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Foreclosures and land sales could generate town revenue

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SHIRLEY — The town administrator has been seeking feedback from department heads about potential cost-saving initiatives and those suggestions are now being put to use.

Principal Assessor Rebecca Caldbeck told her board about a meeting she attended with other department heads, as well as town administrator Kyle Keady and Selectman Enrico Cappucci.

The group has been meeting bi-weekly, assessor Joseph Saball explained. Some initiatives suggested last month by Keady at a Board of Selectmen meeting include methods to save on energy costs in municipal buildings, he said.

Caldbeck shared with the group several ideas for cost savings and revenue enhancements for the town, she said. She presented a written copy of those ideas at the Board of Assessors March 31 meeting.

One potential revenue source is foreclosure on parcels of land where the town has placed liens for tax-taking purposes, Caldbeck said. The town does not enforce a foreclosure procedure but the tax-taking liens equal approximately $400,000, she pointed out. She cited two examples of land that could be foreclosed upon.

Caldbeck will also be meeting with Conservation administrator Anne Gagnon to review town-owned land that isn’t established as conservation land, to see if any parcels may be sold to generate revenue, she told board members.

“She did say they would be supportive of that,” said Caldbeck.

Some parcels could also be leased, particularly a portion of the land where the Department of Public Works garage is located.

Other suggestions Caldbeck offered include harvesting timber for sale under a forest-cutting plan for town land, selling advertising on the town Web site, and using small air conditioners in the summer rather than the central heating and cooling system installed at the Town Offices.

Additionally, the number of senior work-off program participants has increased to 20, said Saball, and departments should strive to use their services when possible.

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