Tarantino resigns as CDC chairman

 VOICE OF REASON — Mike Tarantino, who is stepping away from 16 years of active committee work on Bridgton economic issues, delivered a detailed report to selectmen Tuesday after researching the town’s tax-acquired properties.

VOICE OF REASON — Mike Tarantino, who is stepping away from 16 years of active committee work on Bridgton economic issues, delivered a detailed report to selectmen Tuesday after researching the town’s tax-acquired properties. (Geraghty Photo)

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

When tempers flare and reason flies out the window, Mike Tarantino can be counted on to cool things down. Bridgton Town Manager Mitch Berkowitz said Tuesday he has watched Tarantino be “placed in a vice” between opposing factions of local politics many times, and each time Tarantino has responded with the voice of reason.

“He always approaches issues with the good of the community in mind, and what is the most judicious action to be taken,” Berkowitz said, as Tarantino’s letter of resignation from the Community Development Committee was read into the record.

Tarantino, who chairs the CDC and has been actively involved in Bridgton’s economic and community development issues for 16 years, will ask for a new chairman to be elected at the next CDC meeting. He said he will stay on the committee until Jan. 1, 2014 for purposes of transition, but after that, he’ll be done.

“The only reason for this decision is that it is time,” Tarantino said in his letter, read by Selectman Chairman Doug Taft. “Someone once told me that if you give of your time, you also give part of your life. If this is true then I had given about 16 years of my life,” Taft read from the letter.

Tarantino, sitting as usual in the audience, listened appreciatively as selectmen, in turn, expressed their gratitude and appreciation for all of the work he’s done for the town over the years.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working on two boards with this extremely talented man,” said Selectman Ken Murphy of Tarantino. Murphy said Bridgton has been “blessed” that Tarantino chose Bridgton as his place to live after retirement.

Tarantino was an active member of the former Economic Development Committee before it became the CDC, and has provided continuity throughout the years, as other members came and went. “It has been a great experience and a worthwhile endeavor,” Tarantino wrote. “I leave this all with only respect and praise for all the people that I have had to deal with, for I have been treated with professionalism at all times.”

Tax-Acquired Report

Later in the meeting, businesslike as ever, Tarantino came to the mic to report that the CDC had completed its review of 10 tax-acquired properties as requested by selectmen. Tarantino and fellow CDC members Dave Crowell, Nelle Ely and Chuck Renneker each visited at least two of the parcels, to review whether the town might have an interest in retaining any of the properties for town purposes. Also making site visits were Code Enforcement Officer Robbie Baker and Director of Planning, Economic and Community Development Anne Krieg.

The CDC recommended that all but two of the parcels be sold by the town at a live auction. Berkowitz followed up the report by recommending that a minimum price be set, and thanked Tarantino for researching the amount of back taxes owed on each. The properties proposed for sale at auction are as follows:

• Sanctuary Cove — Map 9/Lot 12A. Located on Wildwood Road, the lot has development potential for one or two house lots. Back taxes are $3,605, assessed value is $28,000, and suggested price is $6,000.

• Seven acres on Sunnybook Farm — Map 19A/Lot 46. Part of a subdivision, possibility of 1-4 lots. Back taxes are $3,607, assessed value is $39,084, suggested price $9,000.

• Landlocked parcel off Wildwood and Misty Meadow Lane — Map 9/Lot 20. Could be further subdivided, offered for sale to abutting property owner. Back taxes are $720, assessed value $9,156, suggested price $2,500.

• 64 acres off of Carissa Drive — Map 8/Lot 10. Future residential development, with likely Pleasant Mountain views. Back taxes are 5,110, assessed value $72,540, suggested price $22,900. Berkowitz indicated it may be wise to hold off selling this until the market improves.

• Large parcel on undeveloped (paper access) portion of Carissa Drive — Map 8/Lot 23D. Likely views of Pleasant Mountain, access would need to be brought in. Back taxes $4,832, assessed value $65,600, suggested price $31,900.

• Undeveloped land on Kansas Road — Map 6/Lot 33. Deed research needed to determine if parcel has deeded access to lake, which would greatly influence value. Back taxes $2,361, assessed value $40,936, suggested price $12,900.

• Small legally nonconforming lot on South Bridgton Road — Map 5/Lot 31. Abandoned septic and well, approved for two-bedroom house. Back taxes $1,910, assessed value $32,232, suggested price $10,900.

• House with garage on Pond Road — Map 25/Lot 18-2. Needs work. Back taxes $5,943, assessed value $120,261, suggested price $39,900.

• Undeveloped lot on lower part of Main Street — Map 24/Lot 72. Portion of lot subject to Shoreland Zoning from stream across street. Back taxes $1,008, assessed value $16,051, suggested price $5,299.

Berkowitz said he hopes to conduct the auctions in mid-October.

 

 

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