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Letters to the Editor

Saturday, November 03, 2012 - Updated: 7:11 PM

Town tax not fair to villages

To the editor:

The town of Amsterdam board is considering imposing a highway user's tax, which will include the village of Hagaman property owners.

The rapport between the town of Amsterdam and the village has been great through the years. We have shared equipment, trucks and manpower. At this time, we have to strongly object to this form of tax because of the unfairness to the village taxpayers. Our village attorney has informed us that the town has the legal right to impose this tax on our village property taxpayers.

The town board is proposing a tax of $7 per thousand of assessment for all entities located in the town of Amsterdam, which includes the villages of Fort Johnson and Hagaman. This tax will be billed on your county taxes as the fire tax has been for the town property taxpayers. The town will continue to have no town tax and use this highway tax to operate their highway department with a dedicated fund.

This means that the villages in the town of Amsterdam will pay an equal share of all expenditures in the highway department which includes new trucks, new equipment, manpower, etc., and related maintenance costs.

The town of Amsterdam has been operating at a higher level of service, which includes replacement of truck and equipment on a five-year basis. The village of Hagaman has replaced trucks and equipment that was over 20 years old because we could not afford to replace them sooner. Now, we have to maintain two highway departments. The village cannot afford more than two highway persons and the town will be able to continue with their present staff. This is radically wrong.

Mr. DiMezza expects the village to support the town roads because of the expansion in the town. The expansion in the town of Amsterdam will impact county roads and not town roads. The town roads in the town of Amsterdam are serving their property owners and are not main routes for commuters or trucks. The village streets' volume of traffic is significantly higher. This fact could be easily proven by traffic counters and trip counts. Not many people use the town highways. The county highways are the main highways and connectors in the town of Amsterdam. Some examples of county highways are Manny Corners Road, Wallins Corners Road, Maple Ave Extension, Midline Road, Miami Avenue, Golf Course Road, Truax Road, and Hammondtown Road. See the list attached for other county roads and a list of town roads.

Lastly, and not least, the village residents are town constituents, please treat us fairly. The following is a list of town board members and phone numbers: Supervisor Thomas DiMezza 627-0201, Alexander Kuchis 842-6138, Terry Bieniek 843-2268, Bart Tessiero 842-6508, Kenneth J. Krutz 842-3631.

Martin A. Natoli, mayor;

David Druziak, Rodney F. Kowalczyk, Robert T. Krom, Michael Shover, trustees; Village of Hagaman

Congrats on a job well done

To the editor:

Again, I would like to thank all of the employees of the New York state canal system for their excellent job of controlling the water level in the Mohawk River during our recent storm. All of their hard, back-breaking efforts paid off. I hope people will congratulate these individuals for a job well done. A big thank you again.

Ellen D. Younglove,

Town of Florida


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