Erving voters asked to relinquish control over fees

ERVING — Monday’s special town meeting will ask voters to relinquish control of future changes to town fees.

Town Administrator Thomas Sharp said the meeting was prompted by a new state law requiring, among other things, that municipalities charge the same registration fee for dogs regardless of the animal’s gender.

This necessitates a change to Erving’s current fee schedule.

Rather than establishing a new fee, the article facing voters would give the Board of Selectmen the power to do so.

The article up for approval would transfer the authority to set fees from town meeting to the board or official concerned, allowing “municipal boards or officers empowered to issue the license, permit or certificate to also fix reasonable fees from time to time,” in the language of the warrant.

Sharp said voters could simply set the new fee rates, but this approach will save time and money in future.

“When and if this happens again the town will be able to respond much quicker, rather than having to schedule a special town meeting to raise the dog fee by a dollar over what it was last year,” Sharp said last month.

The shift in authority is provided for under state law, contingent upon town meeting acceptance.

The current dog registration fees are $6 for un-spayed females, $3 for all other dogs. Sharp said the recommendation will be to change the fees to $10 for spayed and neutered dogs and $15 for those that have avoided the knife.

Other matters

Also on the agenda are an article allowing the town to mail property tax bills and water bills in the same envelope, a postage savings.

A transfer of $4,800 between tax overlay accounts addresses a change to a past tax assessment as a result of a Verizon court victory challenging an aspect of a 2005 state law establishing pole taxes, according to Sharp.

The remaining two articles would rescind a bookkeeping article stating the salaries of the treasurer, tax collector and town clerk approved at the June special town meeting and replace it with a re-worded version.

The meeting is scheduled for at 7 p.m. Monday in the Town Hall, 12 East Main St.

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