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The Lobster Tank

County committee meetings

10:00 a.m. The Essex County meetings for Oct. 17 started with the Public Works Committee. Under highway discussion, Anthony LaVigne said that the structural steel for the Otis Lane Bridge has been ordered and will be delivered in November. He also said that they have gone out to bid on work for the Old Military Road in North Elba.

Under the fair grounds committee, a request has been made to use the grounds in Westport for a distance relay race to be held in September of 2012.

10:07 a.m. County attorney Daniel Manning is speaking to the board about the ability of towns to override the state tax cap.

10:20 a.m. Manning is now addressing a county cap override and reccomends that it be done, even if the county stays under two-percent.

10:24 a.m. The personnel and administration committee has forwarded the tax cap override local law to the ways and means committee.

10:35 a.m. The finance committee is talking about establishing a budget committee, which county manager Dan Palmer said has to be created under state law.

10:40 a.m. County chair Randall Douglas said that he would appoint a budget committee by the end of the day if it fell under his jurisdiction.

10:44 a.m. Talk now is focused on the Horace Nye Nursing Home future.

10:50 a.m. The finance committee votes not to amend the resolution of services that would be provided by Marcus and Millichap in seeking a potential buyer or potential lease for the Horace Nye Home. The vote was four yes and two no, with three absent. Five votes were needed to pass.

10:58 a.m. The board votes to invite Marcus and Millichap to come for further discussion on the matter.

11:04 a.m. Thomas Scozzafava: "There is going to be a lot of pain in this budget."

11:13 a.m. Scozzafava: "We are going to present a budget with the two-percent cap, so buckle your seatbelts."

11:15 a.m. Joe Provoncha reported that the state is looking to shut down driving tests in Elizabethown and Saranac Lake, with sites staying open in Ticonderoga, Malone and Plattsburgh. The committee passed a resolution to keep the site open at the county seat.

11:26 a.m. County Treasurer Michael Diskin reports sales and occupancy tax revenues were down for the past month, but sales tax revenue still ahead of 2010 figures.

11:30 a.m. Finance committee vote to raise rates for physical and occupational therapists from $125 to $190 for physical therapist and $150 for occupational.

11:31 a.m. Public hearing for tax cap will be on Monday, Nov. 28, at 6 p.m., followed by the public hearing on the budget at 7 p.m. Meeting was then adjourned.

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