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Tuftonboro selectmen agree to back appeal of FairPoint pole tax decision

August 29, 2013
TUFTONBORO — In response to a recent decision by Judge Richard McNamara in favor of FairPoint Communications versus the city of Concord's pole tax, the board agreed to pay the law firm of Donahue, Tucker and Ciandella, PLLC a share of the cost of further legal preparation to file an amicus brief in Concrod's appeal of the decision.

FairPoint is disputing the constitutionality of the pole tax assessed by New Hampshire municipalities, including Tuftonboro. Attorney Kate Miller informed the board that the same judge will be making a decision in Tuftonboro's case, so an appeal of this latest ruling is necessary. Board members agreed that it is important to press on.

The N.H. Electric Coop and the Public Service Company of N.H. pay the town around $75,000 in property taxes for the use of the town's poles, according to Tax Collector Jackie Rollins.

The Tuftonboro Assessing Office lists the taxable value of FairPoint's pole use throughout the town as $1,226,200. George Soucy, a specialist in valuating utility properties, completed the assessment.

Wolfeboro Town Counsel Mark Puffer wrote to the Tuftonboro Board of Selectmen recently that it is not necessary, as previously thought, for the town to place fees related to repair of Lower Beech Pond Dam on the 2014 town warrant.

Residents within the Lower Beech Pond Village District have the legal authority as a separate entity to vote on the matter at their own town meeting. The costs will be paid through taxation of the residents, who live in Tuftonboro and Wolfeboro, based on a formula of the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration.

Selectmen's updates:

Selectman Lloyd Wood expressed appreciation to Chairman Carolyn Sundquist for her work on the newly-revised policy manual and suggested that a time be set for an inservice training session.

Sundquist attended the first Capital Improvements Program meeting last Wednesday and announced that Bill Marcussen remains in the position of chairman, John Lapolla in the vice chairman spot and Jill Cromwell is secretary. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 4.

The board is assembling a group of residents interested in taking a test ride on the Blue Loon with Transit Chairman Jack Rose. He has promised ice cream for participants.

Sundquist's office hours this Friday, the 30th, will run from 11 a.m. to noon.

Selectman Duffy said that milfoil volunteers will be pulling weeds in the next week. Chemical treatment will follow in prescribed areas.

The Tuftonboro Fire and Rescue Department is holding an Open House at the new Central Station on Middle Road (Rt. 109A) on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

On Sunday, Sept. 8, Tuftonboro Parks and Recreation will host a town picnic at the Pavilion on 19 Mile Bay from 1 to 3 p.m.. Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share and a chair or blanket on which to rest. Hotdogs and hamburgers will be provided. The rain date is the following Sunday, Sept. 15.

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