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Tusten fined for 2011 late payments

By Fritz Mayer
February 22, 2012

According to a letter read at the Tusten Town Board meeting on February 13, the town has been fined $3,860.70 in penalties and interest for late payments of withholding tax of town employees.

Supervisor Carol Wingert read the letter aloud to the board, and detailed six different payments that were filed and/or paid late resulting in the interest and penalties. Wingert said she talked with an official in Albany who said there was a possibility that some of the penalties may be abated, but none of the interest.

The payments were made by former supervisor Peg Harrison, when she and the board were involved in a protracted conflict over who would have authority over hiring a town bookkeeper, and Harrison was acting as both supervisor and bookkeeper.

In other board matters, council member Andrea Reynosa reported that The Narrowsburg Big Eddy Esplanade Selection Committee had reached a conclusion about a recommendation to the board regarding an engineering firm to draw up plans for the esplanade project. The choice of the committee was the Chazen Companies, which has an office in Poughkeepsie.

Board member Norman Meyer said the vote on the selection of the committee should be tabled until all of the property owners that will be directly impacted by the project sign off on the deal. The vote was tabled and the matter referred to the town attorney; it will be dealt with again at a meeting on February 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Additionally, the board voted on a resolution regarding “paper roads” in the town, which were created on paper about 160 years ago, but were never actually constructed. The existence of the phantom roads complicates the sale of real estate properties. The board voted to contact adjoining property owners to see if there was interest in purchasing them for three cents per square foot. The buyers would also have to pay surveying and other legal costs. The town would retain any water and sewer easements on the paper roads.

Finally, the board voted to adopt a Climate Smart Communities resolution, which commits the town to a number of initiatives regarding global climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. Initiatives include such things as pledging that any new public buildings will achieve a “minimum U.S. Green Building Council Leadership and Energy and Environmental Design Standards (LEED Silver).” Adopting the resolution will make allow the town to apply for related grants in the future.