Appeals Board, Feb. 4, 2009

The Sedgwick Appeals Board met Feb. 4, 2009 at the Sedgwick Town Office at 6:30 pm.  Present were Board members Pam Johnson, Tom Schroth, Steve Tobey, Danny Weed and Chairman Fred Marston.  Also present were Attorneys James Patterson for the Town of Sedgwick and Cliff Goodall for the appellants, Selectmen Nelson Grindal and Tom O’Connor, assessing agent Matt Caldwell, CEO Duane Ford, Court Reporter Karen Dube, Packet reporter Jonathan Thomas and Mrs Thomas, Planning Board member Victor Smith, Phil Urban and Barbara Grindle, assistant to the Selectmen.

            The meeting was called to order at 6:40 pm.  A change in meeting dates was discussed as Mr Goodall will not be able to attend on Wed. the 11th, Mr Patterson cannot be here the week of the 16th.  After some discussion and maneuvering of dates it was agreed to have a continuation of the Feb. 4 meeting on Monday, Feb. 9 .  The meeting will be posted around town, on the website and in the papers.

            Asseessing agent Caldwell has been to the former campsite and inspected the inside of the three buildings.  He gave the participants copies of the pricing regulations and explained how he arrived at valuation figures.  He described what conditions he noted on this visit.  Both Twister and Squall were leaning, one toward the water, the other toward the woods, the floors and roofs were rotting and the foundation piers were falling away from the buildings.  Part of the Director’s Cabin was nailed shut, but the rest had fallen in on itself.  The revaluation condition in 2005 was considered 45% fair and 55% poor on the bunkhouses; the director’s cabin was a zero valuation.  He concurred with this assessment.  Buildings built in this fashion (bunkhouses with raw siding, single floor, no inside walls finished and only bathroom facilities) are only given a 20 year life span.  These have been in existence longer than that time. Mr Goodall asked if the proximity to the water had any bearing on the valuation, Mr Caldwell said no, he had only valued the buildings themselves.  They have deteriorated over time so he could not put a specific date on the damages.   

            Mr Marston asked if the Board decided to deny the appeal could they insist that the buildings be moved away from the Pond.  The answer was no, they only have the ability to 1) deny the appeal, 2) grant the appeal or 3) approve the appeal with specific conditions.   They are only deciding on the application as it has been written.  Mr Goodall noted that if the Board decides that this is a new foundation, the buildings must be moved back ‘as far as practicable’.  This could cause more environmental damage than leaving them where they are.  With that comment, the appellant’s lawyer rested his case.

            Mr Patterson remarked that many things should be kept for the record.  The materials submitted by the applicant, minutes recorded by the Court Reporter and on the town website, notices, materials submitted by the Planning Board, memo from both lawyers to name a few.  The selectmen’s assistant will get the records together.

            At this point the Appeals Board decided to start deliberations.  Mr Patterson passed a checklist to Mr Marston for reference.  Discussion started at 8:45 pm and a recess was called at 10:15 pm.   Deliberations will continue on Monday, Feb. 9 at the Town Office at 6:30 pm.

                                    Barbara Grindle, Assistant to the Selectmen