Baileyville Looks at Tax Acquired Property

By Kaileigh Deacon

 

At their meeting on Monday, April 9th, the Baileyville Town Council looked at some tax acquired properties. There were two accounts in particular that owed past taxes and sewer bills from 2016 and 2017 with no activity in some time. The town hopes to work with the owners to restore the properties to good standing and restore ownership back by creating a payment plans for past amounts as well as paying on the current year. The town will reach out to the homeowners and if they are unable to make the accounts whole, the town will sell the property.

Town Manager Chris Loughlin advised the council that there is legislation in the State that could affect homeowners ages 65 and older. The compromised legislation would require a municipality selling a tax acquired property to list the home with a realtor for 90 days. If the home hasn’t sold within the 90 days, the town would be required to continue to list it until the property sells. When the property, sells the town would retain 25% of the selling price as well as the expenses for selling while the original owner, only for 65 years old and older, would receive 75% of the selling price. While the legislation has not passed yet, if it does it will impact the town’s current procedure for selling tax acquired properties.

Loughlin also spoke to the council about the property maintenance notifications that he will be sending out. Accompanied by Public Works Department head Jamie McLaughlin, Loughlin toured the town and made note of properties that required repair. There were 28 properties that had concerns and 23 of those 28 would require action taken to bring them in compliance with town codes. Prior to sending out these notifications, Town Manager Loughlin and the code enforcement officer will take another tour around town.

In their request for bids for cleaning contracts, the town received three bids. Two bids came in at $150 per week, one with one weekly cleaning and the other for cleaning five times a week. The third contract came in at $15,000 per year and five cleanings a week. The council authorized Loughlin to reach out to the second company at $150/week and five cleanings a week.

The town is hopeful to set up a meeting with Calais on the Memorandum of Understanding between the two municipalities after Jim Porter, Calais’s City Manager, is back from vacation. They are also working on union negotiation meetings with the teamsters sometime soon.

In a move to get the town more accessible to residents and people far and wide, Baileyville is looking at updating their website. Currently, the town’s website is not user friendly and doesn’t provide the information that residents want. The hope is to get the website to a point that people can access from home all public documents as well as town ordinances and similar documents.

In preparation for the upcoming budget work, the town has a preliminary mil rate for the upcoming year. The number is still an estimate on what could happen and is subject to change. Currently the estimated mil rate is 19.1.

Councilor Tim Call and Town Manager Loughlin also met with the Woodland Pulp and had nothing but good news to come from the meeting. The mill is doing well and hopes to continue to prosper and grow to the benefit of the town and the mill. Councilor Call reported that the mill is looking forward to working with the town in the future.

Next meeting: Monday April 23rd at 5:30 p.m.