STRONG — Taxpayers will receive bills for property taxes in the next two weeks that show a $2.30 increase per $1,000 of valuation.

Selectmen signed paperwork Tuesday night to raise the tax rate from $15.50 to $17.80 per $1,000 of property valuation.

Assessor’s agent Robert Worthley met selectmen in July to explain his calculations and recommendations for an increase. The town is on a January-December fiscal year, but Franklin County and the Regional School Unit 58 budgets are a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year. Setting the tax rate in July allows Worthley to calculate the overall impact of those other budget obligations on the town.

In other matters, Selectman Rod Spiller reviewed an employee’s request for reimbursemen for a vehicle accident on the job. Custodian Tonia Boyd uses her personal vehicle to travel between work sites and the Town Office. When she working at one site in July, she damaged her vehicle and filed an insurance claim.  She asked selectmen to pay the required deductible from town funds.

Although they determined that was not something addressed in personnel policies, they said they would seek more information.

Selectman Rob Elliott said he consulted with the Maine Municipal Association and determined the town pays the employee for vehicle mileage but is not obligated for personal vehicle damage.

“I think we need to make a decision on this, because this could keep coming back,” Spiller said.

He said a written policy would clarify any town liability issue. Without that, he said, anyone acting on the town’s behalf, including selectmen and other board members, could ask for reimbursement if they damaged their personal vehicles while doing town business.

The board will develop the new personnel policy at its Aug. 27 meeting. Spiller also said he’d like to see more clearly defined job descriptions for all employees.

In other business, the town beach on Porter Lake has been heavily used, Selectman Andy Pratt said, but problems with congestion and parking seem to have resolved.

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