Condensed from approved minutes:
Members Present: Marj Roy, Town Administrator; Vicky Mishcon, Select Board Chair; Dave Blinn and Chuck Keyser, Select Board Members and Police Office Dan Mori.
Also present: Mark Stetson and Kerry Connor, Avitar Representatives; Sam Greene and Brenda Pabon, NH Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) Representatives; Jim Reed, Jon Warzocha, Steve Fecteau, along with several boy scouts from local Boy Scout Troop 489.
Road Agent Report: by Vicky Mishcon
Mishcon indicated that Road Agent John Thompson was not in attendance for this meeting due to being out in the Town removing snow piles. Thompson met with the Board prior to tonights meeting.
• Thompson had some jelling issues with the equipment due to the extreme cold temperatures.
• Thompson is still waiting for the custom-made parts for the Last Street Bridge.
• Thompson contacted Rymes Oil who provides fuel to those customers on Last Street. Oil deliveries have resumed there because Thompson explained that Rymes will not be responsible for bridge issues that might arise at this time.
2019 Re Evaluation Presentation: by Mark Stetson, Avitar and Same Greene, DRA
Stetson explained how the re-evaluation proceeds. At the presentation a DRA representative needs to be present to witness the information given to start off the process.
The first item is to review the exemptions/credits given as follows:
• The Elderly Exemption is based on income and assets and therefore, must be requalified.
• The Veteran Credit is usually stable and only needs to be reviewed to make sure the person still claims their residency in Andover.
• The survivor spouse is eligible for only someone who was killed in active duty.
Stetson handed Roy several sample letters for the exemptions/credits for review. Loren Martin is available to help review this information.
Solar Panels: There is a change from the 2013 Re-evaluation for solar panels as follows:
• The solar panels will now be assessed.
• The property owner needs to apply for the credit by April 15, 2019.
• The exemption lasts for as long as the property owner owns the property. It is a one time application. Once you apply, you do not have to reapply.
Stetson handed Roy a sample letter, a copy of the application, along with a list of property owners in Town who the letters can be sent.
General information of the re-evaluation process is as follows:
• The re-evaluation must be done at least every five years. At some point during the last five years every property has been visited and reviewed in depth.
• The goal is to give the properties a current market value assessment.
• The average value should be higher than the 2014 assessment.
• Avitar will work from the past two years of sales to base the new values. They will re-inspect the sales properties.
• Avitar will do a five minute field drive-in assessment on some properties to see if anything has changed since the last time, they visited the property.
• After the field reviews, all property owners will receive a letter notification containing the preliminary values. See attached.
• The re-evaluation must be completed by October 1, 2019.
• The Town will need to file for an extension for the MS1.
• Although the State recommends the Assessing Company to file a bond with the town, in the past, the Town has not required Avitar to do so. Avitar has assessed Andover properties since 1992.
• Avtar will provide an insurance bond.
• Lauren Martin will supervise the project. Kerry Connor will do the field work.
• Once this process is completed, the Town will receive a Universal Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP) manual which explains how the properties were assessed. The information can be put on the Town’s website. A town road map is included along with the people and their certifications noted that were involved in this project. The Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) will also receive a copy for oversight.
• The utilities will be assessed unless State law changes.
DRA Role in the re-evaluation
Sam Green explained their role is to oversee the assessors as follows:
• Initially, Avitar will send out a postcard to property owners notifying them ahead of the actual visit. If the property owner does not want Avitar there, they can refuse the visit.
• Avitar will also let the police department know they are in town. Their vehicles are well marked on the outside.
• The USPAP is the key, the Bible, the owner’s manual for assessing properly.
• The goal is to make sure the contracted people who are assessing the properties are doing the work properly, consistently across the board, and in a timely manner. See attached chart.
• DRA will oversee Avitar’s work by reviewing the sales, the records, and look at some of the properties that Avitar asses to check their work.
• DRA will also check the exemptions, the school credits, along with the current use properties.
• DRA will also check to make sure the PA-33 is on file. This is required for life estates, trusts, and revocable trusts. There must be an equitable ownership interest in the property for the PA-33 to be filed.
• Hearings will be set up for anyone who has questions with Avitar’s assessment. DRA will also be in attendance for these hearings to answer questions and to do an exit interview with people who felt their assessment is incorrect.
• At the end of the process, when the Town’s re-evaluation is completed, a letter will be sent out that basically says “Congratulations.” This letter is required by State statute.
Greene indicated that Town Meeting Day is a good time to let the town’s people know that the solar credit application is due by April 15, 2019.
Mishcon made a motion to go into Non-Public Session by Roll Call Vote:
Mishcon YES Blinn YES Keyser: YES
The Board entered into Non-Public Session at 7:30 PM.
Moyer was excused by Mishcon for the Non-Public.
The Board adjourned at 7:50 PM
Minutes prepared by Patricia Moyer, Select Board Secretary