Greenville seeks bids for tax acquired property valued at $166,000

Posted Aug. 09, 2012, at 7:13 p.m.

GREENVILLE, Maine — The town recently acquired two tax delinquent properties after several efforts to contact the previous owners were unsuccessful.

Town officials were placing notices at their newly acquired property on 191 Highland Ave., and that eventually caught the previous owner’s attention.

She has since paid $1,200 toward the past due amount and the selectmen voted unanimously on Aug. 1 to enter into a repurchasing agreement with her. She will have 10 months to pay the remaining taxes.

Town Manager Gary Lamb told the board that the owner failed to respond to foreclosure warning notices due to medical problems with her mother and herself.

“She told me the mail must have fell through the cracks due to the medical problems in her family,” Lamb said.

Another property won’t be as fortunate, as the selectmen are seeking bids on a 2.1-acre Wilson Pond Road property that has 400 feet of shore frontage. The property has a $166,000 assessed value. The previous owners owe more than $12,000 in back taxes. The town has made several phone and mail inquiries about the unpaid taxes, but they haven’t been able to contact them.

The selectmen voted 5-0 to place the advertisement without requiring a minimum bid. Selectman Craig Watt recommended that the town reject any bids far below market value.

“[It] would be ridiculous to sell it for less than $80,000,” Watt said. “It is the last piece of shorefront property that can be developed on that side of the pond. I don’t think we should waste our time dealing with low-ball offers.”

In other action, new Fire Chief John Simko updated the board about the department. Since he took over on July 1 as chief, the department has lost two firefighters. The recent resignations leave the department three below full strength. The two recent resignations were from longtime firefighters Joey Harris and John Cobb, who decided to leave the department due to other commitments requiring their attention.

The department is actively seeking volunteers to fill out the 25-person roster. Simko indicated that the department will place notices in the local paper and on the public cable access channel for new recruits.

The selectmen also approved hiring new recreation and library directors. The board unanimously approved Sally Tornquist as the new recreation director. The board also approved Linda Wohlforth with a 4-1 vote to assume the library director’s position. Selectman Bruce Hanson was the only board member to vote against the nomination. Both are part-time, 30-hour-per-week positions.

Lamb reported that negotiations with Pepin Associates to purchase the town-owned business incubator building have been suspended. The firm is currently leasing space in the building for $23,000 per year. The two sides have been in discussions about a possible sale during the last year. Lamb indicated the best situation for both parties would be extending the lease agreement for an additional year.

The selectmen will next meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, in the municipal building.

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