Rochester to Stick With Unified Tax Rate

After a relatively insignificant change in the net overall worth of Rochester, the Board of Selectmen voted to keep a unified tax rate per recommendation of the Board of Assessors.

John Mello, Chairman of the Board of Assessors, said that because there hasn’t been a major change in property value within the town, he wouldn’t recommend any changes.

Currently, tax classifications for commercial and residential fall under the same unified rate, and following the unanimous approval of the Selectmen, they will continue to do so.

“There’s been virtually no change,” said Mello, who said that the total property value for this year was $886,643,100, and that last year, it was $882,500,011.

Mello said that because so much of the commercial property in Rochester is agricultural, it would be unfair to split with other commercial businesses because the agricultural properties have lower tax rates under the 61A tax classification.

“It our recommendation that we continue with a unified tax rate,” Mello said.

In other news from the meeting, the Selectmen announced the resignation of Facilities Manager Mike Meunier.

Selectmen Chair Naida Parker said that Meunier has worked extremely hard with repairs in town, especially at Rochester Memorial School, as well as on several other projects.

“He’s done a tremendous job, and it’s with a great deal of regret [that the Board received his resignation],” Parker said. “I know [Town Administrator Richard LaCamera] and he worked seven days a week for years getting RMS done. He’s going to be big shoes to try to fill.”

LaCamera provided the Board with a Facilities Manager job description, but said that they will not post the job until their next meeting at least, and that they won’t fill the position until after January 1, 2014.

Parker also said that Meunier donated a trailer to the Police Department valuing approximately $2,700, which the Board approved unanimously to accept.

LaCamera also added that projects at Town Hall, the Council on Aging/Community Center, and the Police Station are all 100 percent completed, and that they are currently in the process of beginning renovations at Plumb Library.

By Nick Walecka


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