CHELSEA — Selectmen have agreed to join a nine-town consortium that aims to hire legal counsel to negotiate a franchise contract with Time Warner Cable.

“The attorney will help us negotiation new franchise agreements for all the towns,” Town Manager Scott Tilton said Monday. “Hopefully, they’ll negotiate franchise fees and include access channels so we can broadcast meetings. I think that would be really good for people.”

Tilton said town contracts have either expired or will expire within three years. The consortium — which includes Gardiner, Farmingdale, Hallowell, Pittston, Randolph and Windsor — will split the legal costs, he said.

At their meeting last Wednesday, selectmen also approved a request for proposals for legal services, town auditing and a property tax revaluation.

“Hopefully, we’ll get back some prices (for the revaluation) and make a decision based on the qualifications of the different appraisers,” he said. “We had a good discussion with Mike Rogers of the (state’s) property tax division.

“He explained what kind of language we needed in an RFP, which we had in ours.”

Tilton said language in the request for proposals allows an appraiser to request a copy of a business’s profit and loss statement, which upset some people.

“It doesn’t bind businesses to provide an income statement,” he said. “That’s mostly for multi-apartment buildings and big franchises like McDonalds. (Residents) don’t have to worry as far as their income being made public.”

In other business, selectmen approved a town attorney use policy, the property assessed clean energy ordinance, and adopted a job description for the position of code enforcement officer.

Tilton said the clean energy ordinance, known as PACE, is one that’s been adopted by several towns in the last couple of years.

“By adopting it — and that will be a town meeting vote — we’re allowing people in town to receive low interest loans to make improvements to their homes,” Tilton said. “It’s estimated that they can save up to 40 percent in energy efficiency improvements and it doesn’t cost the town anything.”

The board also approved the Kennebec County Revised Hazard Mitigation Plan Resolution, which the county updates every five years.

Tilton said the resolution lists five areas in town that are flood prone.

“We have five or six roads with undersized culverts. Signing the resolution makes us eligible for Maine Emergency Management grants,” he said. He said that the state and federal government pay 75 percent and the town pays 25 percent and the different jobs will cost between $8,000 and $95,000.”

The roads include Windsor, Nelson, Searles Mills and Beach Street. He said the road committee will review the areas and come up with a priority list.

Tilton said an open house reception will be held at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the Town Office for Code Enforcement Officer Bob St. Pierre, who has been with the town for about 15 years. His last day is Jan. 27.

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663

[email protected]

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