ELIZABETHTOWN - After several attempts, a scaled-down bond passed through the Essex County Board of Supervisors Feb. 4.
Following over an hour of intense, and sometimes heated, debate, the board passed a resolution to bond for $656,000 to purchase equipment and supplies, including two new loaders and a truck for the department of public works.
The approval came after six rounds of voting on several amendments and changed to the original proposal to bond for $970,000.
Along with DPW equipment, county manager Daniel Palmer said that there were other expenses that needed to be purchased through the bond.
"We are mandated to have a sprinkler system in the Horace Nye Nursing Home by 2013," Palmer said. "We have an item in the resolution to help pay for the engineering study that needs to be done."
Some supervisors were concerned if certain items, such as office materials and lower priced items, should be part of the bond.
"I thought that you could not bond for things like chairs and desks," Westport supervisor Dan Connell said.
"I question some of these items to as if they are absolutely necessary this year," Keene supervisor William Ferebee said.
"I can't believe that we have to bond for a cordless phone," Moriah supervisor Thomas Scozzafava said. "Don't the departments have an operations budget for things like this? The items under $500 should be taken out of this resolution."
"It has always been a question over what can be removed, and it has been that way for the last three years," Palmer replied. "We have some desks and other items that are in very poor condition."
Palmer offered, and the board agreed, to look at a proposal to transfer just over $131,000 from the district attorney's office to pay for the smaller items. The funds would come from money that was budgeted for the expected Thomas Collard trial, funds which were no longer needed after Collard plead in the case, avoiding trial.
The board then made several votes on new resolutions, including removing two of the original four loaders from the bond.
Willsboro supervisor Ed Hatch voted against all resolutions, stating that he did not feel it was the appropriate time to purchase any equipment.