Weston tax rate still up in the air Public hearing set for Aug. 10 on switching from Zoning Board to DRB

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The Weston Select Board on Monday, July 27, once again passed on approving the town tax rates but did reinstate a 3 percent late fee for property taxes that had been waived last year due to the pandemic.

At its July 13 meeting, the board had questions about how the culvert work on Trout Club Road would affect the municipal tax rate with a decision being postponed to July 27 after receiving more information.

As the discussion began on July 27, board member Jim Linville asked “do we have to approve this?”

Town Clerk Kim Seymour said no and referred to information she had gathered for the board in helping them with the decision. As it stood during the meeting, the homestead rate is $2.1307 per $100 of assessed value while the non-homestead rate is $2.1887. Of these, the education portion of the tax is $1.6063 per $100 of assessed value for those taxpayers filing a homestead declaration and $1.6643 for non-homestead. The select board has control over the municipal portion of the tax rate, but not education since that’s arrived at through a state formula.

According to Seymour, the board will have to approve a tax rate by Aug. 24 so the town can send out the tax bills on time. Bills, she added, need to be in the hands of taxpayers 30 days before the due date, which is Oct. 5, 2021 for Weston.

Last year the town waived a 3 percent penalty for late payment of property taxes. Linville asked if there was any reason not to reinstate the penalty, and board members agreed to reinstate it.

After months of discussion, the board approved a letter that will be sent to property owners along with the tax bill about the idea of putting up radar speed signs in town and a related survey.

Switch to DRB and appointment of town officers

The appointment of several town officers has been postponed as the board has debated whether to move from its current Zoning Board of Adjustment to a Development Review Board.

The delay, it appears, is a result of having to either appoint or re-appoint members to the existing ZBA or appoint a whole new DRB. Normally these appointments happen in the select board meeting immediately following Town Meeting in March. But due to the Covid pandemic, Weston did not have a Town Meeting until May 25.

Public hearing on switch to Development Review Board

In the meantime, the board made the re-appointments listed below and scheduled a public hearing on switching the Zoning Board of Adjustment to a Development Review Board for 7 p.m. on Aug. 10 at the Town Office conference room on Lawrence Hill Road and on Zoom. The board invites the public to learn about and discuss the proposed change and also for those interested to volunteer for some of the town committees.

To join the meeting online go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86399433623?pwd=bEdEN1VXdmo0SUNNOHozZW9CdHlwZz09

  • Andrew Harper and Donald Hart to the Conservation Commission
  • Will Goodwin to Zoning Administrator,
  • Will Goodwin to Floodplain Administrator,
  • Barbra Lloyd to Vendor Ordinance Administrator,
  • Ray Mara to Tree Warden,
  • Jon Bliss to Emergency Fuel Coordinator,
  • Mark Falango to Civil Defense Chairman,
  • Almon Crandall to 911 Commission,
  • Michael Smilovich to Emergency Management Director,
  • Natalie Boston to Assistant EMD,
  • Mark Falango to Regional Technology Team WRC,
  • Peter Areson to Green Up Coordinator
  • Jeff Yrsha to Road Commissioner,
  • Denis Benson to Forest Fire Warden,
  • Almon Crandall to Assistant Forest Fire Warden
  • Susan Meyers was reappointed to Senior Solutions after the board discussed it in executive session.

Also after its executive session the board granted Almon Crandall an additional week of vacation.

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