Newry Town Administrator Amy Bernard talks with selectmen during their meeting Jan 21. From left, are Selectmen Virgil “Tink” Conkright, Gary Wight and Jim Largess, and Code Enforcement Officer Dave Bonney.

NEWRY — Town Administrator Amy Bernard recommended selectmen call a special town meeting to decide what to do with 38 timeshares in foreclosure at Sunday River Resort hotels.

Bernard said at the Jan. 21 selectmen meeting that she was recently approached by the treasurer of the Jordan Hotel Homeowners Association about getting the timeshares out of foreclosure so they could be purchased by dues-paying members.

Bernard contacted lawyers at the Maine Municipal Association who advised there is a law that allows the town to bill the association for the unpaid property taxes, not the individual owners.

Newry town attorney Jim Katsiaficas told Bernard the law was enacted in 1986.

Twelve of the timeshares are at Summit Hotel and 26 are at Jordan Grand Hotel.

On behalf of Newry, Maine Municipal Association drafted an ordinance on taxing timeshares, and Bernard gave Sunday River Resort a copy for its homeowners association meeting last December.

Residents have voted for years against the town owning the properties.

Selectmen thought one reason is that if the town takes them it would be responsible for paying the association fees.

“The voters of the town said they did not want them, so there’s really nothing left to do,” Selectman Jim Largess said. “We cannot go against what the voters say.”

Bernard said a foreclosure will happen regardless, unless it’s stopped.

“We weren’t supposed to own these, but if you start the lien process on them, which we are required by law to do, it automatically forecloses,” she said. “Therefore, we need to get rid of these. We have to sell them. We’re going to have to go back to the town.”

Unpaid taxes on some of the units go back more than 10 years, according to Bernard.

It was not clear how much is owed in all.

“I think if the process was explained right people might change their minds,” Selectman Virgil “Tink” Conkright said.

The town will have to vote on the matter before the annual town meeting in May.

Bernard said selectmen will hopefully determine a date for a special town meeting soon.

If the town authorizes the board to sell the timeshares, they will be auctioned.

Wight said Friday evening that the matter will be discussed at the board’s next meeting at 5 p.m.Tuesday at the Town Office.

In another matter, selectmen agreed to try to acquire a flashing sign that notifies drivers of their speed. Signs are provided by the state through a lottery. Bernard said the town should know by March if they will get one.


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