JOHNSTOWN - A Fulton County committee Monday supported canceling the town of Broadalbin's snow removal and plowing contract for 2012-13, in which the town receives $76,750 for plowing 14 miles of county roads.
The Board of Supervisors' Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee took the action Monday at the County Office Building. The Finance Committee reviews the issue Thursday, and the full board will review it Oct. 8.
The amendment to the town's snow contract was supported by county Superintendent of Highways and Facilities Mark Yost, who said he received a July 21 fax from Broadalbin Town Highway Superintendent Lance Winney.
The county in July authorized agreements with several municipalities for the 2012-13 winter season. The county pays the municipalities to plow certain portions of its county roads, but no agreement was reached with Broadalbin for its 14.4 centerline miles of road.
Yost said the fax from Winney stated, "If things don't change and we have a hard winter, my commitment to plowing county roads might be challenged." In light of the fax, Yost recommended not signing the new agreement and adding those roads to the list of roads currently plowed by his county Highways and Facilities Department.
He said when he received Winney's communication he didn't have a "knee-jerk reaction." He said he called committee Chairman Richard Argotsinger and Broadalbin Town Supervisor Joseph DiGiacomo and he followed through by bringing the issue to the committee.
"I'm going to cut $76,750 out of my appropriations," Yost said. "I'm just adding on a little on to my existing runs."
DiGiacomo, who was in attendance Monday, said in August he was aware of Winney's letter. Winney at the time said he wrote the letter because he had safety concerns about plowing the county roads.
DiGiacomo told the county committee Monday that Winney has since July 21 "recanted" his statements in the fax. He also said the issue should have come to his Broadalbin Town Board first.
"It think it was kind of a spur of the moment comment on this point," the supervisor added.
DiGiacomo said Broadalbin has had a road plowing contract with the county for 20 years and "never had a problem."
"I just can't say, 'Well, let's take a chance,'" Yost said. "I think the prudent thing to do is to just take this over and not have to worry about it ... I still say it's my decision to say who I'm going to offer contracts to."
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.