OXFORD — The Oxford Board of Selectmen agreed Thursday night to reduce a $36,000 impact fee to $1,000 for a resident who plans to open a laundromat at 339 Main St.

“Most towns are charging around $500 for an impact fee,” Steve Roderick told the board. “Norway charges a $500 for hookup. Paris is $650. Portland is zero and South Portland is $1,000. And Oxford is $36,000.”

Steve Roderick of Oxford explains to the Board of Selectmen on Thursday how the town’s impact fee to start a laundromat is excessive in comparison to other communities in the area. Nicole Carter/Advertiser Democrat

Roderick also questioned how water units are assigned.

He said households on average use 320 to 400 gallons a day. If all 18 washers were used in the day, he added, they would only require about 465 gallons.

Each washing machines is being assessed as two units each instead of one, which Roderick said would cost him another $12,000 a year.

Zhenya Schevchenko, superintendent of the Waste Water Treatment Facility, said the impact fee covers the cost for the treatment system. The ordinance was written long ago and never reviewed. The water usage fee is for operating the plant.

Schevchenko estimated the laundromat would add about 20% to plant operations.

Roderick said on an annual basis, the water usage fee is comparable to other towns. He asked that the impact fee be waived and that the assignment of units to each washing machine be changed from two to one.

The board agreed to reduce the impact fee and review the ordinance. Town Manager Butch Asselin told Roderick the issue of the number of units per machine would have to be considered at a future meeting.

In other matters, selectmen:

  • Agreed to reduce from 179 to 100 the number of signatures required for nonprofits to apply for funding from the town.
  • Tabled until the next meeting a vote on pay increase percentages. One selectperson was absent and two abstained from voting.
  • Authorized Asselin to spend up to $20,000 from Oxford’s Walmart TIF/Economic Development Fund to pay for lot surveys and amend the Route 26 TIF district.
  • Authorized Asselin to apply for a grant through Efficiency Maine and The Nature Conservancy to change interior and exterior lighting at the Public Safety Building to LED.

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