October 31, 2013TUFTONBORO — The Tuftonboro Board of Selectmen dealt with a variety of matters during its Oct. 28 meeting, including a complaint from a citizen who discovered that he was taxed for a breakwater that he didn't own. Unfortunately, the burden is on the taxpayer to look over the tax record before paying it.
Selectman Dan Duffy expressed sympathy for the man's plight, but the other members reminded him that they are not allowed by law to return tax money. In this situation, the property is owned by more than one family. One person receives the bill and pays it. The others then reimburse the payer for their share. It's easy for a mistake to go unrecognized.
Selectman Lloyd Wood said that his heart goes out for the taxpayer, but in this case, the board has to function intellectually, not emotionally. No abatement for 2013 was granted.
Administrative secretary Lynne Brunelle suggested that when a deed is transferred and a new deed is issued, that she send a copy of the new card to the owners. The board approved.
Wood, the board's representative to the Conservation Commission, said that the Department of Environmental Services has given notice that it will no loner grant amendments to wetlands permits. Applicants have to get it right the first time. Chairman Carolyn Sundquist said that in the case of the Lang Pond Road project, the town already has an amendment in hand. Wood said he would communicate the information to Road Agent Jim Bean.
He also reported that the town might save some money, for there have been a few changes to the landfill closure monitoring requirements. Also, Conservation Commission head, Michael Phelps, is inspecting Wolfeboro's Rapid Infiltration Basin system once a year, rather than twice.
Sundquist asked if the Great Meadows Conservation Easement agreement is ready. Wood replied that Don Berry of the Lakes Region Conservation Trust is doing the work for free. Though it is not complete, the commission was able to use some of the boiler plate when working out the recent acceptance of a 32 acre parcel along Cross Neck Road from the Catherine Nesbit.
Duffy said that he had talked to Bob Meehan, who is suing the town over its opinion that Road Agent Bean has the right to keep his 50-foot plus barge docked next to the dock in front of his mother's home. Meehan has said that the family has lost potential buyers, for the barge mars the waterfront view and lowers the value of the property. "It's a shame to have to go to court," said Duffy.
The board received an email with a list of signatories requesting that the board take a position on whether the state's work force housing laws should be repealed. The board took a position in support of the laws and declined to support the repeal effort.
Gene and Karyn Clark sent a fee in lieu of taxes on behalf of Camp Belknap, prompting praise for their 26 years of camp operation. "Those people have made a difference," said Wood, who spoke of the generations of campers who have enjoyed the facility and the employment opportunities it offers the community.
Sundquist shared that the town's apportionment of the $13.6 million Carroll County budget is $1.2 million, 8.21 percent of the whole.
Insurance renewals are up 7.9 percent. The loss ratio for 2012 was 77 percent; however, 2013, through June, was just 7 percent.
Tuftonboro's unemployment rate is 33.4 percent.
The board received a request again from the Bellevilles for compensation from the town for flood damage to their home following six days of rain. Reviewing the matter, board members recounted that the sheriff's department came to the scene and the fire department assisted the Belleville's in the cleanup. The road agent has said that a culvert nearby was not clogged.
"We responded and we did what we could," said Sundquist. The board stayed with its original opinion that the town is not liable for the damages to the home.
The community television channel is now brought into resident's home digitally, so analogue equipment is now obsolete. Joe Kowalski, who videos town meetings, said that Time Warner is offering free connector boxes at its business office in North Conway.
The next selectmen's meeting is scheduled for Nov. 4 at 9 a.m., at the town offices.