Supervisor Randall Douglas said at the Jay Town Board’s Aug. 11 meeting the new statewide 2 percent property tax cap will likely require budget cuts in Jay.
“We’re going to be looking at some tough decisions,” Douglas said. “It’s cutting services or overriding the tax cap.”
The supervisor said he hadn’t thought installing the cap was a good idea.
“Everyone wants property tax relief until it affects one of the programs they rely on heavily,” the Douglas said, adding that he was not in favor of overriding the cap though.
Douglas and Susan Richards, the town budget officer and the supervisor’s confidential clerk, will be going to a conference with the New York state comptroller in Plattsburgh on Aug. 25.
In other regular business:
•Councilman Gerald Hall expressed safety concerns about the John Fountain Road detour to be used while Rt. 9 is closed for culvert replacement. The state department of transportation will be working on the project from Aug. 15 to Sep. 1.
Hall said, for instance, if in an emergency a firetruck was taking the road at the same time as a tractor trailer, the situation could have tragic results.
“It’s a recipe for disaster by putting everything on that one road,” Hall said.
Douglas agreed it was a public safety concern, and the board would continue to monitor it. If there is a problem, the board would have to reevaluate the situation.
“I hammer away at the DOT non-stop,” Douglas said, adding that now the department was finally doing repairs, he didn’t want to continue to be very critical as he didn’t want to give the impression he was impossible to please.
The original detour route bypassed Jay, sending traffic down Bonnieview Road, over to Silver Lake, and into Ausable Forks, according to the supervisor. Douglas asked Chris Garrow, head of the town highway and public works department, to examine John Fountain Road to see if it could handle the appropriate traffic.
The DOT’s policy is to use only state and sometimes county roads for detours.
“But they understand our concern,” Douglas. “Their detour route now is John Fountain Road. They have changed all their signage, all their detour maps. They’ve sent it to the media. They’ve been in contact with all emergency personnel.”
Douglas also said that in his experience, DOT adds extra days to their project’s schedule in case of contingencies. So he thought the work would be completed in a shorter amount of time than the currently planned 18 days.
•Douglas said the town’s food pantry supply drive has been going really well.
“We were getting very, very low,” the supervisor said. “You would not believe the food that’s come in the last few days.”
•A resolution was passed to allow the supervisor to work with the help of the Essex County Planning Office to apply for a $400,000 parks and recreation grant to upgrade the youth facilities in the Grove.