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Easton Sets Mill Rate Despite Property Debate

The Board of Finance set Easton’s mill rate at 22.95, a 2.46 percent tax increase, on Thursday night.

The board had delayed setting the mill rate because of confusion over how a payment was to be made on a South Park Avenue property.

A total of $115,000 is available in the special revenue account for South Park, which consists of funds received from the New England Prayer Center for its lease and option extensions to purchase the property. The town owes $307,500 for the first principal payment on the property, and Treasurer John Campbell said he "assumed the in lieu of funds would be available" to cover the difference. The Board of Finance will meet June 7 to discuss how the money will be appropriated.

Gowan Dacey of Easton advised the Board of Finance on Thursday night to "get out of" its agreement with the Prayer Center and guaranteed the town would lose at least $2.5 million in this deal.

"The New England Prayer Center never intended to buy the property, and it never will buy the property. It's not going to happen," Dacey said. "[It's a] $6 million gaping mess in our financial structure. ... We're going to lose our shirts. It was a bad choice, and it remains a bad choice."

What do you think the town should do about the South Park Avenue property?

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