Union Sidelines: Town meeting warrant, property assessment

Wed, 04/13/2022 - 1:30pm

    The following municipal newsletter, Sidelines, is circulated courtesy of the Union Select Board, and serves to update Union citizens about governmental news in town. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the Sidelines are the individual thoughts of the Select Board member.

    The “Main Event” at the April 5 Select Board meeting was the finalization of the Town Warrants for our upcoming election. The warrant articles include:

    Article 3, Pullen Fund: We will vote on whether to accept the donation of land on Heald Highway adjacent to the former Clark building from the Pullen Trustees. The prosed future purpose is to create a recreational facility.

    Article 4, Referendum Voting: We will vote on whether to begin secret ballot voting beginning in June 2023 for town warrant articles and to have Special Town Meetings at the discretion of the Select Board or by Citizen Petition.

    Article 5, Thompson Community Center: We will vote to authorize the Select Board to implement and negotiate in the best interest of the Town one of five options regarding this property.

    Much investigation and discovery has been accomplished over the past few months by the Committee for the Future Thompson Community Center Committee (CFTCC). You can review their comprehensive report and analysis on the Town’s website, see the link at the top of the opening page.

    Info can also be found under the Government tab, the item to review is labeled “Thompson Community Center Miscellaneous Information”.

    The first item listed is the Committee’s comprehensive report. I think you will be impressed by the amount of work and disclosure.

    Expect to hear more about this warrant in multiple ways. We will be having a Public Hearing on May 23. It is expected that a summary of the options to be voted upon will be mailed with the Annual Town Report. The public hearing will be available on Town Hall Streams. A YouTube video describing the options is planned. The objective is to inform the voters in an unbiased and clear manner.

    If you would like more information regarding the current operation of the buildings, review the next tab under Government labeled “Thompson Memorial Association Select Board Reports”.

    Assessors Info: Town property assessments are being updated. I think it is not a surprise that property values have increased by 50% or more. Jim Murphy, the 2021 Assessor of the Year, as acknowledged by the Maine Association of Accessing Officers, tells us that new assessments will be out shortly.

    Please note, the increase in assessed value is not the reason that you will see an increase in real estate taxes. Some of the reasons for tax increases include wage increases to retain valuable town employees, an expansion of the ambulance budget, the inclusion of the road budget that was financed last year by a bond issue, and general inflationary pressures.

    We have Budget meetings on April 26 and possibly April 27. Please join in and participate if you want your voice heard on Budget issues.