Glenville Highway Superintendent Richard LeClare is getting his long awaited truck from the town, but how it will be funded is still a question.
At the Wednesday, Sept. 16, Glenville Town Board meeting, a resolution was passed authorizing the Highway Department to make a purchase of a truck for $250,000.
Both Glenville Town Supervisor Frank Quinn and Councilman Chris Koetzle voted against the resolution. They both agreed that while the town needs a new truck, they should wait until the 2010 budget is worked out and they know what the town’s funds will look like.
It doesn’t make any difference whether we do it this meeting or after it is approved in November, Quinn said. `The truck isn’t going to be useful this coming winter, so wait and see.`
Several board members had presented the argument that there was no rush to purchase the truck right away because it wouldn’t make it in time for the winter snow plowing and salting season, and would therefore sit in the Highway Department’s parking lot until the winter of 2010-11. Many thought the town may as well wait until this year’s budget was worked out first.
`It makes no sense to spend this kind of money prior to the budget being done,` said Glenville Town Board Member Chris Koetzle.
`But more so, I thought it was terribly irresponsible to pass a resolution to spend a quarter of a million dollars and not identify how we’re going to pay for it,` said Koetzle, who said that before the town makes a decision to spend any money they should know how they’re going to fund it first.
`My position has been pretty constant through the whole thing. One, I don’t have the level of confidence that we need a truck at this particular moment. I know we need a truck but if we buy this truck today it won’t get here until March. It will miss the winter season. There’s no reason in doing this now. The timing is way off,` said Koetzle.
`If they could have said to me, ‘Listen, if we buy this truck today we’ll have it in time for December then I might see the need to proceed quickly here,` he said.
LeClare, who already ordered the new truck, disagrees that it will be sitting until next winter.
`We’ll be able to use it as a year-round vehicle,` said LeClare.
He said that the truck can be used for a number of services around the Town of Glenville, `not just snow plowing and salting services, but for hauling material debris and as a dump truck, as well,` said LeClare.
The debate started after the town received FEMA money to pay them back for work that was completed after the December 2008 ice storm to clean up the town.
According to Eric Dickson, the town’s attorney, the measure would be legal as long as the truck was paid for.
Councilman Mark Quinn, who voted in favor of the truck purchase, voiced his desire for financing of the purchase to be made as soon as possible.
LeClare has wanted to buy the truck using money that was awarded to the town by FEMA in a total of about $500,000 for several months. However, town board members and Glenville Town Supervisor Frank Quinn believe that there are better ways to spend the FEMA money and better ways to purchase the truck. Another option for funding the truck purchase would be bonding it.
`They passed a resolution to spend the money but they didn’t do it in a comprehensive way so that we could weigh all of our options,` said Koetzle.
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`Nick Hall contributed to this story