Chatham adds to oversight of village spending

CHATHAM–The Village Board made changes to the procurement policy at the October 11 meeting. The board changed the job title under Documentation Delivery from “procurement officials” to “department heads” and required the list of procurement officials to be updated annually at that April Organizational Meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Department heads must “attest to the delivery of commodities or services through vendors awarded bids, and also for purchases of a general nature below bid standard.” The policy continues, “Such documentation must be presented to the Village Treasurer.”

The board has also made changes to the accounting processes since August, when it was discovered that the village owed over $52,000 to the IRS. The village treasurer resigned in July and the board appointed its accountant as treasurer on August 17. At the August meeting Mayor Tom Curran said “The trustees are far more engaged” in the villages accounting process now. Representatives from the state Comptroller’s Office came to the village over the summer to do a risk assessment. The Village Board is still waiting to hear back from the state about an audit.

Village Clerk Debra Meyers said at the October meeting that she and the village treasurer, as well as the village’s attorney, have reviewed the changes to the procurement policy.

The board also discussed changing the monthly meeting dates from Thursdays to Mondays so that Village Attorney Ken Dow can attend. On the second Thursday of the month, when the Village Board meets, Mr. Dow attends the meeting of another municipality he represents.

The board discussed moving Chatham’s monthly meeting to the second Monday of the month, with a workshop meeting on the fourth. Mayor Curran asked board members to think about the change.

This was the first board meeting for newly appointed board member Pete Minahan. The mayor appointed Mr. Minahan in September to take the place of Gunnar Wordon, who resigned due to school commitments. Mayor Curran welcomed Mr. Minahan to the board.

“I look forward to giving back to the village,” Mr. Minahan said.

Also at the meeting:

• Leaf pick-up has started as of Monday, October 15. DPW Foremen Phil Genovese said his crews had been working at the site of the village reservoir to help with the new water storage tank project

• Assistant Fire Chief John Howe talked to the board about a budget meeting he attended with the Town of Chatham. The towns of Chatham, Ghent and Kinderhook budget funding for the village Fire Company. Mr. Howe stressed that all the other fire companies the Town of Chatham supports are private companies. Chatham is a municipal fire company that is a department in the Village of Chatham. The village purchases all the equipment and trucks for the company.

“We budget and tax for it,” said Mayor Curran, referring to the fire company. He said anything the town gives the department helps to reduce costs for the village. Mr. Howe said he also met with the supervisor of the Town of Ghent about the fire company’s budget and said “Supervisor Benvenuto is very, very pleased.”

He also said that the Town of Kinderhook recently increased funding for the Chatham Fire Company

• Police Chief Peter Volkmann announced that there will be a medication drop-off day in the village October 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In his report he wrote, “We are part of a national law enforcement effort to properly dispose of unwanted medications. Last year 950,000 lbs was disposed of by the DEA.” He also told the board that he and Lieutenant Joseph Alessi, representing the Chatham Cares 4U (CC4U) program, were invited to a Working Strategies meeting on the national opioid crisis at the White House. He said that at this time 206 people have found treatment through CC4U program

• The board approved closing Kinderhook Street from Park Row to Woodbridge Avenue on October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for trick-or-treaters.

The next board meeting will be November 8 at 7 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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