BRUNSWICK

The Brunswick Town Council will meet today to discuss amending ordinances and set foreclosure dates on tax-acquired properties, among other business.

Eight property owners have outstanding tax payments totaling nearly $10,000, and Town Manager John Eldridge recommended selling the properties if the debt is not resolved. The council will vote today on this recommendation.

If property owners do not come to a solution with the town to pay the outstanding debt by mid-June, the properties will go to auction Aug. 1. If the debt is paid, then the deeds will be quitclaimed back to the owners.

Finance Director Julie Henze said last month she expects the town will come to agreements with property owners before the town takes final possession of the properties. The properties in question are all mobile homes, and are not all vacant. The date of the commitment of taxes to the date of foreclosure is a period of two and a half years, and includes several notices, according to state law and town policy.

A public hearing is also set for today for a proposed amendment to the disorderly property ordinance. The amendment seeks to simplify the provision that stipulates a second notification to a property owner concerning a noise violation within 60 days of the first alert will result in civil penalty. The amendment, if changed, will extend that time period to 270 days.

According to a memo to the town manager, Cmdr. Mark Waltz said the department recommended the change because most of the properties in violation of the ordinance are occupied by college students, and a landlord would receive one warning per school year under the new proposal. If the amendment is approved, a second violation within a 270-day period will subject a landlord to a civil penalty and a required meeting with the police chief to develop a remediation agreement.

The council will also vote whether to apply for a $3,500 grant from the Maine Municipal Association to purchase two sets of turnout gear for firefighters.

Eldridge will also provide an update on the status of the Mere Point property, which is the subject of a legal battle between the town and a group of residents over the interpretation of the town charter and setting public hearings following a petition drive. The property will be listed for sale, said attorney for the town Stephen Langsdorf.

Last year was the first year Brunswick acquired and sold properties due to outstanding taxes. Those properties were located on Bath Road, Jordan Avenue and Coombs Road.

The council will meet at 6:30 p.m. for an executive session regarding tax-acquired properties and the regular meeting, which is open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in the council chamber at Town Hall.



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