MONROE — About 15 Monroe residents approved three articles at a special town meeting July 7 to fund a town revaluation and cemetery costs and to raise more money for the town’s general fund.

The article regarding the revaluation was left off the June 14 annual meeting Town Warrant this year because of a clerical error, selectmen said at the annual meeting.

The town has never had a formal valuation, Selectman Jackie Robbins said. She and another resident have been updating property valuations by region in the town. They have been aggressive about updating properties in a timely manner, doing it piecemeal, she said, and have saved the town money by doing it that way.

She said a townwide revaluation should be done every 15 years or so, and requested it be done so that a more official valuation is conducted all at once of every property in town. “I would like it to be nice and tidy,” she said.

The revaluation will give the town a market analysis of every house in the town, Robbins said. Assessing each property frequently is important so the town is taxing property owners correctly. Things like additions and home improvements can change a home’s value, she noted.

Property owners used to give assessors permission more frequently to enter their homes for revaluation, Robbins said. In recent years fewer people have allowed assessors into their homes, but it has been Robbins’ experience that most people are honest about improvements and additions to their homes.

The revaluation will cost the town $30,000 per year for the next two years, which will be taken from the town’s surplus account.

Residents approved $11,500 to be raised from taxation for the town’s general fund account. The money will go toward an increase in the fire chief’s salary and some funds will going into the firefighter stipend program. Some of the funds will also go to the library and historical society.

Fire Chief Ken Clements said it has become difficult to recruit young people as volunteers for the fire department. “The next generation just isn’t showing up, so we thought maybe if we had a little stipend, some type of incentive,” he said.

He thinks if there is a fair and equitable compensation plan, young people might be willing to participate more in the fire department.

The town also voted to raise $6,608 through taxation to pay for cemetery cleaning and repairs. Selectmen said it will be about 10 years before the town will have to hire someone to professionally clean the cemeteries again.

At this year’s annual meeting residents voted to raise $684,545 from taxes and approved an overall town budget of $700,199. Funds approved at the special town meeting bring the amount raised though taxation this year up to $702,653 and the overall budget to $748,307.

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