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Town seeking permission for special town meeting

Littleton will seek 10-year bond to repay TransCanada

May 05, 2010
LITTLETON—If all goes well and a Superior Court judge approves, there will be a special town meeting July 28 to approve a bond to pay TransCanada $6.3 million.

Last Tuesday, the Board of Selectmen approved a tentative schedule leading up to the July meeting, including a June 30 deliberative session and at least one public hearing.

Two days later the budget committee held a meeting with members of the select board and voted to support a 10-year bond to pay off the money, according to Select Board Chairman Ron Bolt. The town would likely pay off $2.1 million in money already set aside for that purpose and bond the remaining $4.3 million, Bolt said.

The bond schedule is tentative depending on the Superior Court's schedule and if the court approves a meeting. The town can petition the court for the meeting as early as this Friday, May 7.

A special town meeting is required because voters must approve any large expenditure. Normally town meeting is held once a year in March. To hold another requires permission of a court and is usually only approved for emergency appropriations, which town officials will assert to the court is the case in this situation.

Littleton agreed to pay the company, which owns the Moore Dam hydroelectric plant on Route 18, as part of a settlement to end a lawsuit the company had against the town over the dam's assessed value four years ago. In March the town agreed to pay $6.3 million in overpaid taxes to the company, which had been paying its taxes and filing for an abatement every year.

TransCanada and the town agreed to a value of $177 million for the value of the dam. The town had assessed the property at $239 million while TransCanada had asserted its value as $135 million.

Town officials said previously they would ask permission to bond the entire $6.3 million to give them flexibility.

Klumb Environmenta;
Varney Smith
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