Westport Island picks painting contractor, rejects abatement request

Posted:  Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 11:30am

Westport Island selectmen on Monday signed a contract for Dave’s Custom Painting of Bath to paint the town hall. The company bid $4,550, which was lower than the only other bid. Island Home Improvement bid $4,900.

The work includes painting the main room, entrance hall and kitchen. William Cooney, chair of the island’s town hall committee, was present for the discussion.

Also Monday, selectmen heard a property tax abatement request from resident Tom Cromwell. The request concerned map 5, lot 35.02A. Cromwell’s written request was accompanied by a private appraisal valuing the parcel at $62,000. 

Cromwell said he was aware that the properties used for the appraisal weren’t “qualified,” but pointed out that there were two aspects of every assessment: the hard numbers and the “subjective” factors.

Selectman George Richardson explained an appraisal is not the same as an assessment and “Everyone is being treated the same way, according to the TRIO (software) system that is in place.”

Cromwell asked the selectmen to consider that the property was not on a town road and that a right of way was needed for access. Richardson countered, “Waterfront lots have to have power, a well, septic and driveways.”

“The road is the owner’s responsibility,” Selectman Jerry Bodmer commented. Selectman Ross Norton added, “We look at whether the property is improved or not.” After continued discussion, selectmen voted not to approve the request. Richardson advised Cromwell he could appeal the decision to the Lincoln County Commissioners.

Stacey Hutchison was appointed fire chief. Other appointments included: History Committee, Jeff Tarbox; Planning Board, Richard Barker; Road Commissioner, James Cromwell; Plumbing Inspector, Jerry Bodmer; Conservation Commission, Dennis Dunbar; Code Enforcement Officer, Gary Richardson; Ferry Landing Committee, Richard DeVries; Harbor Master, Frank Gallagher; Jason Kates, Cable Negotiating Committee; Robert Mooney, representing the fire department-public safety; and John Wallace, alternate on the shellfish committee, which could use more volunteers. If interested, contact Lincoln Richardson at 882-9615.