Taghkanic faces major expenses

TAGHKANIC–At last week’s town board meeting Erik Tyree was appointed to the previously unfilled position of non-voting deputy supervisor. The appointed was made in accordance with the wishes of town Supervisor Betty Young, who is not able to come to meetings due to medical problems.

Mr. Tyree, who ran unsuccessfully last fall on the Republican ticket for a seat on the Town Board and was involved in his party’s challenge to absentee ballots cast by second home owners, will chair the meetings in the absence of Ms. Young.

Board member Joyce Thompson, who recently took a course sponsored by the Office of the State Comptroller and the New York Association of Towns on required fiscal practices for town boards, said at the meeting that she believes the town’s bookkeeping has made oversight by the board difficult if not impossible. She questioned whether the town has enough money to fund some of the major expenses it faces this year, including construction of a shed for road salt, estimated to cost between $50,000 and $100,000. Failure to build the shed to prevent the salt from polluting local groundwater will put the town at risk of being fined by the state for up to $5,000 a day.

The town also needs to replace at least two dump trucks at a total cost of around $300,000 for second-hand vehicles, and it must hire a professional planner for the newly formed Zoning Commission, at an estimated cost of up to $25,000.  And these are in addition to the routine costs of running the town.

Town officials plan to have a special meeting later this month with the town’s bookkeeper to try to sort out its finances. A call to the state comptroller’s office reveals that Taghkanic’s books have not been audited by the state since before 2005.

The town is seeking an alternate for the Zoning Board of Appeals, following the resignation of Erin Goldman. There are also two openings for members of the Zoning Commission, which recently received letters of resignation from Alice Platt and Harriet Shur. This week’s meeting of the Zoning Commission was postponed until June 28.

Reporting for this article includes information from an audio recording of the meeting provided by Taghkanic Neighbors, a town civic organization. 

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