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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

1 + 3 = 5

So Councilman Payne has done his homework and decided that it will save money to close the Kellogg Road Community Center, a building that is often used as a meeting room by non-profits, as well as a polling place [Wonder where Ward 1 residents will have to travel to in order to vote in the Feb. 2008 Presidential Primary?], Board of Assessment Review and to house birthday parties, etc. and Supervisor Reed is quoted as saying "when you can't raise taxes further, you try to cut costs".

We are all for cutting costs, Supervisor Reed, but why not tell people about the declining revenues due to signed contracts with other municipalities for 911 service. Isn't it ironic that you weren't thinking about the taxpayers when you signed 911 service contracts.

2006 was the last budget from the Ralph Humphreys contracted revenue for 911 service was $22,963. Earle Reed becomes Supervisor Reed, and in the first budget (2007) the town board reduced the contract amount for the Town of New Hartford 911 Dispatch service to NYM, Whitesboro and Yorkville. It is particularly odd that in May 2006 a new Dispatch contract was negotiated and approved by the New Hartford Town Board that will cost New Hartford taxpayers substantially more and yet according to the 2007 Final Budget that was passed by the town board in November 2006, the contracted amounts for each of the other municipalities is reduced leaving Town of New Hartford taxpayers to pick up the additional cost of the 911 Dispatch. Why, Supervisor Reed? If you didn't reduce the amount of the contracts, did the other municipalities threaten to stop using our 911 service and instead use Oneida County 911 services that everyone already pays for anyway? In short, Town of New Hartford taxpaying residents are subsidizing program participants. Why? Looks like you were more concerned about cutting costs to other municipalities than worrying about Town of New Hartford taxpayers.

That $2,963 loss in revenue for 911 service would have paid for the utilities at the Kellogg Road Community Center, so we suspect there is another reason for closing that building.

In the November 8, 2007 Observer Dispatch, Jerome Donovan is quoted as saying, "the building is an eyesore in the town's redevelopment plan and occupies valuable commercial property." That's a funny statement coming from a Planning Board member. The Kellogg Road Community Center occupies a small part of the land where the police station is located. Without the land that the police station is on, the land for the Community Center is useless. Even with the police station land, it is debatable what kind of commercial enterprise would be allowed on that property due to Codes restrictions and the fact that the new owner of 1 Oxford Crossing (as did the previous owners) has a lease for the use of some of the town land behind the police station.

Some people seem to have an "inside track" as to what is really being planned for Kellogg Road Community Center. Obviously, saving taxpayer money in the Town of New Hartford isn't paramount under the Earle Reed administration. We suspect it has more to do with development.

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