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Resolution approved to slash debts

GLOVERSVILLE — The Gloversville Housing Authority Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a resolution to write off debts for fiscal year 2019 totaling $23,148 in back rent and property damages.

The amount of debt written off for this year is nearly double the amount written off in fiscal year 2018 totaling $11,992.

GHA Executive Director Heather Reynolds said Thursday that despite the board’s approval to write off the debts this week the authority may still be able to collect the outstanding rent and property damage payments owed by former tenants in the future.

“Every year you write off your bad debts for the fiscal year,” Reynolds said. “You are able to collect them later.”

Reynolds was unable to point to a specific explanation for the growth in unpaid debts from fiscal year 2018 to 2019. The delinquencies typically occur when residents leave the housing authority or pass away while carrying outstanding balances.

The GHA contracted with a collection firm, Upstate Collection Center Inc. of Niskayuna, in October 2017 in an attempt at recouping funds owed by former tenants after writing off $15,450 in debts for that fiscal year.

However, to date Reynolds said the collection firm that was contracted before she started at the GHA in February 2018 has not succeeded in recapturing any of the outstanding payments owed to the housing authority leading the executive director and the board to begin searching for a new collection firm.

“We are looking into other options,” Reynolds said, noting that the GHA would have to give notice to Upstate Collection Center before switching to another outfit.

Reynolds, who it was announced this week will be resigning from her position as of today to relocate outside of the area, said she would encourage her eventual successor to continue the pursuit to engage a new collection firm.

“That’s a goal the new person should really look into, we need to get on trying to get some of that debt collected,” Reynolds said. “Even though I’m leaving I still really care about GHA.”

Despite the size of the debt written off by the GHA this year, Reynolds anticipates that results of the 2019 budget audit at the end of this year will show that the housing authority was actually profitable for the fiscal year due in part to increased rental income exceeding the anticipated income included in the budget. In-house records currently show profits of approximately $80,000 for the housing authority for fiscal year 2019.

“That’s unaudited so it could change,” Reynolds said cautiously of the estimate while expressing optimism that the audit will show the authority experienced a net profit for 2019. “That’s a positive.”

“Hopefully it will continue to go in the right direction for financials. I just want things to stay positive and moving in the right direction,” Reynolds added for the future. “I wish GHA the best.”

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