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Essex County washes their hands of Bookmobile

Public Safety Committee chairman Randy Preston listens as Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish talks about turning the former Bookmobile into a mobile communications headquarters.

Public Safety Committee chairman Randy Preston listens as Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish talks about turning the former Bookmobile into a mobile communications headquarters.

— The Essex County Board of Supervisors will not be part of the future of the former Bookmobile.

Members of the Public Safety Committee voted 7-0 Aug. 13 to relinquish all rights to the former mobile library for the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, giving Franklin and Clinton counties the right to move to create a mobile communications center without them.

The vote came after the original resolution to support the mobile command center was defeated, 4-3, with supervisors again calling on the library organization to use the sale of the Bookmobile to fund their programs.

“That vehicle belongs to the library,” Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said. “They should keep it, sell it and offset their funds. Would it be nice to have, yes. Can we fund it, no.”

“Here they have this asset that they can sell to get some money and instead, they will be in here again asking for money at budget time,” Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston said.

“This should be used to offset the costs of their budget,” Westport Supervisor Daniel Connell said. “They have $100,000 sitting there. Why can't they do something to positively affect their budget instead of negatively affecting our budget. If they can sell it, then they are going to put a lot of money into their budget and they will not have to come back to us for more money.”

“If they want to get rid of the bus and then to come back here and ask for more money is a call that they will have to make,” North elba Supervisor Roby Politi said.

Preston added that the organization should not expect any additional funding from the county, and may be lucky to see their funding even remain level.

“Essex County does not have the money to pay for this,” Preston said. “We have preliminary budget numbers for this year, and it is very bleak to see where we may be going. I think that this budget is going to be a bigger challenge than last year.”

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