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Town talks assessments and who should do them

Lake Holcombe Town Board

The Lake Holcombe Town Board continued to talk about assessments, during a regular meeting Jan. 9, with a visit by long-time assessor Claude Riglemon.

Previously, the town discussed attaining the services of a different assessor.

Rigleman started with an overview of where the town is now.

“The last time we did a reassessment was about 10 years ago,” said Riglemon. “Subsequently, a lot of things have changed.”

One big change, was mapping. Riglemon says when he started, there was one section mapped. Since that time, the entire community has been mapped and there are aerial overlays.

Riglemon says some properties could be reclassified and gave specific examples of properties.

“As far as reassessing the entire community, you are under no compliance issues with the state at this time,” said Riglemon.

He says statistical numbers are spreading out because of time but says he doesn’t see anything upside-down internally.

Brian Guthman, chairman, asked if a complete assessment is needed to change classifications on some properties. Riglemon says it is not.

See LAKE HOLCOMBE TOWN BOARD/ Page 4 Guthman also asked what it would cost to have it redone. Riglemon says a complete walk-through, knocking on every door, would be $54,000.

He estimates there would only be a 75 percent entry rate because of the number of absentee landowners.

“You’re just not going to get into their homes because they aren’t here,” said Riglemon.

Riglemon says what he would do, since he visited all of the homes before, he would suggest new land schedules, new photos of each property and new sketches to look for any changes on those properties. From there, he suggested making an effort to enter homes where it appears there has been a significant amount of remodeling. Riglemon says that would cost about $36,000.

Olson said that version seems reasonable to do.

Riglemon says he can use existing data and review it in the field, on site.

“If something like that interests you, typically what I like to do is start in the fall prior to the re-evaluation year, where I can get leaf-off photographs,” said Riglemon, explaining he doesn’t have the canopy obscuring the view.

Clerk Tracey Larson asked, if the town agreed to do the evaluation this fall, if the billing would land in 2020 or 2021.

Riglemon said, for the fieldwork in the fall, it would only be a small portion of the overall cost, about $5,000, with the rest in 2021.

“I think we should wait a month and maybe do a little research,” said Guthman, adding he would like to call other places and see what they charge for a complete walkthrough before making a decision.

The others agreed they should at least check with other assessors and add the item to the next agenda.

In other business, the members assigned the town chairman as supervisor of the town employees. Guthman explained it is current practice but they want to put it on the books, since they are not sure it was ever officially designated before.

During the chairman’s report, Guthman said he plans to rework a letter informing people of upcoming right-of-way work for road construction projects, especially concerning cutting trees in right-of-ways along people’s yards.

“I thought it was a good idea because it cuts down on the amount of calls I get,” said Guthman.

Olson also suggested putting the letter on the town’s website.