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Wolfeboro abatements down from last revaluation

Proposal to phase Brewster Hall renovation work delayed

July 07, 2011
WOLFEBORO — Wolfeboro selectmen held a special meeting last Wednesday, June 29, in order to review and vote on property tax abate requests before the July 1 deadline.

Dave Wiley of Cross Country Appraisal was present to discuss individual abatement requests and decisions as needed.

In the public comment section of the meeting Suzanne Ryan questioned how the town was doing with abatements. She said she had counted 161 approved abatements before the current batch being considered by selectmen: was this higher or lower than budgeted?

Wiley responded that the abatement requests were clearly down from the last time the town had a revaluation in 2007. He said there were 300 approved abatements at this point in 2007. He added that "You always have more abatement requests when there has been a revaluation."

He also noted that valuations have been going down over the last two years, which also affects abatement requests.

Ryan asked if by the next board meeting on July 6 she could see how much the town had budgeted for abatements versus how much has been granted. She noted this information was not in the Town Report.

Town Manager Dave Owen responded that he could provide a comparison of what was anticipated in the appraisal contract versus how much has been granted. Otherwise the state Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) requires that the town maintain a reserve to cover all abatement requests.

Ryan refined her request to ask for how much was set aside per DRA and how much of that reserve has been used to cover abatements.

Selectmen had specific questions about changes made in properties associated with the Kingswood Golf Course and the former Grandview Commons property located on the site of the old Wolfeboro airfield. Wiley provided satisfactory answers to the questions raised.

Other business

Chair Sarah Silk noted that one applicant whose Intent to Cut was to be approved that night had already completed his logging project on College Road. She asked that a letter be sent to loggers notifying them that they need an approved Intent to Cut before beginning logging operations.

Owen informed the board that, as a result of the state budget just passed, DRA had had to eliminate 40 out of 172 positions and thus will be spread thin in helping towns. Wiley said DRA is trying to reinstate the timber and excavation monitors that were initially dropped.

Owen also noted that he had not received the revised proposal for phasing the renovation of Brewster Hall had had been promised the day before. Thematter will be added to the agenda for the next regular selectmen's meeting at 6:30 p.m. on July 6 at the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting

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