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Colden passes town budget

COLDEN — The Colden Town Board held a public hearing for the 2014 town budget, before the monthly meeting on Nov. 7.

The budget was approved, after remedying clerical errors in the highway department section.

“There was nothing for social security,” said Paul Clarkson, highway superintendent, of that error.

While the board members asked their questions about the budget, newly elected town supervisor James DePasquale commented, from the floor.

“If the board members don’t have that same budget to look at, how are we going to make a decision on the budget?” he asked.

Current Supervisor Annie Hoffman said that the copy of the budget had been out, since the adoption of the preliminary budget.

“It just seems there are a lot of questions with the budget,” DePasquale said.

“Well, that’s why they could have contacted Mark [who was typing up the budget] before the meeting,” Hoffman said.

Councilwoman Patricia Zurbrick and Councilman David Arcara voted “no,” on the passing of the budget. Before the rest of the town board meeting started, Supervisor Hoffman left Gerald Pietraszek in charge of the proceedings, citing illness.

During the public comment period, DePasquale addressed the board, by reading a letter. He said that the letters given to the council members pertained to the transition in the supervisor’s office.

“I have spoken to Supervisor Hoffman about the transition of operations of the office, and I was told by her that she wasn’t going to help and I would receive the office with no help, just like she did,” said DePasquale, in his letter. “I am not aware of the conditions of her town office, when she took over.”

DePasquale requested that all public records be stored on backup disks, and be given to the town clerk, for safe keeping. He also requested that Hoffman help with the transition of the office.

The new supervisor’s term will begin Jan. 1, 2014.

In other board news:

– The board approved a request from the highway superintendent to build a heated shelter for a truck. The request was made on the understanding that there was $10,000 left in the budget. Clarkson estimated the cost of construction to be $4,000. The approval was made contingent on the leftover money’s being confirmed available.

– A new snow removal contract was approved. The town is in charge of all snow removal and plowing. Pietraszek said that the town takes care of 8.78 miles of Erie County road. Municipalities, similar to Colden, were looking for a 5 percent contract. The contract was approved at 3 percent, and will last 3 years.

– The town of Colden received a public thank you from Reita Littlefield, a volunteer for the Veterans Administration Hospital. “We appreciate everything you do for us, by coming down and using the library,” Littlefield said. She explained that when a book does not get checked out of the library for more than a year, she brings the books to the veterans at the VA hospital in Buffalo.

– A new Meals on Wheels provider will be used to provide the eight recipients in Colden with meals. Previously, Southtowns Meals on Wheels provided this service. A new WNY Meals on Wheels contract was signed by the board.

The next Colden Town Board meeting will take place on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Colden Town Hall.

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