CLAVERACK–Residents of nine parcels on the west side of Route 9H in Claverack may be paying taxes to the wrong fire district, according to former county Fire Coordinator Jim Van Deusen, who brought up the issue during public comment at the Town Board meeting last week.
“Those properties are within the A. B. Shaw Fire District boundaries,” Mr. Van Deusen said at the January 3 meeting. “But they’re paying their taxes to the Churchtown Fire District.”
Mr. Van Deusen and another member of the A. B. Shaw Fire District said they sent a letter to the board in October, but have heard nothing since.
Town Supervisor Robin Andrews says there was a misunderstanding about what the problem was. She believed it was a problem that should be corrected at the county level.
But Mr. Van Deusen said it is a town issue. They are listed under the assessment as going to Churchtown,” he said, adding that the Town Board had to make the change.
Ms. Andrews said that the A.B. Shaw Fire District still receives the funds it requires, because the district requests the amount it needs.
But Mr. Van Deusen said the rest of the taxpayers have to make up the difference to cover what the houses in the nine parcels are paying to the wrong district. He believes the town will have to hold a public hearing before correcting the issue because it will affect the tax rates for the people residing on those parcels.
“It changes their tax rate drastically,” he said. “Our fire district’s rates are a lot higher than what Churchtown gets.”
Town Attorney Robert Fitzsimmons agreed with him, but said, “We’ll have to do a little digging.”
Also at the January 3 board meeting the board:
•Approved a resolution to give the Village of Philmont permission to use the town’s ice skating rink. The town owns the rink that the village would like to set up on Memorial Field. According to Board Member Michael Johnston, the village would maintain the rink under the guidance of Claverack Highway Superintendent Louis Lamont. He said the village will discuss it at the Village Board meeting
•Heard Ms. Andrews announce the resignation of Paul Gundrum from Zoning Board of Appeals. “I’ll accept it with regret and thank him for his service,” said Mr. Johnston
The Claverack Town Board also held its annual organization meeting last week. Among items approved the board:
•Named Robert Fitzsimmons as town attorney to be paid by voucher
•Reappointed Morris Associates as the town engineers
•Appointed Pattison Koskey, Howe & Bucci as the town accounting firm
•Reappointed Frank Clegg chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Stephen Hook chairman of the Planning Board, both for 2013
•Reappointed Steve Melnyk to the Zoning Board of Appeals, and R. Scott Cole to the Planning Board, both through the year 2020
•Reappointed Charles Brewer chairman of the Board of Assessors
•Appointed Bob Preusser as deputy supervisor.
Claverack’s next Town Board meeting is a workshop session Tuesday, January 29, 7p.m. at the Claverack Town Offices. The next regular board meeting is February 14 at 7p.m. at Town Hall.