Westport Supervisor Dan Connell and Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley have been discussing their options as the three towns have been working together as a sole assessing municipality.
Photo by Keith Lobdell.
Elizabethtown Supervisors Dan Connell of Westport and Margaret Bartley of Elizabethtown are ready again to talk about hiring the county for their towns’ assessor services.
In May, Connell presented a resolution to the board that would have authorized a contract between the county and the towns of Westport, Elizabethtown and Willsboro for assessor services. After some debate, the resolution was tabled.
Connell came back to the table with a new version of the proposal during the Sept. 15 finance committee meeting, with only two of the original three towns — Westport and Elizabethtown — seeking to contract with Essex County.
“Westport and Elizabethtown would enter into a contract for assessing services with Essex County for one year,” Connell said. “We would pay at a rate of $14 per parcel for the year, and the whole program would be evaluated at the end of the year.”
Connell said the plan would require a member of the Real Property Office that is also certified by the state as an assessor to work one day a week in each of the town offices throughout the year trial. A part-time employee would be hired by the county to fill in when the assessor was away from the county offices.
Financially, the county would receive roughly $15,600 in revenue, Connell said, along with the potential for additional funding from the state. Each town would also see a benefit as they would save roughly $3,500 under the proposed system.
“We are asking the board to give us an opportunity to try this,” Connell said. “Real property tax would be hiring a part-time person at 19 hours a week. They would be told up front that this is a one-year, part-time position. It gives our two towns an opportunity for a year to look at other options as well.”