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August 23, 2012
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 This column is for the August 23, 2012 edition.

TAX RATE

The Board of Selectmen has set the tax rate for the year January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012 at Nine Dollars and Thirty Cents ($9.30) per thousand dollars of valuation on real estate owned in Shapleigh. This represents an increase of 30 cents per thousand. For example: If a property had a valuation of $150,000 it would have generated a tax of $1,350 in 2011 when the tax rate was $9.00 per thousand. The same $150,000 property will generate a tax $1,395 for the current 2012 year, about a 3% increase.

The commitment was signed and given to the Tax Collector who will do what is required before sending the information to the agency which prints out the tax bills and mails them out. The bills should be in the hands of the taxpayers within the week. Taxes paid up to and through September 21, 2012 will not be subject to interest. Interest will begin to accrue on unpaid real estate taxes as of September 22, 2012 at the rate of seven percent (7 %) per annum. Tax bills for properties which have changed ownership since April 1, 2012 will be sent to the owner as of that date in care of the new property owner at the new property owner’s address. FMI call 636-2843 ext 406.

Below is a comparison of the current year with the previous year to give a clear picture.

Assessments: 2012 2011 Increase/Decrease

County Tax $271,817.77 $263,101.47 $8,716.30

Municipal Appropriation $1,387,292.00 $1,348,567.00 $38,725

Education Appropriation $3,037,094.00 $2,945,885.28 $91,208.72

Overlay $130,051.68 $100,992.42 $29,059.26

Subtotal $4,826,255.45 $4,658,546.17 $167,709.28

State Revenue Sharing $74,818.19 $85,268.47 -$10,450.26

Homestead Reimbursement $33,805.50 $31,500.00 $2,305.50

Total Deductions $108,623.69 $116,768.47 -$8,144.78

Net to be raised $4,717,631,76 $4,541,777.70 $175,854.06

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION

Owners of property who reside in Shapleigh and have completed the required application form have the benefit of a $10,000 deduction off the assessed valuation of their property. This is a State of Maine program and as such the State reimburses the towns for a portion of the taxes lost to the community through the implementation of this exemption. The remainder of the exemption is borne by the taxpayers themselves. Anyone who is not currently receiving a Homestead Exemption may apply at any time before April 1, 2013 to receive this benefit in 2013. Once approved the exemption is automatic for so long as the State program is in effect.

COUNTY TAX

York County is changing to a fiscal year instead of a calendar year; therefore, the York County Commissioners will be submitting to the towns an 18 month bill for County taxes in 2013. Towns have been given a choice of financing through the county six months of the tax for five years or paying the entire 18 month tax in 2013. The Board of Selectmen discussed the issue and voted to pay it all in 2013. It has been the policy of the Board of Selectmen to end each year in the black, Since1977 that has been the case. We owe it t the taxpayers to be fiscally responsible and owing interest on deferred bills does not fit into that category.

SUMMER READING

New books have been added to the book shelves at the Shapleigh Community Library

recently. Come and make your selections:

“Odd Apocalypse,” by Dean Koontz

“Friends Forever,” by Danielle Steele

“Summerland,” by Elin Hilderbrand

“The Fallen Angel,” by Daniel Silva

“The Next Best Thing,” by Jennifer Weiner

“Black List,” by Brad Thor

“Catching Fireflies,” by Sherryl Woods

“Back Fire,” by Catheriine Coulter

“Three Brides, No Grooms,” by Debbie Macomber

Spring Fever,” by Mary Kay Andrews

“I Michael,” by James Patterson.

“The Paris Wife,” by Paula McLain

“Criminal,” by Karin Slaughter

The Library is located at 607 Shapleigh Corner Road across from the Shapleigh Baptist Church. Open hours are Tuesday 3 pm to 8 pm; Thursday 10 am to 2 pm and from 6 pm to 8 pm; Saturday from 9 am t0 2 pm. FMI call 636-3630 during those hours.

