Brewer purchases new computer assessing software, prepares for revaluation, assessor says

Posted April 02, 2013, at 7:09 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — Paper files now used to record the value of a property will soon be a part of the city’s history, because city leaders decided Tuesday night to purchase new computerized assessing software.

“This system [in use] is antiquated and very inefficient, requiring staff to enter the same information multiple times in different locations,” assessor Steven Weed, who started in October, said in a memo to councilors.

He said on Tuesday afternoon that the new software is more comprehensive than the current system, so he has suggested hiring a firm to do a citywide reassessment when the new software is put into place. The cost for both is $301,000.

City councilors approved the upgrade unanimously.

“The last time we did a whole [city] evaluation was 1960,” Weed said. “Our system is very old and we’re updating it.”

The city currently has an assessment ratio of 95 percent, “so we’re not going to go very far,” Weed said, trying to reassure residents. “It’s not like a revaluation where everybody’s taxes will go up.”

Vision Government Solutions Inc., of Northboro, Mass., which is used by many Maine communities, the order states, was selected to provide the software and perform the full revaluation of property.

The reassessment of the city’s property will take more than a year, Weed said.

“It’s basically a 12- to 18-month project,” he said.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, two local police officers were officially promoted and sworn in.

Cpl. Nelson Feero, who joined the department in 2000, was promoted to the rank of sergeant and Officer Elizabeth “Liz” Kelley, who was hired in 2006, has earned the rank of corporal, Brewer police Capt. Chris Martin said.

“Sgt. Feero’s experience gained from serving in various assignments within our agency will serve as an asset to our agency and our community,” the police captain said earlier in the day.

In the last three years, “Cpl. Kelley has been one of our most active criminal interdiction officers and continues to focus her effort on the drug and crime issues impacting our community,” Martin said. “Cpl. Kelley’s promotion also has a significant historical distinction, as she is only the second female officer in the history of our agency to become a supervisor. The first was Cpl. Melissa ‘Dixie’ Cunningham.”

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