau to the Ricker Library board of trustees until the April town election, and appointed John Quin to the Conservation Commission until June 30, 2019.


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