MOHAWK-Officials hope a revaluation of town parcels will lead to a fairer tax roll as they plan the town's first total reassessment in about 30 years.
The project is set to begin at the end of April and expected to continue for a year, with the new values set by May 2011.
The Town Board voted last week to award Maxwell Appraisal Service of Syracuse the $93,600 contract after interviewing three contractors for the project.
Town residents had a chance to weigh in at the meeting and ask the contractors questions.
"It was pretty much an open forum," said Town Supervisor Greg Rajkowski. "We went to the public and said, 'If it was your choice, who would you vote for?' and they actually said they [liked] the contractor we selected."
Rajkowski said about 10 residents attended the meeting and he thought about 80 percent of town residents he talked to wanted a revaluation while he was campaigning for the supervisor spot last fall.
A public information meeting regarding Mohawk's property revaluation has been scheduled.
When: 7 p.m. April 14.
Where: Town Hall, 2-4 Park St. Fonda.
More information:?Maxwell Appraisal Service, 5320 West Taft Road, North Syracuse, NY 13212, at email@example.com or 1-866-727-2650.
Rajkowski said the town has been preparing for a reassessment the last two years by setting aside $40,000 toward the project each year since the 2008-09 budget. Funds in the upcoming budget will cover the balance of the contract costs.
Maxwell Appraisal appealed to the board with its experienced data collectors and willingness to educate and include the public in the process, Rajkowski said.
"They expressed to us that they would do as many public information meetings as we wanted, so that if anyone in the community asks a question, we all have the same answers," Rajkowski said. "It's everybody's tax dollars. They're going to be educated from the beginning so they don't go into sticker shock when they get the assessment. You have to wait until you see the [tax] rate."
Town Assessor Stella Gittle said the revaluation will create more work at first but will "clean up the records."
Gittle is also an elected assessor in Glen, where brothers Mike and Richard Maxwell worked on a revaluation in 1999 with the company Sabre Systems. Mike Maxwell later started Maxwell Appraisals.
About 2,097 parcels, including land, homes and commercial property, will be reassessed over the next year, according to the Maxwell Appraisal's Web site.
"Once you do this big project, then your current in-house sole assessor can keep you current every year," Rajkowski said.
Residents can fill out revaluation forms electronically by e-mail. Visit www.maxwellvaluation.com for more information.