PUBLIC WORKS

Major road construction is underway on the Back Road under the direction of Southern District Road Commissioner Richard E. Goodwin, Sr and his crew. A portion of the road has had the pavement removed and has been dug out to get to the water problem that has plagued that section of the Back Road for some time. Proper drainage techniques utilizing special fabric to wick away the water and prevent it from rising to the surface is being implemented in this construction. Paving of the Back Road from this area to Shapleigh Corner will be accomplished shortly if it has not already occurred by the time this column is printed. Grinding pavement in place will be part of the process. This will be a first for the Town of Shapleigh. Many of the town roads are not wide enough or straight enough to employ this method. The prognosis would seem to indicate that the road, once having been constructed and paved in this manner, will last many years more than the traditional practice of paving over what previously existed. Needless to say, this is anticipated to be a very expensive process but it will pay off in the long run.

ACTON/SHAPLEIGH LIONS

Members of the Acton/Shapleigh Lions Club will be having its “All You Can Eat” Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at the Acton Town Hall from 8 am to 10 am. Cost of the meal is $5.00 per person. What a bargain! What a meal! Scrambled eggs, sausage, hot buttered toast, pancakes (both blueberry and plain) and syrup, Maine baked beans, juice, coffee, milk (both chocolate and white) and tea.

Roland Goodwin has been playing his harmonica at the breakfasts for some time now after he eats and before he leaves. The old favorites “She’ll be Coming ‘Round the Mountain,” “Turkey in the Straw” and others bring rounds of applause from the diners. Thank you, Roland. You bring back great memories.

The proceeds from this breakfast will benefit the former Acton Fire Station which is located next to the Town Hall and Town Library. Many physical fitness classes, etc. are held there and funds are needed for equipment and refurbishing the facility. The Town of Acton allows the Acton/Shapleigh Lions to use the Town Hall for its monthly breakfasts without any charge. The Lions would like to show their appreciation for this kindness by donating the net proceeds of the September 1, 2012 breakfast to Acton. Come on out and enjoy a great breakfast, great camaraderie while helping to support the Lions in their efforts to better the lives of both Acton and Shapleigh residents.

SQUARE POND IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION

Anyone owning property on Square Pond who is not member of this organization but is considering joining is encouraged to attend the semi-annual meeting of the Square Pond Improvement Association (SPIA) to be held at the ATV Club building at 926 Shapleigh Corner Road, Saturday, August 25, 2012. The agenda includes:

· A review of SPIA season results,

· Sandy Kendall awards presentation

· Treasurer’s and secretaries reports

· Review of ASYCC projects on Square Pond by Joe Anderson

· Membership update

· Buoy status for 2012

· Water clarity

· Invasive aquatic plants committee report

· Treasure Island Lake Owners Association (TILOA)

· Report on the Sanford/Shapleigh Dam Committee

· Golf outing report

· Election of officers

· Members’ questions

All dues /contributions are tax deductible with the payment of annual members dues of $25 for the basic membership, Gold membership is $50 and Platinum $100. Both of the higher level memberships are used to fund additional lake improvement projects.

At the conclusion of the business meeting the Board of Directors has invited members and guests to a barbecue. Tables will be set up for discussions with various groups, committee members, Fire and Rescue Departments, State and local officials.

COUNTY BUDGET COMMITTEE

Chairman of the York County Budget Committee, John Sylvester, has announced that the Budget Committee caucuses will be held on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm in the Alfred Town Hall.

The York County Budget Committee is composed of a total of 15 elected members, two of whom must be municipal officials and one a public member for a total of three from each of the five commissioner districts. Municipalities are allowed only one member on the budget committee. The term is three years. The time commitment includes 7 to 10 meetings usually held for two hours on Wednesdays in a County facility in Alfred. The months involved are November, December and January.

The election of members at the caucuses is done by municipal officials. The process is a simple one and will be explained the night of the meeting. Interested persons are encouraged to attend the meeting scheduled for Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm in the Alfred Town Hall.