William Duncan sworn in
By Pete Smith
The Village of Nelsonville unveiled its annual budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year at the start of last Monday’s (April 16) monthly Village Board meeting. Village residents will see an increase of approximately 1.3 percent, as the tax rate adjusts from the current 5.46271 to 5.50531. The total amount to be raised through taxes in the new budget is $250,140, compared to $246,909 for the current budget cycle. The causes for the increase highlighted at the meeting were: increased costs for the contract with the Cold Spring Fire Company, the cost increase for refuse and recycling services and the anticipated expenditures for roadwork proposed for Healy Road. The one bright spot announced by Village Clerk Pauline Minners is that an MTA payroll tax, an item on the village budget since 2009, has been rescinded, creating an unspecified savings to the village.
During the budget examination, Mayor Corless took a moment to acknowledge departing trustee, Pete Tomann, who was in attendance. “Reviewing this [budget], I’d like to thank former trustee Tomann,” he said, “He put a lot of work into this, projecting things out for a couple of years, since we’ve had some significant financial bills. Thanks Pete.”
Just after acknowledging Tomann, Mayor Corless was made aware that William Duncan, the person sitting to his left on the dais, had not actually been officially sworn in as Nelsonville’s newest trustee. After a moment was devoted to a bit of ceremony, it was on to business as usual. Well, almost. At the meeting’s eight minute mark, the Mayor jokingly turned to Trustee Duncan and wryly asked, “Well, have you gotten anything done since your swearing in?”
One agenda item was the request from the Nelsonville Fish and Fur Club for a bow-hunting training facility. Mayor Corless said he had been in communication with the Open Space Institute, (OSI) which manages the leased-land where the facility would be located and that OSI is generally receptive to the idea, provided the contract between the Village and OSI is rewritten to reflect the land’s change of use. Trustee Ande Merante voiced concerns about the safety of such a facility. Referring to the likelihood of school children walking through the area in question, Merante said “Well, I have a real problem with that. We know that kids are in that area all the time. Whether they [OSI] have an area that’s heavily protected with warnings about its use, that’s got to be looked into.” Corless assured Merante that site safety concerns would be addressed during a planned meeting with OSI on April 23.
During the public comment period, resident Makaria Gallagher voiced her concern that the Village was using an area off Secor Street to dump refuse and Christmas trees, causing not only a visual deterioration of the area but a fire hazard, as evergreen trees dry out and become kindling. After being assured by board members that the Village does not uses that area for dumping trees except on a temporary basis immediately following the holidays, the focus changed to signage, with a suggestion from Gallagher that “No Dumping” signs be posted. She was given assurances that the issue would be addressed.
Photo by P.Smith