November 29, 2012TUFTONBORO — The Tuftonboro Board of Selectmen approved Transfer Station Supervisor Clay Gallagher's proposed fee schedule following discussion in a public hearing held on Nov. 26, at the start of its regular meeting.
The changes, which Gallagher says brings will bring the fees closer in line with those of neighboring Wolfeboro and Moultonborough, will take effect on Jan. 1, 2013.
They are as follows: two-year sticker fees are set at $5 each; disposal of car tires, up one dollar, are set at $4; television disposal will require payment of $10, $15 or $20, based on size, for 19", 35", and 36" screens; king and queen size mattress disposal will cost $10 and sleep sofa disposal will cost $15.
"It's a user fee," said Chairman Dan Duffy. Selectman Lloyd Wood noted that the changes represent just a few of the many items on the disposal list and pointed out that some of the previous programs available to reduce disposal costs of items such as light bulbs and televisions.
The cost of the sticker purchase generated the most discussion, with Joe Kowalski and Bob McWhirter objecting to the idea of charging residents. "You need a different way of buying stickers and tracking," suggested Kowalski, who suggested having a registration form for identification.
"When you're busy," said Selectman Carolyn Sundquist to Gallagher, "I can't imagine having to ask someone to show a registration form."
"Every town has a sticker," responded Gallagher, after pointing out the cost amounts to $2.50 a year to cover the cost of the sticker and associated administrative costs. "It's the easiest and most efficient method."
McWhirter suggested that the board give Gallagher discretion in dealing with issues that come up at the station. Gallagher responded, " I do what is most fair to all the taxpayers."
Guy Pike spoke up for a friend, who he said paid the same fee for a half load as a full load for construction debris. Pike said that didn't appear to be "fair and equitable."
Gallagher said the only exact way to measure would be to use a scale. The cost of a scale is estimated at around $65,000. As it is, he said that he has to "eyeball" a load to assess if it's not a tightly-packed load. Ideally, the eyeballing should be done by the same person, and he tries to be that person to be consistent. He usually, he said, tries to "shade it to the easier side….You do the best you can."
Tax rate set
The 2012 tax rate for Tuftonboro has been set at $9.14 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
The tax rate has four components: the town rate of $2.27, the local school rate of $3.44, the state school rate of $2.39, and the county rate of $1.04.
The 2011 rate was $8.71 per $1,000, so the increase is 43 cents or 4.9 percent. A taxpayer with a $100,000 property will pay $43 more and a taxpayer with a $300,000 property will pay $129 more.
The next meeting of the Tuftonboro Board of Selectmen will be on Monday, Dec. 3. At 7 p.m. The meeting will be preceded by a presentation of the proposed Capital Improvement Program at 6:30 p.m.