Mark Beauregard

At the Rangeley Board of Selectmen’s request, Matt Caldwell the Town’s Assessor, joined their October 17th meeting via Zoom.  The Selectmen had questions for him about the impact of the State’s annual preliminary Valuation Report for 2023.  The Valuation Report showed a 17.95% increase ($100,000,000.00) from last year’s property values.  This increase resulted in the Town’s residential off water property being valued at 78% of the State’s valuation and waterfront property at 72%.  State of Maine guidelines require town valuations to be between 90% and 110% of the State’s figures to qualify as 100% valuation.   Matt informed the Board members that many towns statewide are having a similar experience with an uptick in values.  Matt advised against undertaking a complete revaluation because what we are seeing is an unprecedented increase in value with an unknown durability.  Matt explained that assessors can perform a market analysis adjustment based on the review of sales data.  This adjustment can get the Town to 100% valuation which will be in compliance with State guidelines.  A 100% valuation preserves taxpayer benefits for programs like the Homestead and Veteran exemptions.  The Selectmen were in favor of the market analysis adjustment method to address this situation.   The Selectmen informed the public that there is a new Administrative Bargaining Unit covered by Teamsters Local 340 and the Town has received a request to bargain with this new group.  The group includes the Finance Director, Town Clerk, Code Enforcement Officer and Customer Service Representative.  The Town’s Human Resource Consultant, whose duties include labor relations, was given an additional twelve month contract in the amount of $6,000.00 to handle negotiations with this new unit.  The negotiating team will include Selectmen Board Chair Cyndy Egan and Board member Samantha White.    Patrick O’Neil who worked as a light equipment operator for Town parks and sidewalks transferred to the open position at the Transfer Station.  This created a vacancy in Parks and the Selectmen approved the Town Manager’s request to fill this position.    The Town Manager announced that he has hired a full time Code Enforcement Officer named Jim Duggan who is scheduled to start work towards the end of October.    The Selectmen authorized the Town Manager to sign a Maine Department of Transportation Planning Partnership Initiative Grant Agreement.  The grant will help fund a transportation study in the Oquossoc area of town.  The study will provide the framework for improvements to pedestrian access and safety, traffic management and overall transportation upgrades.  The project cost is $100,000.00 with a Town’s share of $50,000.00 and the State grant covering $50,000.00.  The Town’s share will come from the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Development Reserve Account which has a balance of $125,574.00.    A Liquor License renewal was approved by the Selectmen for The Corner Bar located at the corner of Pond and Main Streets and operated by Krista and Steve Jamison.    The monthly Fire and Rescue Incident Report was submitted by Chief Michael Bacon using a new format.  The new format does not include information on the date and time of the incidents and which vehicles responded.  The Selectmen would like to have more detailed information in the report so that they can be more accountable to the public and do a better job answering the public’s questions.  The Incident Report format is a work in progress and has not been finalized yet.    The Selectmen held a workshop on Wednesday October 19, 2022 to discuss proposed changes to the Rangeley Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 38).  A quorum of Planning Board members were present to assist with the process.  The next workshop is scheduled for November 2nd from 6:00-8:00pm.  The public is encouraged to attend these workshops to increase their understanding of Rangeley zoning and offer any input they may want to share.    The next Board of Selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 7, 2022.    Dallas Plantation will host a quarterly meeting on November 14, 2022 at their Town Office.  Elected officials from Dallas, Sandy River, Rangeley Plantations and the Town of Rangeley will gather to discuss regional issues.  The public is invited to attend.    Tuesday, November 8 is Election Day.  The Rangeley Town Office will be open for voting from 8:00am to 8:00pm.  Utilize your democratic privilege and vote!

“A democracy is healthiest when the public is informed about the activities of leaders of industry and occupants of public office.” -Melvin Melcher

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