Easements for Manchester Water Works to be considered by city officials
Tonight’s meeting gets underway at 6 p.m. in the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall.
Water Works owns 7,200 acres in the Lake Massabesic watershed, 4,000 acres of it in Auburn. Under state law, a water district is liable for the amount of property tax a private owner would pay on the same land. The agreement negotiated calls for the bill paid by Water Works to drop from $680,000 this year to $300,000 over a five-year period.
Auburn had claimed the right to bill Manchester $825,000 under a state law that allows the land to be taxed at the average assessment rate for similar land. Water Works Commission members argued against the bill, saying it shouldn’t pay the same rate as owners of property that could be developed, because the commission is charged with ensuring the land remains undeveloped to protect the water supply from contamination.
One of the easement requests up for discussion tonight involve a 25-foot right of way, approximately 200 feet long, to enable access to properties where access is now limited by the deficient Griffin Mill Bridge. Auburn agrees to apply to the state’s Department of Transportation (DOT) for bridge reconstruction funds, and the easement will continue until the state approves the bridge reconstruction and work is completed.
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