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Selectmen vote to take 13 lots for nonpayment of taxes

May 10, 2012
TUFTONBORO — The town of Tuftonboro is the reluctant deeded owner of 13 lots in the development formerly known as ZaDeDa Farms, as of May 8. The Board of Selectmen voted to move forward in response to the apparent inability of those property owners to pay their property taxes.

Eight errant lot holders in the subdivision who wrote letters to the town to initiate discussions of payment plans will be able to hold on to their property for now as they make arrangements to pay their tax debts.

Selectman Carolyn Sundquist said at the board's May 7 meeting that there was no pleasure in taking over the deeds. The former owners have three years in which to pay the back taxes with interest along with penalties. After that, the town has the right to sell the properties.

The board also, following two public hearings, agreed to accept the gift of a five-acre parcel of land containing the Callendar Family Cemetery in its bounds, worth $69,800, with the condition that the family is able to continue to use the cemetery.

Police chief Andrew Shagoury reported on April's arrests (see separate article on page A8) and said that he is looking into a grant from the Homeland Security Committee for the replacement of the department's radio equipment. Parts are no longer made for the 10-year-old radios currently in place. He has heard that there is money remaining for law enforcement, and he hopes they might allocate funds for radios.

Selectmen approved Code Officer Jack Parson's selection of James Woodsom to paint the interior of the town offices and Heckman's Flooring Company to replace the carpets for $4,225 and $6,835 respectively.

A request from Jerry Holmberg to build a structure on a Class VI road was tabled until such time as he has received the necessary variance. The board declared its willingness to sign the approval form, which states that Holmberg is free to build on the road, but the town will not be responsible for maintaining it.

Questions related to whether the town will pay to replace and/or put up signs on private roads and whether residents can obtain receipts at the transfer station for goods placed in the Swap Shop were answered in the negative. In the former case, Sundquist said the law is clear. The town is not allowed to spend public money on private property. In the latter, Transfer Station Manager Clay Gallagher pointed out that he can give out receipts, but they will not be useful for tax purposes.

Items in the Swap Shop are given away to the public, not the town. Those that are not taken must eventually be disposed of.

A meeting with a representative from the Time-Warner Company was reported to have gone well, in that communication was clear. Sundquist said that she had a better understanding of the business end of it as a result, but the board found out that it would cost about $10,000 to provide internet access to the transfer station. A draft renewal contract was sent to the company on April 20.

Work on Lang Pond Road in cooperation with Wolfeboro is expected to commence next week.

Selectman Lloyd Wood reported back from the Parks and Recreation Commission that the Boy Scouts recently helped clear the trails on the Gould property and have expressed an interest in using the house on the property. It is currently in disrepair.

He also called attention to the deteriorating condition of the 17-year-old playground at Tuftonboro Central School and said that the Commission is working with the school's PTCO to monitor and repair it as needed.

The board will meet next on Monday, May 14 at 9 a.m. at the town offices.

Salmon Press
Martin Lord & Osman
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