Is change needed in Caroga?
As we near the primary season, I’d like to share my perspectives on the performance of the Caroga Town Board over the past 18 months. During that time, the following are some of our more significant accomplishments:
∫ Caroga News Flash — The board established and publishes a one-page summary of each board meeting to residents within days of each meeting. The News Flash is distributed in print, by email and posted to the town website to keep residents informed.
∫ Blight — The building permit process has been streamlined and additional resources added to increase the code office capacity to address blight. The results of this are now becoming clear with visible improvements regarding blight on a number of high visibility properties.
∫ Highway department — The board approved the purchase of two new vehicles to replace old equipment. The town highway garage faulty heating system was replaced and a new water well was installed to supply the highway garage and golf course club house.
∫ LED lighting — I worked with the board to approve participation in a New York state program which will eventually save the town about $24,000 per year in electric costs.
∫ Grant money — The town received $36,000 in grant money in 2018 and $60,989 to date in 2019. We have submitted grant applications for construction of multi-use trail system and are in the process of applying for grants for a salt storage shed and to fund the design of a new sewer district.
∫ New firehouse — I worked with the Caroga Lake Volunteer Fire Company to assist them in financing options for a new building and set up a meeting which helped them obtain lower building costs from a new contractor. They plan to break ground on the new firehouse this summer.
∫ Sherman’s — The board opened up Sherman’s for more public use including a weekly farmers market, weddings, concerts, etc. The board recently voted to put the decision to sell Sherman’s to a public vote so the residents can make the decision. Sherman’s has been the number one issue in the town for almost the last five years. This board is committed to resolving this issue.
As town supervisor and chief financial officer for our town, I oversee contracts, manage budgets and provide expense and revenue reporting. I’ve worked to enhance the returns the town receives for cash deposits and the town cash account balances have increased over the past year. I am committed to holding down property taxes and effectively managing the town’s finances. As town supervisor, I also serve on the Fulton County Board of Supervisors to help make decisions for residents. The services and programs Fulton County provides are essential for safety, jobs and the health of residents and visitors to Fulton County.
The town of Caroga still faces many challenges including invasive lake weeds, enhancing our municipal golf course and growing our local business base.
If we work together, our community will see the benefits of our shared efforts. It takes a village to do great things.
As the town’s current supervisor, I advocate that the current board is best positioned to continue the progress the town has experienced in 2018-19.
JAMES K. SELMSER