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Board says appraisers have more work to do

by Larry S. Chowning

The Middlesex County Board of Supervisors agreed on May 20 not to pay the final $22,680 payment to Tri-County Appraisals Inc., the company that did the county’s reassessment, until the firm “corrects errors” on certain properties.

County administrator Charles Culley said that Tri-County Appraisals officials feel that their job is finished and want their final payment. However, Culley said it has been reported to him there are many parcels of real estate that are not showing all of the buildings on those properties.

He noted that this had happened in the past and that the Middlesex Commissioner of Revenue’s office had corrected the mistakes. Supervisors, however, felt the assessor should have noted these structures when they were making the onsite inspections.

“I don’t think we should be paying them for work they haven’t done,” said board chairman Kenneth W. Williams.

County attorney Mike Soberick said the county needs to give the appraiser a chance to clear up any problems. “It’s only right to give the firm a chance to correct the mistakes before taking any further action,” he said.

In a zoning matter, the board approved a resolution amending the county’s zoning ordinance to clearly define minimum open space requirements in major subdivisions. The ordinance will now state that the following items can no longer be considered in calculating open space requirements: bodies of water such as mill ponds and streams, utility easements, drainfield lots, storm-water retention basins, RPA and wetland areas, and slopes greater than 25 percent.

Supervisors praised the work of the county planning commission for working hard to come up with an acceptable plan for defining open space.

The board also approved a zoning special exception that allows laundromats in Village Community zones.

In another matter, the board approved a resolution to begin holding its regular monthly meetings in the refurbished courtroom in the county’s historic courthouse building. The only major change to the old courtroom was the removal of the jury box and the installation of a half moon desktop seating arrangement for supervisors. The historical paintings and photographs will remain in the room.

posted 05.29.2008

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