By Katina Caraganis
TOWNSEND — On the recommendation of Board of Assessors member Niles Busler, selectmen Tuesday night voted not to change their tax classification for fiscal 2011.
The town has a single tax rate of $15.74 per $1,000 of assessed property value for both residential and commercial properties.
According to Busler, the town is 92 percent residential and in order to change the residential tax base by 50 cents per $1,000, town officials would have to double the amount of commercial and industrial space in town.
“We recommend to classify all (property) at the same rate,” Busler said.
According to Town Assessor Vicki Tidman, a public hearing must be held every year to determine if a split tax rate would benefit the town.
“A split tax rate wouldn’t make sense in Townsend,” Tidman said.
In other business, selectmen heard from police Lt. David Profit about new police policies and procedures the department is looking to implement as part of the process of acquiring accreditation.
Profit said it’s not uncommon for departments not to be accredited or be in the process of becoming accredited by the state.
The town began the process three years ago, and brought 10 policies before the board, including those on domestic violence, elder abuse, handling of juveniles and employee fraternization, among others.
“These 10 policies were negotiated with the Police Department unions and we’ve received lots of input from police officers,” Profit explained. “We wanted to keep them involved. They’ve all done a good job in drafting policies.”
He said another 45 will go before the board for approval.
“That will bring us up to where we need to be to start scheduling certification assessments,” Profit told the board.
Once the department is fully accredited, it must be reaccredited every three years, but the basic policies and procedures will already be in place, Profit noted.