Boothbay closer to approving property revaluation

Posted:  Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 4:00pm

Boothbay’s first property revaluation in more than a decade will likely begin later this summer. Selectmen approved the framework of an agreement with John E. O’Donnell & Associates of New Gloucester Aug. 9 to revalue 3,000 properties once a mutual payment schedule is reached with the firm.

Selectmen authorized Town Manager Dan Bryer to work out a payment schedule for the tax firm’s work. The board agreed to pay the firm $245,000. The revaluation would be completed next year and take effect in July 2018. The town will use funds from a municipal capital improvement fund for payment. Taxpayers have budgeted funds for a future revaluation during the past four years. But town officials have other projects using capital improvement funds for this year and requested a flexible billing schedule.

Selectmen want to pay for the revaluation over the next two fiscal years. Boothbay has contracted with the firm for over a decade to serve as the municipal tax assessor. Mike O’Donnell serves the town as the municipal tax assessor and he spoke on the firm’s behalf regarding the proposed agreement.

“We have no problem with the flexible billing schedule,” O’Donnell said. “This will give you more time and a better cash flow to pay this over two years.”

Once contract revisions are finalized, Bryer will sign the contract on the town’s behalf. O’Donnell recommended a tax revaluation earlier in the year. He told selectmen in May that Boothbay’s $952 million valuation was “inflated” and the town would benefit from a property revaluation.

In other action, selectmen voted 4-0 to enter into an agreement with an Atlanta seafood company to lease a dam on Knickerkane Island. The board agreed to lease a dam and fence extending from the south shore of Knickerkane to the east shore of Hodgdon Island, including water to north of the dam and fence. The lease is for 20 years and requires Inland Fresh Seafood Corporation of America, Inc. to pay one dollar.

Bryer also reported he would be out of the office for the next 14 Fridays. He is completing his 20th and final year as a member of the Maine Air National Guard Reserve. He has 15 required training days and will honor them by serving one day a week.

“I want to honor my commitment and this is the best way,” Bryer said. “Last year, the Guard waived my requirement because it was my first year as town manager. Fridays are low traffic days in the office, but if something comes up, they will let me carry my phone for any emergencies.”

The selectmen will meet next at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23 in the municipal building’s conference room.