Notes from the town of Hamilton May meeting

Submitted by Councilwoman Chris Rossi

Town Assessor Rochelle Harris spoke about the need for an update on the valuation of property in the town. Currently the town is undervalued at 91.5 percent, which impacts the amount of revenue we receive from the county. The last revalue was done in 2011, and there is a growing gap between assessed value and sale value of houses. The goal is to keep the assessment within 95 to 100 percent of sale value. Rochelle is consulting with an outside professional about best timing for assessment update, perhaps waiting until 2020. If the town moves forward with the update, there will be educational outreach to the public.

The Highway Department has been making general repairs – ditching, trimming, taking down trees. The village of Hamilton is planning to purchase our 2010 International truck. The county paid $177,815 for plowing by the town, with our crew plowing more than 9,400 miles during the 2018-19 winter season.

Town Clerk Sue Reymers and Deputy Clerk Elisa Robertson attended state Clerks Association conference in Syracuse.

The Town Office Building Committee will have a kick-off meeting with the contractor who submitted the winning bid with a building cost of $527,380; work should start by the end of May.

The Hamilton Climate Preparedness Working Group continues work toward creating a Climate Action Plan and achieving bronze certification. The town and village will work with a summer fellow from Upstate Institute to log our actions on our Climate Smart Communities portal.

The town passed a resolution for placement of recycle bins wherever there is a trash bin at the town office. The town office now takes small household batteries for recycling. Visit the Madison County website or town office to learn more about recycling updates from the county, as there have been significant changes in the recycling market.

The Hamilton Area Anti-Racism Coalition presented a statement against discrimination which was subsequently adopted by the Town Council through a resolution: “The Town of Hamilton, New York, commits to be a welcoming community and to recognize the right of individuals to live their lives with dignity, free of discrimination based on their race, religion, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, national origin or immigration status. We therefore denounce all ideologies based on hatred and intolerance, and further condemn every group that espouses and actively promotes ideologies of hate.”

The Town Council approved an agreement with the Poolville Community Center to assist with its parking lot project and prepare the lot for paving. The Center is used by the town for public meetings, the winter market and voting.

The Symphoria concert on Hamilton Village green is scheduled for July 11, so that month’s Town Council meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, instead.

Supervisor Eve Ann Shwartz co-hosted a public meeting at the Hamilton Central School May 2 with Senator Rachel May to hear about the problems residents are having with local broadband service providers. May will be introducing a bill to provide funding for the development of municipal broadband projects to help with these issues.

The County Public Utilities Committee is developing a proposal to improve broadband access and 911 tower communications in Madison County. The committee will be selecting an experienced telecommunications consultant to initiate the first phase of project. Visit the town website to get information and share concerns about poor internet and phone service.

The Hamilton Town Council meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Thursday of the month at the village courthouse in the village of Hamilton. The next meeting is June 13. We invite and encourage you to join us. For more information visit townofhamiltonny.org.

Editor’s note: Chris Rossi is a member of the Hamilton Town Council.

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