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Board debates loader purchases

St. Armand supervisor Joyce Morency said she would support the resolution because she felt the DPW is stretched out financially as is.

"The first person that is always asked to cut in the budget is the DPW," Morency said. "Repairs cost a fortune, so I am going to support this because these machines also provide for our towns as well as the county."

Moriah supervisor Tom Scozzafava wondered if the loaders should stay in the county's hands for more time.

"The more we talk about this, the harder it gets for me to support this because if these loaders are in such great shape, then why are we looking at replacing them?"

County Manager Daniel Palmer said the loaders were up for resale now because after five years in service, which they are entering into, they start to lose resale value, making now the best time to look for replacements and to trade the current set.

"If the department head says that we need new equipment, then I don't see why we shouldn't follow that recommendation," North Elba supervisor and county vice-chairman Robert Politi said. Scozzafava brought up the notion of using fund balance to pay for the new equipment, but Palmer said the county should hold on to its funds as he was concerned rainy days were ahead.

"You may need it to add to the general fund if we are dealing with a property tax cap like the governor is proposing," Palmer said. "You have to be very careful right now with how you use that fund balance."

The full county board will meet Friday, Feb. 4, at 10 a.m. in the old county courthouse. There will be no other committee meetings throughout the month of February as supervisors will be attending several conferences on town and county matters.

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