TURNER – Residents voted 36-6 on Thursday night to enter into a three-year, $230,000 contract with John E. O’Donnell & Associates for a townwide revaluation.

It would be the first one in 22 years, Town Manager Kurt Schaub said.

Voters also approved adding $10,000 to the 2019-20 administration budget for the extra cost of having O’Donnell also do property assessments.

The revaluation contract would include paying the New Gloucester company $75,000 from the assessing reserve account and the rest divided equally among the next three years.

The revaluation will start in 2022, but the contract includes an agreement to start the assessment work this year.

“We are here because we’ve run into a dilemma with our assessing agent,” Selectman Chair Kurt Youland said. “We have had inadequate assessing going on that creates abatement and supplement issues. It’s hard to keep good books, it’s become hard to manage.”


Youland said the town recently let its assessing agent go.

Resident Sheila Richardson said she was “concerned this is an awful lot of money. Why wasn’t it handled at the annual town meeting?”

Schaub said officials at the annual town meeting in April believed they had an assessor, but that fell through.

“The severity of the situation was not known at the time of the town meeting,” he said.

He said the town reached out to more than 40 assessors but no one would take the job because so much time has elapsed since the last valuation.

“It would have been preferable to do at annual town meeting,” Schaub said. “But could it have waited to spring? The answer is no.”


Several voters expressed concerns about the revaluation increasing the town’s SAD 52 assessment.

“The only way the school would get less money is if the town’s assessment came in higher than the state’s,” Youland said. “I don’t think that will happen.”

O’Donnell said the goal of a revaluation is to create a fair distribution of the tax burden.

“Twenty-year-old valuations are not going to help,” he said. “They aren’t all fair. The goal is to get the properties at the same level of value.”

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