February 7, 2013
Essex County Board of Supervisors
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A long-simmering property dispute came to a head last month when lawyers for a local resident filed suit against Essex County ahead of an auction designed to sell off their tax delinquent properties.
Members of the board voted 10-8, or 1,758 to 1,163 in weighted voting, to approve the 2014 spending plan with a tax levy that represents a 13.35-percent increase over the 2013 levy of $16,461,016. The board voted earlier this month to override the New York State tax levy cap.
Supervisor Sharon Boisen asked for a resolution during the Dec. 16 Finance Committee meeting to allow the town of Essex to purchase a property located at 288 School Street from Essex County for the cost of back taxes in the amount of $41,950.32.
The idea to forgive $16,933.01 in back property taxes and turn a portion of the former Frontier Town land to North Hudson was first presented in committee meetings Nov. 18, with discussion continuing during the Nov. 25 Ways and Means Committee meeting.
The decision on who will install new mobile radios in the county’s emergency vehicles was temporarily put on hold Nov. 25 so both businesses looking for the contract could speak to the board.
The board voted at its Dec. 2 regular meeting to override the New York State tax levy cap which County Manager Daniel Palmer said calculated to just over two percent for the 2014 spending plan.
The head of the Essex County Budget sub-committee outlined steps the county could take to curtail spending. Lewis Supervisor David Blades, who led the break-off council of the Finance Committee, reported their findings to the members of the Board of Supervisors during a special Nov. 18 meeting.
Members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors put the wheels in motion to override New York State’s two percent tax levy cap during a special meeting Nov. 18.
Members of the board approved scheduling the annual public hearing for the county budget during its Nov. 4 regular board meeting. The hearing will take place on Monday, Nov. 25, at 7 p.m. at the Old County Courthouse in Elizabethtown. The regular monthly meeting of the Ways and Means Committee will be held before the hearing at 6 p.m. (normally held at 10 a.m.).
During their Oct. 21 meeting, committee members voted to seek bids for preparing the 2009, 2010 and 2011 tax sale of properties that are not paid up on property taxes.
The Essex County Board of Supervisors officially approved a request from the two towns during its monthly meeting Oct. 7 to contract with Wainwright, a county employee in the Real Property Services Department, to serve as the sole assessor for the municipalities on a one-year trial run.
Taking care of 26 horses can be an expensive proposition, one that members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors debated during its Oct. 7 regular board meeting.
Department Director John O’Neill spoke to members of the Human Services Committee during its Sept. 9 meeting about offering department employees a four day work week.
Commissioners Allison McGahay and Mark Whitney spoke with members of the Essex County Public Safety Committee Sept. 9 about new polling rules put in place by the state.
Members of the county Board of Supervisors voted 17-0 during a special meeting Aug. 26 to increase their share of the sales tax from 3.75 percent to 4.00 percent. The increase brings the total sales tax figure to 8.0 percent with state and county combined. Westport Supervisor Dan Connell was unable to attend the meeting.
As the summer months wind down, officials from a pair of organizations that promote tourism in the region spoke about the year and the impacts of the business locally.
Members of the Essex County Personnel Committee talked about increasing the amount a person would pay to take the state exam required for those who apply to be employed by the county.
During the July 8 Human Services Committee meeting, Scozzafava again brought up the topic of having any apartment rented out to those using financial assistance from the county being required to have a certificate of occupancy.
Current Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley and her predecessor, Noel Merrihew, each filed party-designating petitions for the Nov. 5 General Election with the Essex County Board of Elections, two of more than 130 filed before the July 11 close of business deadline.
Only one of the 13 towns that filed end-of-the-year reports with the New York State office of the Comptroller was designated for having some level of financial stress.
Full board approval sought July 1
The proposal, which would be Local Law No. 3 of 2013, would call for a fee of $5 per year to register private vehicles and $10 per year to register commercial vehicles in Essex County.
Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava voiced concerns over DEC burning regulations during the May 20 DPW Committee meeting.
No one spoke against Essex County’s proposal to move the last call at local bars from 4 to 3 a.m. during a public forum at the old county courthouse June 13. In fact, most of the attendees said closing bars down at 2 a.m. would be more appropriate.
Dennis Rosen, the Chairman of the New York State Liquor Authority, will be holding a public hearing on Thursday, June 13 at 6 p.m. to elicit comments on the question of whether the changes in closing hours as outlined in the resolution by the Essex County Board of Supervisors should be approved. The meeting will be held in the Board of Supervisors Chambers.
Members of the DPW Committee exchanged ideas for needed work on the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building in Westport during its May 20 meeting.
Social Services Director John O’Neill briefed members of the Human Services Committee about the Armed Intruder Response Policy that was drafted with input from several department heads and research on similar policies in other counties.
The Board of Supervisors voted to add $40,000 from contingency to an existing $20,000 budgeted to hold a hazardous waste disposal day at two sites in the county.
While there was little opposition to changing the rules for alcohol sales during the Essex County Board of Supervisors meeting May 6, most of the discussion focused on a change to when it could be sold on a specific day.
The resolution in support of changing the hours in which an establishment can sell alcohol from 4 a.m. to 3 a.m. passed through the committee, 13-2, making its way to a weighted full board vote May 6.
Work on the new radio tower on Little Whiteface will move forward after concerns over the mating habits of an endangered bird were raised last week.
Essex County is joining with its neighbors to keep invasive plant species out of Lake George.
Taxpayers with a Basic STAR exemption will have to register with the state in order to continue receiving the discount in 2014.
The Essex County Board of Supervisors approved a new three-year contract with members of the County Chapter of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA).
Essex County Lawmakers have come up with a compromise when it comes to the matter of when “closing time” will be here. Members of the Public Safety Committee voted April 8 to turn back the clock on the time bars and restaurants can serve alcohol — from 4 a.m. until 3 a.m. Last month, the committee tabled a resolution that would have moved last call up to 2 a.m.
Jay Supervisor and Essex County Board Chairman Randy Douglas said March 25 that he sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking him if Essex County would be a candidate for one of three gaming facilities proposed to be built in upstate New York earlier this year.
During the March 18 Personnel Committee meeting, North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi said he hoped the county would work quickly to hold that tax sale due to the need for revenue in the county.
Meeting set for 6 p.m.
Essex County Lawmakers will decide today if their voice will join the growing number of counties that have called for state legislators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to re-think the SAFE Act.
While plans for the 165th annual Essex County Fair are well into the works, the fate of future fairs may be up to the Essex County budget committee.
Members of the Public Services Committee moved a resolution on to Ways and Means which would guarantee that any employee who needed a ride home in case of an emergency would have one.
Essex County Department of Public Health Director Linda Beers told members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors March 4 that the town of Wilmington would be receiveing a detector as part of $26,000 in funding through the Creating Healthy Places Grant Program.
During the Feb. 25 Ways and Means Committee meeting, the board passed a resolution to bid for installation and programming of all mobile radios throughout the county-wide radio system. During the discussion, Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said he had talked with DPW head Anthony LaVigne about county employees doing the installation.
Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman Randy Douglas thinks the fight to raise the county's share of the local sales tax to 4 percent may be starting to turn in the county's favor.
Director Patty Bashaw told members of the Human Services Committee Feb. 11 that she was preparing to go to towns and senior organizations to talk about the office and their role in the county.
Essex County will look at funding the instillation and programming for new mobile radio units for county fire departments as part of the new radio system project.
The Essex County Board of Supervisors will continue to use its legal counsel for the radio project through the end of the year.
The Adirondack Regional Employees Assistance representative for New York state may be looking to move his office to Lewis.